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easy chicken biryani

Easy Chicken Biryani

This chicken biryani is easy to make but packs a whole lotta flavor! get the authentic biryani experience without all the hard work!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Pakistani
Servings 4


  • 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.


Variations.  Spice levels are very personal, so if you feel you want to cut down on spice go right ahead! You can add just 1/4 tsp chilli powder. 
If you like adding potatoes to your biryani, add parboiled potato cubes to the chicken so the potatoes finish cooking in the masala. I prefer using red potatoes for biryani. 
if you're not a fan of boneless chicken. you can use bonnie chicken. You'll just have to adjust the cooking time because bone in chicken takes little longer to cook, and you may feel the need to add little more water while the chicken is cooking. 
Tips. You may feel the urge to add lots of water to your masala so there's more of it, but don't. A thick and almost jelly like masala consistency is what mixes with the rice to create the perfect biryani balance. If there is too much liquid in your masala crank up the flame and cook your chicken uncovered so it dries out a bit! 
If you overcook your ice, don't fret. It just means the rice will be a little soft, but it'll still taste great. In fact, when I'm making this biryani for just my family, I keep the rice little soft so my kids can eat it easily. 
Keyword Biryani, Chicken