Chicken Biryani

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Average: 4.8 (4 votes)
Serves 4-5

This chicken biryani is the type where you cook the masala separately and the rice separately, then serve the two together. Very aromatic and flavourful!

chicken, without skin, cut into 8-10 pieces
(1 to 1.5kg)
500 gm
onions, sliced and fried to golden
4 tbsp
tomato paste/puree
1/2 tbsp
garlic paste
1 tbsp
ginger paste
1 tsp
tandoori masala
1 tsp
red chilli flakes
250 ml
plain yoghurt (whipped till smooth)
pinch of orange food colouring
pinches of saffron
4 tbsp
oil (for marinating)
4 tbsp
oil (for cooking)
potatoes, peeled, cut in half then fried until a knife can pierce them easily
salt to taste
slit green chillies
cardamom pods
cinnamon sticks
Ingredients for Rice
3 cups
basmati rice, washed 2-3 times then soaked for half an hour
saffron & food colouring
whole spices


First marinate the chicken in the ginger, garlic, whole spices, half of the yoghurt, half the fried onions, 3 tbsp. tomato paste, oil, tandoori masala, pinch of orange food colouring, salt, 1 slit green chilli and a pinch of the saffron. Mix everything together and marinate overnight for best results, or at least 4 hours.

Heat the remaining 4 tbsp. of oil, then add the remainder of the fried onions, tomato paste, saffron, green chilli and yoghurt. Add the marinated chicken with its marinade, and cook on medium heat for 10 minutes, then lower the heat to low and cook for another 10 minutes.

Keep the pan covered and give the mixture a stir after every few minutes. Adjust salt, chilli to taste. Add the fried potatoes once the chicken is tender and cook together on low heat for 5 minutes so that the potatoes take on a nice colour. Sprinkle garam masala and set aside.


Wash then soak 3 cups of rice in water for about 20-30 mins. Soak a few saffron strands in some water and set aside. Bring a big pot of water to boil, add salt, 4 cardamom pods, 2-3 cinnamon sticks and 2-3 cloves plus about 2 tbsp. of oil.

Drain the soaked rice and add it to this water when it is boiling. Cook until the rice is about 3/4 done, remove and strain out all the water. Put half the rice back into the pan, drizzle about 2-3 tbsp. of oil and the saffron water. Add a bit of orange colour on one side and mix it up a bit with a spoon then cover the pot tightly. Steam this on low heat for 15 minutes or put in a 180 C preheated oven for about the same time. Serve the rice with the Biryani Masala on top.

Alternatively, you can layer the two in the pot by placing the cooked masala at the bottom of the pan and the rice on top, then steam as directed, for about 15 minutes on low heat. This tends to infuse the lovely biryani flavour into the rice as it steams.


i just love your recipes mashallah really good

Pls do tell me the way ov layers. If masalah on bottom thn it can burn .. And it ll jz two layers? One rice and once masalah? Or more layers can also apply? How ll dish out or serve? We wont mix?

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

These two dishes (the rice and the masala) are cooked separately then layered (if you want) at the very end and put on dum for just a few minutes on very low heat so there is no way they can burn. Otherwise just cook each separately and then serve together as shown in the pic, I did not mix mine.

Ok thanksh

Eid Mubarak. Great Biryani. Made it for Eid today. Everyone thinks these days I am such a great cook. But I tell them it is Fauzia.
The 250ml yogurt was not enough. I doubled it to get more "stew" Maybe coz my chicken was big, 1.5kg.

salamz, am planning to make dis for eid tomorrow, can i know how much rice is used in kg here?

Assalamu alaikum. The instructions say, "add the remainder of the fried onions". But you do not say to separate the onions. Did you add some to the marinade of the chicken? I started marinating this last night and I'm cooking it in a few hours, so I thought I would reread the recipe and this has gotten me confused. Can I just fry the full amount of onions in the pot and add the chicken? Will the taste be altered drastically?

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, sorry my mistake, half the fried onions go into the marinade. But it will not change the result, it is just to intensify the flavour. You can mix in half the fried onions into the marinade just before layering, that is fine too.

with cardamom pods u mean green cardamom or black cardamom

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture


Salaams fauzia. Love your recipes thanks soooo much. Just a quick question
Do you put the rest of the rice back in the pot after the oil, saffron and orange colour?
Thanks once again xxx

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, you add the rice back to the pot before adding the saffron and oil and colour. :)

Salaams Fauzia, i do not have orange food colouring. Is it ok if i dont use that or do you think i should do? Jzk xx

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, yes that is ok you can leave it out.

HI love your recipe thanks for sharing it..I want to try this one but my only confusion is the whole spices..Is it the clove, cardoman and cinnamon..If so do we need to ground them in the mixer or use them as it is..Please reply ASAP..Thank a lot for these lovely recipes.

