Chicken Biryani is a luxurious delight known worldwide and loved by all. Beautiful melange of chicken layered with long grain basmati rice and then slow cooked (dum) to perfection.
Presenting to you today, the most easiest and the best chicken biryani recipe you will firmly adore.
You should try this biryani
Chicken and rice combination is truly unmatchable in any form. Be it biryani, pulao, risotto, fried rice or different preparations from the other regions of the globe.
This chicken biryani recipe does not require any readymade biryani masala powder or spice mix. Yes, you read it right! With basic available ingredients at home you can make the best biryani at home.
Furthermore, below, I am going to show you the layered biryani method on stove top. Besides, I will be showing you the detailed step by step process of the same recipe to make it in Instant pot or pressure cooker.
So, it would be a fair deal to call this as one pot chicken biryani, right? Yes, absolutely!
But, before that, go through some great tips and list of ingredients to make it perfect every time.
Preparing a Good Biryani
Biryani recipes are dearest to my family, anytime. Honestly, I have been into cooking it since many years, only for the love of my family. I remember, before marriage, there was a time when I never loved it. Hence, never ever gave it a shot.
But, gradually the hate turned into pure love, only because of my son. He is a chicken biryani lover. And now I myself crave for it at times, or I should say say almost every week.
Well, trust me guys, this is such an easy recipe that even a novice can cook it at home. Therefore, I call it an effortless homestyle biryani.
Even though it involves few must follow steps, they are not at all daunting.
For a good biryani recipe, it is always recommended to marinate the meat in spices and yogurt for at least some time. This helps in infusing the flavors perfectly.
Then, we need to clean, wash and soak the rice for 30 minutes (20 minutes for instant pot method).
Be it an easy homestyle or dum style biryani, the flavors come out beautifully when rice and chicken are cooked with spices, ghee, caramelised onions and mint. So, do not skip the step of preparing fried or caramelised onions.
If you are using the store bought fried onions, thats absolutely fine. Or, you can check here how to make birista for biryani. You will always find my freezer stocked up with loads of birista. So biryanis and kormas are just a few minutes task for me. 🙂
Now coming back to the recipe, we have to cook marinated chicken in pot for some time. Then, cook the rice upto 70 percent (exact 7 minutes of cooking).
Then, proceed with the layering process. Finally, head on to slow cook (dum) the rice for few minutes, and you are done.
Cooking Biryani in Pressure Cooker
To make chicken biryani recipe in pressure cooker, follow the steps as mentioned in stove top method below until adding the chicken with whole spices.
Then, cook the chicken on high for minute or two. Add ½ cup of water, stir and cook for another 5-6minutes on low.
Add fried onions over the chicken. Now add soaked and strained rice evenly over the chicken. Add salt, top it with with saffron milk, coriander leaves and mint leaves.
Carefully pour 3 cups of water from the sides, cover and cook on high for 1 whistle and 2-3 minutes on low.
Take the pressure cooker off the heat to stop any further cooking process and allow the pressure to release naturally. Dish out and serve hot.
Note: As there will already be 1 and ½ cup of liquid left while cooking chicken, we will add only 3 more cups of water. In total it should be 4.5 cups water only (1 cup of rice = 1.5 cups of water in pressure cooker). This measure will give a perfect fluffy biryani in pressure cooker.
Chicken - Cut into medium sized pieces. The chicken thighs and / or chicken drumsticks makes a good choice. Either of the one or a mix of both meat works beautifully.
Further, avoid using lot of chicken breast pieces in biryanis. Since, the chicken breasts in biryani turns out bit dry, it is better to use them in less amount. Or if you wish to, just skip using them.
Rice - a good quality aged basmati rice.
Fresh spices (masala) - ginger garlic paste, green chilies or Serrano peppers, coriander leaves and mint leaves. We also need sliced onions, and some golden fried onions / Caramalised onions.
Basic spice powders - red chili powder (or smoked paprika / cayenne pepper), coriander powder, turmeric powder and garam masala powder, salt.
Whole Spices - Cinnamon sticks, green cardamom, cloves, peppercorns, bay leaves and caraway seeds (shajeera). If you do not have shajeera then swap it with cumin seeds.
