Chicken Biryani | Hari Ghotra  

4.1/5 rating (55 votes)

Chicken Biryani

Spicy Chicken Layered in Fragrant Basmati Rice

  • Heat Mild
  • Serves 6
  • Prep 30 mins
  • Marinade 30 mins
  • Cook 40 mins
                             

A wonderfully aromatic biryani flavoured with decadent spices and baked with layers of fragrant basmati rice.

Hari says

This is a biryani (or biriyani) from Northern India made by marinating the chicken in yoghurt and brought to life with aromatic flavours and a sauce created from some amazing whole spices.

Once baked, or cooked in 'dhum', the dish comes together, oozing with the most delicious flavours where every mouthful gives you a new burst of warming spice. The list of spices may look daunting, so my advice is to just be organised and go through each stage (marinade, sauce and building the dish) methodically, and the biryani will come together easily.

I can't recommend this dish highly enough, especially if you're trying to impress your guests (which we all like to do once in a while). I promise you, as soon as you take the lid off the pan your friends will be in awe of what you've made - and want more!

To buy the main ingredients for my Biryani, check out my curry kit here.

  • Ingredients
  • Method
  • 4-6 chicken thighs, chopped into chunks

Marinade

  • 250g natural Greek yoghurt
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp kashmiri chilli powder
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds, crushed
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp grated, ginger

Saffron Milk

  • a pinch of saffron
  • 5 tbsp milk

Rice

  • 400g basmati rice
  • 500ml water

Masala

  • 4 tbsp ghee
  • 3 medium onions, sliced into rings
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 stick cassia bark (approx. 7cm)
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 6 green cardamom
  • 2 black cardamom (if you have them)
  • 5 cloves
  • 2 tomatoes, cut into 8 pieces 
  • handful of mint leaves with stems
  • handful of coriander with stems
  • 2 or 3 whole green chillies, stabbed with a fork (optional)

Making the Biryani

  • Cooked rice
  • Cooked chicken
  • Caramelised onions
  • large pinch fresh coriander leaves, chopped
  • large pinch fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • Saffron milk
 

Method

Marinade

  1. Mix all the ingredients for the marinade in a bowl and marinade the chicken for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Pre heat the oven to 180oC.

Saffron milk

  1. Add saffron to the milk and leave it to steep and draw the colour out.

Rice

  1. Wash the rice until it runs clear then place in a pan and add water, bring to the boil and leave until water is absorbed. The rice should be par-cooked and remain slightly underdone.
  2. After a few minutes gently fork through the rice working your way to the bottom and transfer to a large bowl to cool.

Masala

  1. Heat the ghee and add the sliced onion rings and cook over a medium heat and until caramelised and a lovely dark golden brown (approx. 20 mins).
  2. Remove half the cooked onions and set to one side. Add the ginger, garlic, bay leaves, cassia bark, black peppercorns, coriander, cumin, cardamoms, salt and turmeric to the pan and stir-fry for a few minutes until fragrant.
  3. Cut the tomatoes into chunks and add to the pan, stir on a gentle heat and cook until they break down to make a thick masala sauce.
  4. Wash and roughly chop up the mint and coriander leaves with the stems.
  5. Add half the chopped mint and coriander to the masala with chillies. Keep the remaining leaves for later.
  6. Add the marinated chicken to the pan, stir and leave to cook through for 15-20 minutes. Remove from the heat and set to one side.

Making the Biryani

  1. Bring the biryani together in a greased casserole dish preferably with a lid.
  2. Have your rice, cooked chicken, saffron milk, ghee, caramelised onions and chopped coriander and mint to hand.
  3. Place one third of the rice at the bottom of the dish and sprinkle with some of the saffron milk, coriander, 1 tsp ghee and a few onions. Then spoon half the chicken mixture on top of the rice.
  4. Place another third of the rice on top and sprinkle with the saffron milk, coriander and mint, 1 tsp ghee and a few onions and the remaining chicken mixture.
  5. Finally, top off with all the remaining rice and sprinkle the rest of the saffron milk on top, dot with ghee, all the corianderand mint and the caramelised onions.
  6. Place the lid on the casserole dish and place in the oven at 180oC and cook for 30-40 minutes until hot and fragrant.

Served with

Delicious with a lentil dhal.

Foodies100 Index of UK Food Blogs
Foodies100

Nutritional information

Typical values* per Serving
Calories447
Fat (g)23
of which saturates (g)9
Carbohydrates (g)43
of which sugars (g)7
Fibre (g)5
Protein (g)17
Salt (mg)485
*Based upon calculated values, supplied by myfitnesspal.com. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated.

