More Great Recipes: Indian | Main Dish

Chicken Biryani

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"A tribute to Wahid Biryani from Lucknow by chef Vineet Bhatia"

Serves 6 | Prep Time 1.5 hrs | Cook Time 1.5 hrs

Why I Love This Recipe

One of the most flavourful and aromatic Biryani's I have eaten in my life ! Your Guests will not stop raving about it !

Ingredients You'll Need

Ingredients for preparing Biryani Rice

2 cups Basmati long grain rice (Washed and Soaked for ½ hr)
10 cups of water in a 4 Quart pot (4 Liters Pan)
2” piece of Ginger ( Adrak ) - (Cut into Julienne)
Info : [Julienne means - Cut into long thin strips]
6-8 Green Chillies Julienne (Hari Mirch) - Remove the seeds inside the Chilli
4-5 Green Cardamom (Hari Illaichi)
2 Bay Leaf (Tej Patta)
2 Black Cardamom (Badi Illaichi)
1” piece of Mace (Javitry)
2” piece of Cinnamon stick (Dalchini)
4-5 Cloves (Laung)
5-6 Whole black pepper (Sabut Kali Mirch)
Salt ( Namak ) to taste
2 tsp Turmeric powder (Haldi)
2 tsp Clarified Butter (Ghee)

Ingredients for preparing the Chicken Marinade

Four boneless chicken breasts cut into 2” pieces
2 tsp Ginger Paste (Adrak)
2 tsp Garlic Paste (Lasan)
2 tsp Cumin Seeds (Jeera)
1 tsp Turmeric powder (Haldi)
1 tsp Red Chilli Powder (Lal Mirch)
1 tsp Coriander Powder (Dhaniya)

Ingredients to cook before cooking the chicken

4 Tbsp Clarified Butter ( Ghee )
2 cups finely slivered red onions
1 tsp Turmeric powder (Haldi Powder)
2 tsp Red Chilli Powder (Lal Mirch Powder)
2 tsp Coriander Powder (Dhaniya Powder)
4 tsp Cumin Powder (Jeera Powder)
2 cups finely diced Tomatoes (Tamatar)
Salt (Namak) to taste


Ingredients while cooking the chicken

1 cup Thick whipped yogurt (Pheta hua Dahi)
½ cup Fresh Cream (whipping cream)
½ cup Finely chopped Fresh Coriander (Dhaniya) or Cilantro
½ cup Finely chopped Fresh Mint (Pudina)
1 tsp Garam Masala powder

Ingredients for Garnishing the Biryani

2 cups Slivered red onions Fried Golden crisp for garnishing
½ cup Finely chopped Fresh Coriander ( Dhaniya ) or Cilantro
½ cup Finely chopped Fresh Mint (Pudina)
1 tsp Garam Masala powder

Ingredients to put on the Roti/Indian Bread before it goes into the Oven

1 tsp Black Cardamom powder (Badi Illaichi)
1 tsp Green Cardamom powder (Hari Illaichi)
1 tsp Fennel Seeds powder (Saunf)
1 tsp. Chat Masala
1 Tbsp Watermelon Seeds (Tarbooj ke beej ) [ optional ]
Few drops of essential oil derived from botanical sources (Ittar) [ optional ]
2 tsp Clarified Butter (Ghee)

Tip : [ Ensure you make a coarse powder by blending together ]

2 Whole Black Cardamom (Badi Illaichi)
3 Green Cardamom (Hari Illaichi)
1 tsp Fennel Seeds (Saunf)


Ingredients for making Roti/Indian Bread

1 cups Wheat Flour (Gehu Ka Atta)
¼ cup Oil
6 - 7 oz or {0.75 to 0.87} cups/approximately (148 - 177 ml) of chilled water


Ingredients for making Raita

2 cups of Plain thick whipped Yogurt
½ cup of fresh pomegranate
1 tbsp of chopped fresh Mint leaves
1 tsp roasted cumin seeds
1 tsp salt or to taste
½ tsp black salt
1 tsp Chaat masala


Utensils to be used while making the Biryani

Deep and large pan for cooking the biryani rice
12” nonstick frying pan for cooking the chicken
Oven proof Ceramic dish in which you will layer the biryani
A glass bowl to make the Raita
A bowl or a flat vessel to knead the dough for making the indian bread (Roti)
A rolling pin (Chakla and Belan)
Cutting Board
Knife to cut chicken and chop vegetables
A blender to grind the powder for all the spices as well as make the ginger garlic paste
Rice Cooker [ Optional ]
Food Processor [ Optional ]
Oven for baking the biryani



Recipe To Make : Roti / Indian bread

Mix all ingredients except water in a food processor. Turn the food processor on and slowly drizzle the water through the spout. Once the dough is formed remove the dough using oil on your hands. Roll it ¼” thick approximately 4” bigger than the diameter of the serving dish in which you plan to prepare the Biryani. The same dough can be prepared without using a food processor. Add all ingredients in a bowl and knead it by hand.
Ensure you roll the dough after step 9.


Recipe To Make : Raita

Take Whipped Yogurt (Pheta hua Dahi) well, add pomegranate (annar) to it then add cut fresh mint (pudina) leaves, cumin seeds (jeera), salt (namak), black salt (kala namak) and chat masala. Mix well and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.