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

Yes those are the whole spices, and no do not grind them, they need to remain whole.

Assalamu alaikum sis..What is tandoori masala

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, a powdered spice used in cooking.

Assalamu Alaikum sister. I am in love with your simple and tasty recipes. I want to make this chicken bhiryani for my guests tomorrow but im confused where it says tomatoe paste, is this the ready made paste we get? if so that means we don't use fresh tomatoes in this recipe? Also, I'll using 4chickens do I double the recipe? your help will be much appreciated.. thank you

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, the ready made paste and no this recipe does not use fresh tomatoes. This recipe is for 1 chicken so if you are making 4 chicken, multiply each ingredient by 4.

Hi Fauzia, when we marinate fried onions in chicken shouldwe make it as a paste or marinate fried onions as such??

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

Hi, either way, you could crush the fried onions or leave them as is and add. No need to make them into a paste. :)

jb bhi ma rice cook krti hon woh alag alag nhi hote.... iska kya reason hai??

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

English please?

Hi,I'm a student studying abroad and while looking for some home dishes to try and cook I found your recipes. MashaAllah they're amazing!! The problem is there are some ingredients (spices) I can't find here, like, cloves,cardamom,cinnamon,saffron and tandoori masala. Can I still go ahead and try to make it?
Also, the yoghurt, is it the liquid youghurt (maziwa mala) or the solid (semi-solid) one? As I'm sure you can tell, I don't have much experience cooking :)

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

Hi, some of the spices are important in getting the best flavour for some of these dishes. Most of these are pretty common world wide and should be available in the spice isles of many supermarkets. Where exactly are you situated? As for the yoghurt, as long as it is not sweetened, either one is fine. :)

I'm in Turkey. I'm sure if I look around a little bit I'll find them, but being a student, I just didn't want to go to too much trouble looking for them. Thanks a lot for your response.

Salaam Fauzia ,
Amazing recipes,Jazakallah .
Can I freeze the prepare half cooked chicken biryanai with masala ahead of time ?
and then later when I have to make the biryani ,suppose a week after , follow with the rice steps and potatoes and then layer them and bake.
basicly, I mean to say is just prepare the chicken ahead of time .

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, I would not recommend half cooking the chicken biryani as it will end up being stringy and dry. You can marinate the chicken a couple days ahead and then cook the masala even the day before. But the rice needs to be fresh. :)

hi sis, i really like all yr recipes.. and yr innovations to it ;-) keep going sis.. and i wanna ask whats the difference between hyderabad chicken/mutton biryani and normal chicken/mutton biriyani? and also would liek to ask u.. incase if we wanna increase the grevy consistency to the recipes what should be done?

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

Thank you so much. The hyderabadi versions use raw meat in the dish, that means it is not cooked before hand. The meat cooks with the rice. With the other versions, the meat/gravy biryani is cooked separately then layered with the cooked rice. For extra gravy use more yoghurt, fried onions and tomato puree/paste.

thank you fa the reply sis :-) fa extra grevy u said.. wic is only for biriyani's grevy or it goes even for normal grevy's ?

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

Most welcome. It depends on the ingredients of the dish being cooked. If it uses fresh tomatoes or onions then you would need to add extra for more gravy.

jazakallah khair sis :-)your the best ;-)

Salam fauzia sis.
How to steam the rice?

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, it is to give dum. Cover the pot with a tight lid and put it on low heat for about 10-15 minutes.

Hey dear, could you please tell me how do i add the sour flavor to the biryani , all the rest is great Mashallah

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

Hi, normally the touch of sour flavour comes from the yoghurt.

Assalamu alaykum
What is the size of the cup that you measure the rice? Is it the same size of a rainbow milk can ?
Your recipes are so good, jazakallah.

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, it is a regular measuring cup. 1 cup of rice is 185 gm. Thanks.

If I want to make biryani of 6 cups, should I simply double all the ingredients?

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

Yes if you double the rice, double everything else.

If we use fried readymade onion, then how much should I use?

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

I normally fry my own onions so it is hard to say but about 2 cups or so should be fine I guess.

Assalamoualaikoum, I wanna try this recipe but I want to know if I can cook all together not separately?

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, no this recipe requires to the rice and gravy to be cooked separately, you can then layer them during steaming of the rice. For a all in one recipe use the hyderabadi chicken biryani recipe.

Hi. If I omit the potatoes altogether, will I have to reduce any of the other ingredients?

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

Hi, no need to reduce other ingredients, you can just omit the potatoes.

Can u also please tell approximately how much salt? I know it's to taste but I'm not experienced enough yet to make estimations!