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Comments

Comments (23)

  • Emi

    Emi

    22 June 2017 at 07:28 |
    I noticed that the written recipe ingredients lists one teaspoon of saffron. That's a very terrifying amount so I just want to ask is it one pinch of saffron for the saffron milk or one teaspoon? I watched the full recipe video for it and you said to add "a nice pinch of saffron" so I really hope it's one pinch for this.
    As a side note, I've made this dish at least 12 times now and I'm very thankful for this great recipe either with no saffron because I'm cheap or just a pinch. Thank you very much for making this recipe!

    reply

    • Hari Ghotra

      Hari Ghotra

      22 June 2017 at 07:31 |
      Hi Emi - it should be a pinch 1tsp would be too much. Thanks so much for your comments. Glad to hear that you like this recipe. It's been amended. Hari

      reply

  • Steve

    Steve

    27 April 2017 at 16:29 |
    Hi Hari,

    Is it OK to prepare this earlier in the day then put in the fridge after you have assembled ready for final cooking in the oven that evening?

    Thanks.

    reply

    • Hari Ghotra

      Hari Ghotra

      27 April 2017 at 17:36 |
      Hi Steve Yes thats perfect just make sure its piping hot when you serve it. Enjoy! Hari

      reply

  • Jac

    Jac

    25 January 2017 at 21:10 |
    What an excellent dish! Each mouthful a burst of flavours and textures. Just amazing. Thank you so much for such an easy to follow recipe. It resulted in a real masterpiece. Very grateful.

    reply

    • Hari Ghotra

      Hari Ghotra

      26 January 2017 at 19:04 |
      Hi Jac My pleasure thank you for trying it. Brilliant to hear that you loved it thank you so much for commenting! Hari

      reply

  • Linda Bradbury

    Linda Bradbury

    15 January 2017 at 17:46 |
    Hi
    Are the cardamom black or green?
    Thank you

    reply

    • Hari Ghotra

      Hari Ghotra

      16 January 2017 at 09:22 |
      Hi Linda Green cardamom (I have amended it to be clear on the website) I would also add 2 black if you have them as they add a really wonderful smokiness to the dish. Thanks so much Hari

      reply

  • cookie

    cookie

    02 December 2016 at 22:50 |
    hi will this recipe work with lamb

    reply

    • Hari Ghotra

      Hari Ghotra

      05 December 2016 at 08:28 |
      Hi Cookie Yes it will you would just need to cook the masala with the lamb for a little longer so the meat is nice and tender. Let me know how you get on. thanks for your comments. Hari

      reply

  • Phil

    Phil

    15 January 2016 at 21:16 |
    Just made this !it was really good! First time making a byriani and it was superb!

    reply

  • Ash

    Ash

    25 December 2015 at 17:13 |
    Thanks Hari- Cooked it today and it was brilliant. One of the best ones I have had in a long time.

    reply

    • Hari Ghotra

      Hari Ghotra

      02 January 2016 at 12:31 |
      Hi Ash That's brilliant to hear, I love this biryani I cooked it on boxing day with leftover turkey and goose and the family wolfed the lot down! Thanks for trying it and leaving a comment, let me know what you try next.

      reply

  • Ash

    Ash

    20 December 2015 at 15:04 |
    Quick question- Are the cardomoms green or black?

    reply

    • Hari Ghotra

      Hari Ghotra

      21 December 2015 at 12:48 |
      Hi Ash green ones in this but you could add a black one too for some earthiness. Enjoy Hari

      reply

  • Wil

    Wil

    30 November 2015 at 12:59 |
    This was truly amazing and quite delicious.It's definitely finding its way on to my regular list.

    reply

    • Hari Ghotra

      Hari Ghotra

      30 November 2015 at 19:07 |
      Fantastic Wil - One of my favourites too!

      reply

  • Hari Ghotra

    Hari Ghotra

    13 April 2015 at 14:43 |
    Hi, I think the vegetable rice dish you are looking for is vegetable pilau ... http://www.harighotra.co.uk/indian-recipes/sides/vegetable-pilau
    Thanks. Hari

    reply

  • deborah

    deborah

    11 April 2015 at 17:30 |
    I cooked a wonderful vegetable biryani recipe of yours recently that was really delicious - but I cant find it now - did I imagine it? Please can I have it back?!

    reply

  • Hari

    Hari

    20 March 2015 at 11:00 |
    Hi Kenny
    Thanks so much for letting know - I'm really thrilled it worked out well. I do love a good briyani each mouthful is a combination of different flavours. Do let me know what you try next. Thanks Hari

    reply

  • Kenny Thomas

    Kenny Thomas

    20 March 2015 at 10:54 |
    We had this one for dinner tonight, another lovely dish, very fragrant and the flavours were great. We were a bit worried about the chicken drying out a little but it worked perfectly.
    Thanks Hari

    reply

  • Hari

    Hari

    30 December 2014 at 14:06 |
    Thank you for letting me know Catherine - i'm so pleased it went down so well with your friends. Please do let me know what you try next.

    reply

  • Catherine

    Catherine

    30 December 2014 at 13:58 |
    I made this for dinner last night with friends. It's delicious and quite easy to prepare. I doubled the quantity and thought there would be lots left over but everyone had seconds, some even had thirds! Can't wait to try other recipes Hari.

    reply

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Hari Ghotra