The Best Chicken Biryani

Biryani, a symphony of flavors and aromas, truly captures the essence of Indian cuisine. This recipe for Chicken Biryani combines tender meat, fragrant rice, and a blend of exotic spices to create a dish that is as delightful to the senses as it is to the palate.

Cooking Time

  • Prep Time: 2 hours 30 minutes (including marination)
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes

Serving Size

  • This recipe serves 6 people.


For the Chicken Marinade:

  • 1 kg chicken, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • Salt to taste

For the Rice:

  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 cloves
  • 2-star anise
  • 1-inch cinnamon stick
  • Salt to taste

For the Biryani:

  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 cup cooking oil
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • Saffron strands, soaked in 1/4 cup warm milk
  • 1/2 cup fried onions (optional for garnish)


  1. Marinate the Chicken: In a large bowl, combine chicken pieces with yogurt, ginger-garlic paste, turmeric, garam masala, red chili powder, and salt. Mix well and let it marinate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight in the refrigerator.
  2. Prepare the Rice: Rinse the basmati rice until the water runs clear. Soak it in water for 30 minutes. In a large pot, bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add bay leaves, cloves, star anise, cinnamon, and salt. Add the soaked rice and cook until it’s 70% done. Drain the rice and set aside.
  3. Cook the Chicken: In a large pot, heat the cooking oil over medium heat. Add sliced onions and fry until golden brown. Add the marinated chicken and cook until it’s three-quarters done. Add chopped tomatoes, half of the cilantro, and mint leaves. Cook until the oil separates from the gravy.
  4. Layer the Biryani: In the same pot, over the chicken, layer the cooked rice. Sprinkle the remaining cilantro, mint leaves, and saffron-soaked milk over the rice. Cover and cook on a low flame for 20 minutes.
  5. Garnish and Serve: Let the biryani sit for 10 minutes after cooking. Garnish with fried onions if desired. Serve hot with raita or your choice of side.

Nutritional Info (per serving)

Calories520 kcal
Protein27 g
Carbohydrates45 g
Fat22 g
Saturated Fat6 g
Cholesterol80 mg
Sodium620 mg
Fiber3 g
Sugar3 g

Remember, patience and attention to detail are key to creating the perfect Chicken Biryani. Enjoy the process and the delicious outcome!