This is a delicious Pakistani/Indian rice dish which is often reserved for very special occasions such as weddings, parties, or holidays such as Ramadan. It has a lengthy preparation, but the work is definitely worth it. For biryani, always use long grain rice. Basmati rice with its thin, fine grains is the ideal variety to use. Ghee is butter that has been slowly melted so that the milk solids and golden liquid have been separated and can be used in place of vegetable oil to yield a more authentic taste.

Nazia
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Ingredients

7
Original recipe yields 7 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified

Directions

  • In a large skillet, in 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (or ghee) fry potatoes until brown, drain and reserve the potatoes. Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the skillet and fry onion, garlic and ginger until onion is soft and golden. Add chili, pepper, turmeric, cumin, salt and the tomatoes. Fry, stirring constantly for 5 minutes. Add yogurt, mint, cardamom and cinnamon stick. Cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally until the tomatoes are cooked to a pulp. It may be necessary to add a little hot water if the mixture becomes too dry and starts to stick to the pan.

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  • When the mixture is thick and smooth, add the chicken pieces and stir well to coat them with the spice mixture. Cover and cook over very low heat until the chicken is tender, approximately 35 to 45 minutes. There should only be a little very thick gravy left when chicken is finished cooking. If necessary cook uncovered for a few minutes to reduce the gravy.

  • Wash rice well and drain in colander for at least 30 minutes.

  • In a large skillet, heat vegetable oil (or ghee) and fry the onions until they are golden. Add saffron, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon stick, ginger and rice. Stir continuously until the rice is coated with the spices.

  • In a medium-size pot, heat the chicken stock and salt. When the mixture is hot pour it over the rice and stir well. Add the chicken mixture and the potatoes; gently mix them into the rice. Bring to boil. Cover the saucepan tightly, turn heat to very low and steam for 20 minutes. Do not lift lid or stir while cooking. Spoon biryani onto a warm serving dish.

Nutrition Facts

832 calories; 35.1 g total fat; 134 mg cholesterol; 1522 mg sodium. 78.9 g carbohydrates; 47.8 g protein; Full Nutrition

Reviews (124)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
08/01/2004
this recipe is absolute rubbish excuse me but it is not biryani its more like a mixture of tahiri and pullao Read More
(431)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 2 stars
07/05/2007
This really isn't the best biryani recipe I've made but it's fast for biryani so I thought I'd give it a shot. I had to double all the curry spices and added a good helping of garam marsala. I never even tasted a hint of mint so I'm thinking that doubling the mint might help as well. When you're cooking your rice I would eliminate the onions and let the spices sit in the oil until it's nice and fragrant. Then add the rice and cook for five minutes to let the rice absorb some of the flavors. Once you've added it to the rest of the recipe don't cook on the lowest temp or it will get soggy. You need to cook basmati rice on a med-low heat and much faster to avoid soggy rice. This recipe is HUGE. I cut it down to four servings and still had too much food. Read More
(99)
155 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 82
  • 4 star values: 52
  • 3 star values: 11
  • 2 star values: 6
  • 1 star values: 4
Rating: 5 stars
08/01/2004
this recipe is absolute rubbish excuse me but it is not biryani its more like a mixture of tahiri and pullao Read More
(431)
Rating: 5 stars
08/01/2004
this recipe is absolute rubbish excuse me but it is not biryani its more like a mixture of tahiri and pullao Read More
(431)
Rating: 4 stars
11/24/2004
I haven't made thsi recipe but I am an Indian and both my husband and I loovveee Biryani and cook often. If you want to know the secret to fast biryani cooking go to any Indian/Pakistani grocery store and buy "Shan" spice mix for it its so easy adn really good. I can't say the best but its so much easier than doing everything that Biryani recipe makes you do. Read More
(354)
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Rating: 5 stars
12/10/2006
While this recipe is time consuming it is well worth it! I made a couple changes I added cashews and raisins when adding the chicken broth and I used chicken wings and drumsticks with the bone-in instead of cutting up the whole chicken. This is easier and I wanted to avoid dry pieces of chicken in other biryani dishes that I have had. The chicken came out extremely tender it was falling off the bone. Absolutely delicious! The flavor is mild for the Indian palatte so if you like it spicy add more spice but overall this recipe is a definite keeper. This would be a great dish to make for a lot of people as the quantity is large. Also be sure to use basmati rice with this it is so aromatic and delicious. Read More
(245)
Rating: 2 stars
07/05/2007
This really isn't the best biryani recipe I've made but it's fast for biryani so I thought I'd give it a shot. I had to double all the curry spices and added a good helping of garam marsala. I never even tasted a hint of mint so I'm thinking that doubling the mint might help as well. When you're cooking your rice I would eliminate the onions and let the spices sit in the oil until it's nice and fragrant. Then add the rice and cook for five minutes to let the rice absorb some of the flavors. Once you've added it to the rest of the recipe don't cook on the lowest temp or it will get soggy. You need to cook basmati rice on a med-low heat and much faster to avoid soggy rice. This recipe is HUGE. I cut it down to four servings and still had too much food. Read More
(99)
Rating: 5 stars
07/28/2003
My Brother-in-law is from Pakistan and I love their food so I was looking for recipes to fix for my family. I found this one and my husband has added it to his favorites catagory. I even fixed it for my mother-in-law and she loved it too. Hint on how to make it not take so long...measure out all of your spices and ingredients prior to cooking. Do all of your chopping of the onions and all first and it will go a lot faster. I have fixed this many times now and we love it. Today I am going to substitute beef for the chicken and see how it turns out. Read More
(76)
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Rating: 5 stars
07/15/2003
Chicken Biryani is one of the more complicated rice dishes in Indian/pakistani cooking. Being quite an amateur cook I still managed to cook up a feast with this single dish and my hubby is still licking his fingers! I am never looking for another biryani recipe after this. Thanks Nazia- Radhika & Jai Read More
(67)
Rating: 5 stars
06/04/2003
I made this recipe for a big Diwali party (a traditional Hindu celebration) and got raves. People were asking for the recipe and for leftovers to take home with them! Read More
(56)
Rating: 5 stars
09/20/2005
Wow!! This was amazing. I made it for a bunch of friends and made very few modifications. I used boneless skinless drumsticks which I beleive were the perfect choice for this dish as they had enough dark meat to stay plenty moist. The only change I amde was to add raisins and cashews during the rice cooking stage but that was only due to personal preference. I didn't find the recipe particularly time consuming. I started making it 2 hours prior to the time I wanted to serve it and it was ready right on time during the 2 long cooking stages there isn't anything to do except set the table pour some wine and enjoy the delicious smells. Read More
(45)
Rating: 5 stars
05/31/2006
It was magnificent! the most delicious biryani i ever made and ate! it was perfect. fortunately all my procedure went good. thanks a lot NAZIA! Read More
(39)