Chicken Biryani


Biryani is perhaps best described as a type of Indian paella. This chicken biryani is packed with spices, rice, nuts and marinated chicken.

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Chicken biryani
Veronique van Ohmydish

Made by Véronique

Published at 2021-09-21, this recipe is for 4 people and takes 1 hours 30 minutes.

Founder of Ohmydish (established 2014). Would happily spend her entire day in the kitchen. Previously worked in the hospitality industry as an independent chef and is ready and willing to help you gain confidence in the kitchen. With her easy-to-follow recipes, helpful tips, and cooking knowledge, you will be making the very tastiest dishes yourself in no time! Véronique's recipes are intended for everyone, from beginners to advanced home cooks.

Updated at: 28-04-2022

1 hours 30 minutes 4 people Main course 292 calories p.p.
Chicken biryani


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  • 300 grams long grain basmati rice
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 bay leaves
  • a handful of fresh mint leaves
  • 1 red onion
  • 3 cm fresh ginger root
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 green chillies
  • 4 tablespoons neutral oil and/or clarified butter (ghee)a
  • a handful of cashew nuts
  • optional: a handful of raisins
  • splash of water
  • 100 ml milk
  • few threads of saffron or 1 teaspoon ground turmeric

Chicken ingredients

  • 8 chicken legs
  • 125 ml Greek yoghurt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • half teaspoon ground turmeric
  • half teaspoon chilli powder
  • half teaspoon ground cumin seeds
  • half teaspoon ground coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 2 star anise
  • 4 cloves
  • 5 cardamom pods
  • 5 black peppercorns
Chicken biryani ingredients
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Kitchen equipment

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  • mortar or coffee grinder
  • medium bowl
  • cling film
  • mortar or small blender
  • chopping board & chef's knife
  • medium pan
  • sieve
  • small saucepan
  • wide pan with a thick bottom
  • wooden spoon
  • kitchen tongs

Chicken Biryani

1 hours 30 minutes 4 people Main course 292 calories p.p.

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Chicken preparation – 10 minutes + marinating time

Remove the cardamom seeds from the pods and grind the star anise, cloves, cardamom seeds and black pepper. You can do this with a mortar or a coffee grinder. Mix in the turmeric, chilli powder, cumin seeds, coriander seeds and garam masala.

Mix the herbs with the yoghurt and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and coat the chicken legs. Make sure the chicken legs are completely covered and leave them to marinate. For best results, let the chicken marinate overnight, but a shorter time is fine.

Biryani preparation – 20 minutes

Peel and mash the ginger and garlic. You can do this with a mortar or small blender. Add a little neutral oil if needed to make it easier.

Peel the red onion and cut it into thin half-moons. Finely chop the green chillies, you can remove the seeds first if you wish.

Cook the rice until almost cooked through and then drain. Heat the milk and if you are using saffron, place it in the warm milk and let the colour bleed out.

You can also colour the milk yellow with a little ground turmeric. Stir the yellow milk directly into the rice, but do not mix it completely.

Chicken biryani
Chicken biryani

Finishing the chicken biryani – 1 hour

Heat a dash of oil or ghee in a heavy-bottomed pan. Fry the red onion over high heat until it is coloured. The onion should become quite dark and crispy.

Fry the ginger-garlic paste and green chillies together with the cinnamon stick (possibly broken in half) and the bay leaves for a few minutes in the pan.

Fry the chicken legs together with the marinade until they are nicely browned. Then lower the heat and add a good splash of water to gently cook the chicken legs for about 30 minutes with the lid on the pan.

Remove the lid from the pan and add the rice along with the finely chopped mint and cashew nuts. Let the biryani simmer on low heat for about 15 minutes, but don't stir it like you would with a paella.

Serve the rice with 2 drumsticks per person and optionally raita, a yoghurt sauce. Remove the cinnamon stick and bay leaves, enjoy!

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Chicken Biryani: frequently asked questions

What rice do you use for biryani?

Biryani is traditionally made with long grain basmati rice. This is available at most supermarkets.

Can I add vegetables to a biryani?

Yes, for example, you could add cauliflower, carrot, green beans and/or peas to this biryani.