Chicken Biriyani


Note Biriyani tastes best with chicken thighs. All the masala and spices used in the recipe can be found in an Indian store. We use Eastern Biriyani masala but any brand of biriyani masala would do. Green chillies used in the recipe is the type found in Indian store, Thai chillies is a good substitute. Use plain/unflavored non-fat greek yogurt for marination. We use 1 cup (150 gms) of plain Chobani greek yogurt.


Chicken 2 pounds
Coriander leaves (malli ila) chopped 2 tbsp
Mint leaves (pudina) chopped 1 tbsp
Biriyani masala 3 tbsp
Salt 1 tsp
Yogurt 1 cup (150 gms)
Ginger paste 1 tbsp
Garlic paste 1 tbsp
Garam masala 2 tsp
Lime juice 1 tsp
Basmati Rice 3 cups
Cinnamon (karuvapatta) 1/2 stick (2 inches)
Clove (grampu) 7 cloves
Bay leaves (optional) 1 leaf
Garam masala 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
Salt 1 tsp
Water 10 cups
Onion 2 nos big
Green chillies 5 nos
Tomatoes 2 nos big
Oil 2 tbsp
Salt 1 1/2 tsp
Biriyani masala 2 tbsp
Garam masala 1 tsp
Ghee 2 tbsp
Cashew nuts 15 to 20 nuts
Raisins 15 - 20 nos
Onion 1/2 cup thinly sliced
Coriander leaves (malli ila) chopped 1 tbsp
Mint leaves (pudina) chopped 1 tbsp



  • Mix together all ingredients under marination, cover and keep aside for 30 minutes.

Cooking Rice

  • Wash Basmati rice 3-4 times, until water runs clear.
  • Take a large pot big enough to hold the washed rice and 10 cups of water.
  • Put all the ingredients under Rice in the pot. Bury the cinnamon, bay leave and clove under the rice.
  • When the water starts to boil, turn the heat down to low and cook the rice for 15 min. We don’t want to cook the rice all the way in this step or we will end up with overcooked rice after the final baking step.

Making Masala

  • Thinly slice onions, green chillies, tomatoes.
  • In a deep bottom pot, heat oil, add sliced onions and chillies. Sauté till the onions are brown, add salt to sweat out the onions and speed up the cooking.
  • Add biriyani masala and garam masala. Mix for few minutes to coat the onions with masala.
  • Add tomatoes and sauté till the tomatoes are smashed and well combined with the onion masala.
  • Add the marinated chicken to the pot and mix well. The gravy will be a little runny at this point. Cook for 15-20 minutes, stir frequently to avoid burning the bottom. The gravy will thicken and coat the chicken at this point, if it is still runny, cook for another additional 5 min.


  • Heat Ghee in a small pan.
  • Roast raisins the ghee for 30 sec to 1 min until it turns golden brown.
  • Remove the raisins from the pan and keep aside.
  • Roast cashew nuts in the same ghee for a few minutes and keep aside.
  • Put the thinly sliced onions in the hot ghee, fry it till its turns golden brown and keep aside.


  • Pre heat the oven to 350 F.
  • Layer the chicken and rice in a baking tray or disposable aluminum container. Add a layer of chicken on the bottom of the container, add a layer of rice on top, add a layer of chicken on top of that, then rice until you have all your rice and chicken in the container.
  • Garnish the top with few coriander, mint leaves, roasted raisins, roasted cashew nuts and fried onions.
  • Drizzle a teaspoon of ghee on top.
  • Cover the container with aluminium foil and bake for 1 hour.