Other Ingredients that goes in are - Ghee, oil and yogurt. I have also used, saffron soaked in little milk. As it imparts rich flavour to even the basic biryanis. However, if you do have saffron, then just skip it.
How to make biryani
Preparation and chicken marination
To begin with, first, clean and wash the chicken well, drain the water completely.
1- Then, in a large bowl, add chicken, yogurt and all the spices that we need for marination.
2- The spices are garlic paste ginger paste, slit green chilies, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder, salt, fried or caramelized onions, lemon juice and oil. Mix everything well.
3- Cover and allow it to rest for 30 minutes under refrigeration.
4- While the meat is marinating, clean wash and soak rice for 30 minutes (15 minutes for Instant Pot pressure Cooker Version).
Making Biryani in Dutch oven or pot on stove top
5- In a large pot, add enough water and salt. Bring the water to a boil and add rice. Then, cook the rice until 70 percent done.
6- Strain all the water from the cooked rice. Set it aside.
7- Now, in heavy bottom pot, heat oil and ghee together. We will use the same pot to layer the biryani. So choose the pot accordingly. Add sliced onion and fry until they just start to pick the golden color.
8 and 9- Then, add marinated chicken along with bay leaf, shajeera, cinnamon sticks, star anise, cardamom, cloves, peppercorns and mix.
10- Cook the chicken for 6-7 minutes on low. Chicken and yogurt will release enough water. So, do not add any water and stir once in between. switch off the heat.
11 and 12- Now, sprinkle fried onions, chopped mint leaves and coriander leaves over the cooked chicken.
13- Layer the cooked rice on the top of the chicken evenly.
14- Pour soaked saffron and melted ghee over the rice.
Cover the pot with tight fitting lid. Now place the pot on the stove top and switch on the heat.
Slow cook (dum) the biryani for 15 minutes. Switch off the heat.
Once done, Allow it to rest for 5-7 minutes. Chicken Biryani is ready to serve, dish out and serve with your favourite Raita.
Making Biryani in the Instant Pot
5- Press the sauté button in an IP. Once the IP displays 'Hot', then add oil and heat for 30 secs. Add sliced onions and fry until they just pick up the golden colour. DO not burn it.
6- Then, add marinated chicken, whole spices, and evenly cover the bottom of the pot.
7- Add ½ cup of water, at this point do not mix anything.
8- Switch off the sauté button. Close the lid of and IP with pressure valve in sealing position. Pressure cook the chicken for 2 minutes on High.
Once the IP beeps, quick release the pressure by turning the valve from sealing to venting position. After the silver pin drops, open the pot and you can see we already have 1 and ½ cup of water left in.
9- Without mixing anything, add fried onions (or caramelised onions) over chicken.
10- Now, Top the rice over the chicken in even layer. Add some salt, saffron water, chopped coriander leaves, mint leaves and ghee.
11- Then, add only 1 and ½ cup of water from the around sides and without stirring, immediately seal the lid.
12- Turn the pressure valve in sealing position and pressure cook for 6 minutes on high.
13- After the IP beeps, carefully, quick release the pressure with valve turning to venting position. Open the lid and allow it to rest for 2-3 minutes.
14- Fluff the rice and top with some more fried onions. Dish out the chicken biryani and serve it along with yogurt raita. Photo 14.
1. Use aged long grain rice to make biryanis or pulaos. The aged basmati rice gives nice fluffy and fragrant biryani. Some people also like to use sella rice, so you can choose that as well.
2. For the best flavours, always marinate the chicken for at least 30 minutes.
3. Use heavy bottom pot with tight fitting lid. Or there are chances that light bottom pot may burn it. A dutch oven is a good choice to make biryani.
4. It is extremely important to cook the rice to perfection. So, do not stir the rice too much while they are cooking. Or stirring will break the grains and biryani won't give the required appeal.
5. Marination process makes the meat juicy, tender and deeply flavorful. I would recommend you to marinate chicken in spices for at least 30 minutes.
6. Chicken on bone adds more flavour as compared to the use of boneless chicken. So, use meat along with the bone for this chicken biryani recipe.
Frequently asked questions
Biryani is best served with yogurt raita of choice. The most popular raita that goes with is onion raita. But, you can go with any of your favorite raita such as boondi raita, Methi raita, Pineapple raita, Fruit raita and much more.
