Millennial Biryani

This is for all those kids who can’t touch/handle the smell of raw whole chicken, don’t have time to cook between their lattes and avocado toast(=P), but still want biryani on Fridays. I got you. Ok. I kid. What I have done is taken all the guesswork and hard work our of biryani for you, so when you want to eat it, you don’t go into a panic. Rather, you calmly grab all the ingredients and get on with this simple recipe. This boneless chicken biryani is perfect for picky eaters, and I happen to know a whole lot of them. This always comes to the rescue, even though I’m a traditionalist who likes fighting over the best boti in the biryani. I’ve started making this boneless version to keep the peace, but don’t be fooled. I never compromise on flavor, texture or aroma, so this biryani delivers on all fronts. The masala is still luscious, the chicken is still bursting with flavor, and the rice is still perfectly cooked. So what are you waiting for?

*I love adding potatoes to this when I want to make it go further (read when I want leftovers). I always use red potatoes for my Pakistani cooking. They hold their shape and don’t get mushy when they’re cooking. I would not recommend using russet potatoes at all, they’ll just turn into mashed potatoes with everything that’s going on this dish. To add the potatoes, just peel and cut into 1.5 inch cubes. Par boil and add to the pot along with your chicken. You may need to add a splash of water to the masala to prevent it from drying out. I highly recommend using a non stick pan when you cook potatoes.  

This is the easiest version of biryani and you will love it, and you will make it.

Here’s what you need for about 4 people:

2 cups rice soaked for about 20 minutes

1 pound boneless chicken cubes

3 red potatoes, peeled and diced *

1/4 cup oil

1 onion, thinly sliced (or 1/2 cup fried onions)

2 tomatoes, chopped

3 whole green chillies

1/2 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp chilli powder

1/2 tsp cumin powder

1/2 tsp crushed coriander seeds

1 tsp salt

5 whole peppercorns

4 alaichi

1 black alaichi

1 inch piece cinnamon stick

2 whole dried chillies

1 Tblspn biryani masala (I prefer national foods sindhi biryani)

2 Tblspns yogurt, whipped

coriander leaves, sliced tomatoes and sliced lemons for garnish

2-3 Tblspns lemon juice

1 Tblspn milk with pinch of biryani food color *completely optional

Start by bringing a huge pot of water to a boil. Add the rice along with 1 Tblspn salt and let it simmer till the rice is par boiled (it should still have bite to it). It takes about 6-8 minutes. Drain the rice and set aside. In a large pot add the oil and fry the onions till golden brown. (If you’re using fried onions just add in the onions along with the tomatoes and green chillies.) Then add the tomatoes and whole green chillies. Sauté for about 3-4 minutes, then add the whole and ground masalas(except the biryani masala). Sauté for 5-8 minutes, until the tomatoes break down and the oil separates from the masala.

Mix the yogurt and biryani masala into the chicken, then add it to the masala. Mix well and cook covered, mixing occasionally, till the chicken is cooked through, approximately 10 minutes. Then cook uncovered until the masala dries up a bit and the oil separates. Top with the par boiled rice, then layer on the coriander, tomatoes and lemon slices. You can completely omit this step if you want. Drizzle over the colored milk. You can omit this step as well! Cover the pot and put on the lowest flame, and cook on “dum” for about 15 minutes, or until steam starts escaping through the lid. Let the biryani rest 5 minutes before serving. Carefully mix the rice and chicken together, and serve with salad and raita.

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Made it multiple times and love it!


I’m so happy you love this recipe as much was I do! Thank you so much for trying it!

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