Are you a newbie in the kitchen but still want to make delicious biryani?
This recipe first appeared on my blog under the name “Millennial Biryani”, for all us millennials that didn’t learn how to cook all the foods we loved before moving far away form home. Let’s go back to 2012, when I moved to Germany and was craving a good chicken biryani like no other. Unfortunately, my cooking repertoire consisted of mostly pastas and baked goods like cakes and brownies. I was a “foodie” and a self proclaimed chef, but I had made the mistake of not learning how to cook classic Pakistani recipes before I moved to another continent.
Needless to say I spent the first year on the phone with my Mom and Khala, asking for recipes, or learning how to cook every trip home. This recipe came from countless tries to simplify the never ending recipes and instructions I got from family. I translated every vague measurement and took out the excess ingredients to get this delicious and easy chicken biryani.
What a good chicken biryani comes down to
While biryani may seem like a daunting recipe, with a long list of spices, whole and ground, along with the anxiety inducing par boiled rice, you really don’t need to worry with my recipe. You know I like making things quick and easy, and this is as easy as chicken biryani will get. I use boneless chicken and I promise it doesn’t compromise on flavor, but if you’re a purist use bone in. The trick is to create a luscious and flavorful masala. It shouldn’t be runny, but more like a dry masala. And don’t do anything else while the rice is boiling, because it cooks quick and you know all hell breaks loose if you look away for a spilt second. With these tow things in mind, you can’t go wrong!
Two pots and two layers
Using two pots is necessary if you want to get this chicken biryani on the table, stat. But everyone has their own opinions for when it comes to layering the chicken and rice. I myself do a simple two layer process, with all the chicken on the bottom and all the rice on top. Others opt for 4 layers, chicken, rice, chicken then the last of the rice. I find that multiple layers work better if you’re making a large amount of biryani, let’s say double or trip this recipe, but for this portion, my way works just fine. Don’t forget to read through the recipe notes for tips and variations!
Other Pakistani rice dishes to try
Easy Chicken Biryani
- 2 cups basmati rice soaked
- 1 pound boneless chicken cubes or 1 chicken skinned and cut into 12 pieces
- 3 tbsp yogurt whipped
- 1/4 cup oil
- 3 roma tomatoes chopped
- 1/4 cup fried onions or 1 onions sliced and fried
- 2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
- 3 green chillies
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp chilli powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin powder
- 1/2 tsp coriander powder
- 5-6 peppercorns
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 black alaichi black cardamom
- 3-4 alaichi cardamom
- 1 inch piece cinnamon
- 1 tbsp biryani masala Shan or National
- fresh coriander and mint leaves for layering
- Heat the oil in a large pan and add the tomatoes, onions and ginger garlic paste. Saute for a minute, then cover and cook on a low flame to soften the tomatoes and fried onions, about 5 minutes.
- In a small bowl add the chicken, yogurt and all the whole and ground spices. Mix well. Add to the tomato and onion masala and mix until everything is combined. Add the green chillies, then cook uncovered for 3-4 minutes, mixing occasionally. Add a spalsh of water, cover and cook on a low flame for 6-7 minutes, until the oil seperates from the masala. Make sure the masala is a bit on the dry side.
- While the chicken is cooking bring a large pot of water to a boil. Drain the soaked rice and add it to the water along with 1 tsp of salt. Once the water comes to a simmer again, it should take 5-6 minutes for the rice to be par boiled. You want them to be almost cooked through, but still have a bite to them, like pasta. Once the rice is par boiled drain and set aside.
- Once the chicken is done cooking, lower the flame to the lowest setting. Spread the coriander and mint leaves over the chicken, then carefully transfer the rice onto the chicken, covering it completely. Place th elid on the pan, and cook on the lowest flame for 10-15 minutes, or until steam starts escaping form the lid. At this point the rice will be cooked through and the biryani will be ready to eat.
- Carefully mix the chicken into the rice using a spatula so the rice doesn't break. Serve with yougrt or raita.
Have you tried this classic and easy chicken biryani?
This is one of my favorite recipes, and I hope you like it as well! If you try it I’d love to hear how it turned out in the comments below!Add to favorites