Chicken Biryani

One of the few dishes my mom is an expert is Biryani. Biryani and chicken curry is a standard Sunday afternoon meal at our home. So every time I visit my parents, I make it a point mom cooks it for me.

For some reason, I never had the courage to attempt Biryani. I guess just the term ‘Biryani’ gave me the feeling that its a complicated dish. Yesterday was a very laid back Saturday and I mustard courage to give this Biryani a shot with mom on the phone giving me step by step instruction. To my surprise, it wasn’t even half as difficult as I had imagined and tasted absolutely delicious!


For the Chicken Marinade

  • 500 gms Chicken
  • 3 tbs hung curd
  • 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp turmeric powder
For Further Preparation
  • 2 cups basmati rice (soaked in water 30 mins prior to preparation)
  • 3.5 cups water
  • 4 tbsp pure ghee
  • 4 tbsp oil
  • 3 cloves
  • 3 cardamom
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 two inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 mace
  • 3 medium onions chopped
  • 1 or 2 green chillies
  • 3 tomatoes chopped
  • 3 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tsp red chilly powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 cup mint leaves chopped
  • 1 cup fresh coriander leaves chopped
  • 1/2 cup thick fresh curd
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • Salt to taste
  • Marinate the chicken with the mentioned ingredients for an hour in the refrigerator.
  • Pour the oil and ghee in a pressure cooker. When medium hot, put the bay leaf, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon stick, mace and star anise in it. 
  • A couple of seconds later, when you get the wonderful smell of the spices, add the onions and green chillies. Saute until light golden brown and then add the ginger garlic paste. 
  • Once the ginger garlic paste looses its raw smell, add the tomatoes, mint leaves and coriander leaves. Cover it with a lid and allow it to cook well in low flame until the tomatoes get cooked and the oil separates. 
  • Add turmeric powder, red chilly powder, coriander powder, salt and the marinated chicken. Cover it with a lid and let the chicken get 3/4th cooked.
  • Drain the basmati rice of its water and mix it well with the chicken. Pour 3.5 cups of water, curd and give the chicken-rice mixture a good stir. Add the lemon juice in 3 portions, tasting the water after each addition to check if the flavors are just right. Pressure cook for 1 whistle. Turn off stove and allow the pressure to escape.
  • Serve hot with curd pachadi!

3 thoughts on “Chicken Biryani

  1. i have a doubt … for 2 cups of rice you are adding 3.5 cups of water to cook the rice. wouldn’t the rice get over cooked? how do you achieve each grain not sticking to each other … i felt for a briyani in hyderabad is give very little portion of chillies … ha ha ha i love to be generous with the green and red chillies

    • Its not Hyd biryani uncle. Its our Tamil version. It doesn’t get overcooked in 1 whistle. Also the oil and ghee will keep the rice from sticking with each other!

      I like mine with more chillies too. But with a 3 yr old I have to be more considerate 🙂

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