Perfect Chicken Biryani

This is one of the most famous Indian / Pakistani dish that I have had the pleasure to eat when I was on a vacation in India.

It is traditionally reserved for special occasions such as parties, weddings, holidays such as the Ramadan.

The preparation is quite lengthy but the outcome is simply amazing.

The secret of making an awesome chicken biryani is all in the spices...

I personally recommend using Basmati rice. It's thin and a fine grain rice which can be used for a variety of purposes.

Use Ghee instead of butter.

It's a very important ingredient if you want your biryani to have a more authentic taste.

So please, no substitution here! :-)

Also be sure that you have all the following ingredients in place in order to simplify the cooking process.


1-1/2 kg chicken disjointed
1kg soaked basmati rice
2 cinnamon (powder)
6 cloves - whole
1/2 tsp cloves powder
5 cardamoms
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
1 tbsp whole cumin
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chili powder
1/2 tsp nutmeg powder
2g oriental saffron
1 cup yogurt
2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
50g crushed onion
500g fried onion
500g fried potatoes (marinated in a pinch of yellow food coloring before frying)
1 cup oil
1/4 cup ghee
1 tbsp salt
50g fresh coriander leaves (finely chopped)
50g fresh mint leaves (finely chopped)
5 green chilies cut lengthwise

Ok, before doing anything else...

Take some flour (around 1/2 kg) and mix it with 1 - 2 cups of water. We are preparing a dough. Once done, keep it aside. We'll be using it later (see step 8).

Now follow the 10 simple steps:

(1) Marinate chicken in saffron, chili powder, turmeric, ginger-garlic paste and crushed onions.

(2) Add dry spices to yogurt and mix with chicken. Marinate for 1 hour.

(3) Add fried onions, fried potatoes, coriander, mint leaves, green chilies to the marinated chicken. Smear again.

(4) Gradually add oil, ghee and 2 cups of water to the marinated chicken. Keep aside for 30 minutes.

(5) Boil 1500 ml (1.5 L) of water with whole cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, salt and soaked rice. Boil until half done.

(6) Strain and place a layer of rice on chicken. Sprinkle with fried onions, a little ghee and saffron diluted in 1/2 cup of hot water.

(7) Top with remaining rice. Sprinkle again with fried onions, 1 tsp ghee and 1 tsp saffron.

(8) Seal the pot lid with the dough.

(9) Cook on high heat for 10 minutes, then reduce heat (or reduce heat when sizzling occurs). Simmer for 1 hour.

(10) Serve with spiced yogurt, thinly slice carrots and cucumber salad.

Yield 8 servings.

Tips: Use a heavy utensil when cooking the biryani. The dough can be replaced with a heavy lid for sealing. For crispy fried onions simply fry them in oil.

Hurry! Dinner is ready...

Bon Appetit! :-)

Copyright 2006. Jonathan Teng

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About The Author, Jon_tk
Jonathan Is The Author Of A Best Selling Cookbook Called Famous Copycat Recipes. You Can Visit His Website Easy Recipes Secrets And Learn New Cooking Tips FREE!