Chicken Biryani


Chicken biryani is a delicious Pakistani/Indian rice dish that's typically reserved for 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, basmati rice is the ideal variety to use.

Prep Time:
30 mins
Cook Time:
1 hrs 20 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 50 mins


  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided

  • 4 small potatoes, peeled and halved

  • 2 large onions, finely chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root

  • 2 medium tomatoes, peeled and chopped

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • ½ teaspoon chili powder

  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric

  • 2 tablespoons plain yogurt

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves

  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom

  • 1 (2 inch) piece cinnamon stick

  • 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken pieces cut into chunks


  • 1 pound basmati rice

  • 2 ½ tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 1 large onion, diced

  • 5 pods cardamom

  • 3 whole cloves

  • 1 (1 inch) piece cinnamon stick

  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger

  • 1 pinch powdered saffron

  • 4 cups chicken stock

  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt


  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet. Fry potatoes in hot oil until lightly browned, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain; set aside.

  2. Add remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the skillet. Add onions, garlic, and fresh ginger; cook and stir until onion is soft and golden. Add tomatoes, salt, cumin, chili powder, pepper, and turmeric; cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes. Stir in yogurt, mint, ground cardamom, and cinnamon stick. Cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes are cooked to a pulp. It may be necessary to add a little hot water if mixture becomes too dry and starts to stick to the pan.

  3. Add chicken and stir well to coat. Cover and cook over very low heat until chicken is tender, 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.

  4. Meanwhile, make the rice: Wash rice well and drain in a colander for at least 30 minutes.

  5. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add onion; cook and stir until golden. Add cardamom pods, cloves, cinnamon stick, ground ginger, and saffron; stir in rice until coated with spices.

  6. Heat stock and salt in a medium pot until hot; pour over rice and stir well. Add chicken mixture and potatoes; stir gently to combine. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to very low, cover with a tight-fitting lid, and steam for 20 minutes without lifting the lid or stirring. Spoon biryani onto a warm serving dish.


You can use ghee instead of vegetable oil for a more authentic taste.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

832 Calories
35g Fat
79g Carbs
48g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 832
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 35g 45%
Saturated Fat 8g 40%
Cholesterol 134mg 45%
Sodium 1522mg 66%
Total Carbohydrate 79g 29%
Dietary Fiber 5g 18%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 48g
Vitamin C 29mg 147%
Calcium 73mg 6%
Iron 4mg 20%
Potassium 1021mg 22%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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