Step 1 : Wash and clean thoroughly and then soak the basmati rice for 1/2 hour and keep aside.

Step 2 : Make indian bread dough and set aside. Roll the dough after step 9. Use recipe included.

Step 3 : Take a 12” non-stick frying pan and fry finely slivered red onions till they are golden brown and crisp. Keep aside for garnishing.


Step 4 : In a bowl mix the following ingredients to create a marinade for the chicken. Add the cut chicken pieces to the marinade and mix well. Marinate for at least 1 hour

Marinate the cut chicken with

1. Ginger (adrak) and Garlic (lasan) paste.
2. Red chilli (Lal mirch) powder
3. Cumin seeds (Jeera)
4. Turmeric (Haldi)
5. Coriander (Dhaniya) powder


Step 5 : Boil 10 cups of water in a large pan add the following ingredients to it

1. Turmeric (haldi)
2. Ginger (adrak) and
3. Julienne Green chilies
4. Green Cardamom (Hari illaichi)
5. Bay Leaf (Tej Patta)
6. Black Cardamom (Badi illaichi)
7. Mace (Javitry)
8. Cinnamon (Dalchini)
9. Whole Black Pepper (Sabut Kali Mirch)
10. Clove (Laung)

Continue boiling for 1 minute.


Step 6 : Add the soaked rice into the boiling water, then add salt and one tsp of clarified butter (ghee) and let the rice cook at medium heat. Cover pot with a lid. You will see the rice grains swell up and become soft after boiling in water for 10 mins. Ensure you don't over cook the rice. Towards the end when the rice looks almost cooked, taste the rice for desired softness. The rice should be Al dente (cooked just long enough that it is neither crunchy nor too soft) at this point. Use a colander/mesh or rice strainer to strain the excess water. Be careful the pot will be very hot and the water will be steaming. Set rice aside for layering in the baking dish.

Option 2 to cook rice in a Rice cooker: Measure 4 cups of boiling water and add to the rice cooker bowl. Turn it on. Add all the spices to the boiling water.. After 1 minute add the soaked rice and remaining ingredients clarified butter/ghee and salt. For every cup of rice use double the water. However please ensure all the ingredients and spices mentioned in step 5 boil in water for a few mins before you add the rice to the rice cooker.


Step 7 : Take a 12” non stick frying pan and heat it to medium temperature. Add
Clarified butter (ghee) and finely slivered red onions. Fry them until golden brown. Then add the following ingredients and continue stirring for a couple of minutes.

1. Turmeric (Haldi)
2. Red chilli (Lal mirch) powder
3. Coriander (Dhaniya) powder
4. Salt (Namak)
5. Cumin (Jeera) powder

Add the chopped tomatoes after the spices seem like they have mixed and cooked well in the butter. Continue cooking until the mixture releases oil and all the spices look well blended and tomatoes look well cooked leaving the sides of the frying pan.


Step 8 : Add the marinated chicken to the pan and mix well and let it all cook together on medium heat. Once the chicken is more than half cooked then add the following ingredients:

1. Thick whipped yogurt (Pheta hua Dahi)
2. Fresh cream
3. Finely chopped fresh Mint (pudina) leaves and
4. Finely chopped fresh Cilantro (coriander,dhaniya ) leaves to the pan

After the chicken is fully cooked add garam masala powder and give it all a last mix.
Using a teaspoon do a taste check for salt. Add more as needed.


Step 9 : Choose an oven proof ceramic dish (9” X 11” X 3” h) to serve Biryani. Begin the layering process for the Biryani.

1. Bottom layer is the cooked rice approximately ½ of the quantity.
2. Layer all the cooked chicken along with the spicy delicious masala on top of the rice.
3. Top the chicken with the remaining cooked rice.
4. Finally on top of the rice , sprinkle the fried onions, fresh mint (pudina ) leaves and fresh coriander
(dhaniya) leaves or cilantro and garam masala powder.


Step 10 : It’s time to bring out the prepared dough. Roll it ¼” thick approximately 4” bigger than the diameter of the serving dish in which you plan to prepare the Biryani. Place the rolled out bread on top of the serving dish and seal the dish pinching the dough around all edges to leave no opening on all sides.


Step 11 : Take Black Cardamom ( Badi Illaichi ) powder , Green Cardamom ( Hari Illaichi ) powder , Chaat Masala , Watermelon Seeds ( Tarbooj ke beej ), Fennel Seeds ( Saunf ) powder , put all these spices on the rolled out bread ( roti) which you have covered the biryani dish with.


Step 12 : Preheat the oven at 180 C degrees or 350 F degrees, (bake the biryani for 10-12 mins until the roti is cooked and crisp and looks golden brown. At the table before serving drizzle clarified butter (ghee) on the top of the golden brown Roti/indian bread to give it a beautiful shine and bring out the aroma of all the spices. Add a few drops of essential oil derived from botanical sources (ittar) if you wish . The aroma of the essential oils will fill the dining room with a fragrance that will be mouth watering when the people cut the roti open and serve the biryani.


Pairs Well With

Plain Yogurt (Dahi) or Raita

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