Long grain aged basmati should always be the choice for the best outcome.
You will find various brands of Basmati rice in the supermarket aisle. I prefer picking up Daawat brand rice only.
However you can choose any brand you are familiar with or you like. Just be sure to pick up only long grain biryani rice which is at least 2 years old as older rice gives the best taste and visual appeal to the dish.
You can store fresh as well as leftover biryani in a clean airtight box up-to 5 days.
Yes indeed! You can definitely freeze the biryani in portions as a meal prep or in big container up-to 4 months.
However there are small chances that biryani may start to loose it's texture or flavor of stored for very long time.
First, ensure biryani dish has cooled down to room temperature.
Then, transfer it to a clean airtight box ensuring to leave some room at the top.
If storing in zip loc back, be sure to remove the excess air from inside and flatten to form a shape and freeze.
Most important to keep in mind is thaw only the amount of biryani dish you need to eat or serve.
It won't be a great idea freezing the dish second time as it won't freeze very well loosing it flavor and texture both. So, it is always best to freeze in portions.
Now, to reheat, thaw the biryani dish in the fridge overnight. Then sprinkle water on the rice and heat it in pot on stove top or in container in microwave until heated through.
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Chicken Biryani Recipe
To marinate the chicken
- 750 g Chicken On Bone ((cut into medium pieces))
- ¾ cup Yogurt (Curd) ((whisked well))
- ¾ tablespoon Garlic Paste
- ¾ tablespoon Ginger Paste
- 2 teaspoons Red Chili Powder
- 1 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
- 2 teaspoons Coriander Powder
- 3 - 4 Green Chilies (slit or chopped)
- 1 teaspoon Garam Masala powder
- Salt to Taste
- 3 tablespoons Brown Onions
- 1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
- 2 tablespoons Oil
- 3 Cups Long Grain Rice (approx 650- 700 gms) ((preferably aged basmati rice))
- 1½-2 tablespoons Salt (only for stove top method) (water should taste extra salty)
- Water as needed
To cook marinated chicken
- 2 tablespoons Oil
- 1 tablespoon Ghee
- 1 Onion (large sized, finely sliced)
- 1 teaspoon Caraway Seeds or Cumin Seeds ((Shajeera))
- 1½ inch Cinnamon Stick
- 5 Green Cardamom
- 8-10 Black Peppercorns
- 6-8 Cloves
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 1 Star Anise
- ⅓ cup Brown Onions or Caramalised Onions
- ½ cup Mint Leaves
- ½ cup Coriander Leaves
- A pinch of Saffron soaked in 2 tbsp of warm Milk
- 2 tablespoons Ghee
Preparation and marination
- Clean and wash the chicken well, drain the water completely.
- Add chicken and all the ingredients mentioned under marination and mix well.
- Cover and allow it to rest for 30 minutes under refrigeration.
- Clean, wash and soak rice for 30 minutes.
- In a pot, add enough water and salt. Bring the water to a boil and add strained rice.
- Cook the rice until 70 percent done. Strain all the water from the cooked rice. Set it aside
- In a heavy bottom pot, heat oil and ghee together.
- Add sliced onion and fry until they just start to pick the golden colour.
- Then, add the marinated chicken along with all the whole spices.
- Mix and cook on high for 1-2 minutes.
- Then, cover and cook the chicken for 5-6 minutes on low.
Layering the chicken and rice
- Sprinkle fried onions, chopped mint leaves and coriander leaves over the cooked chicken.
- Layer the cooked rice on the top of the chicken evenly.
- Pour soaked saffron and melted ghee over the rice.
- Cover the pot with tight fitting lid.
- Slow cook (dum) the biryani for 15 minutes. Switch off the heat.
- Allow it to rest for 5-7 minutes. Dish out and serve hot with raita of your choice.
- Adjust the spiciness of the biryani as per your liking.
- You can use mix chicken cut or chicken thighs and chicken drumsticks.
- For stove top method, soak the rice for 30 minutes and for instant pot method soak it for 15 -20 minutes.
- For stove top method, use heavy bottom pan to make the biryani.
- For Instant Pot method, please refer to step by step pictures above in the post.
- If you do not have the stored fried onions, then finely slice 2 large onions and fry it in oil until golden.