Chicken Biryani Recipe- Simple Step by Step Guide

Chicken BIryani

Chicken Biryani, the word itself says everything about this dish. Chicken Biryani is a very versatile dish and makes a complete meal in itself, it can be cooked with many different but similar recipes of mixing a chicken curry, spices, caramelized onions and flavors, later combining it with semi-cooked basmati rice separately and then serving it with raita-bundi and papad. I believe, there’s hardly any people out there who does not like to have chicken biryani and we are definitely not one of them, are we, peeps? With its origins among the Muslims of the Indian subcontinent. This dish is considered to be very popular especially in India.

In this simple and easy home recipe, the Chicken Biryani is cooked with layers of (basmati)rice, chicken curry/masala, spices and aromatic flavors that are layered and cooked together to give your tummy a joy ride to food heaven. Best served with dahi boondi raita and papad, this can be the best dish that can be served on such lazy Sunday mornings for lunch or dinner, or for any guests visiting your house.

Chicken Biryani

Firstly, the chicken is marinated and cooked in a different style recipe with spices and masalas and then it is layered with caramelized onions, colored basmati rice, plain basmati rice, saffron honey milk and cilantro. The main reason of layering the chicken with the rice is that the bottom layer of rice absorbs all the chicken juices and the honey-kesar milk flavor as it cooks, giving it a tender texture, rich and aromatic flavor, while the top layer of rice remains white and fluffy, it is then mixed well before serving on the plate.

Sliced Onions

Cooking time: 30-45 minutes.

Course: Indian Main Course.

Taste: Sweet and Spicy.


Full Biryani Ingredients:

*tbsp- tablespoon; tsp- teaspoon*

Main Ingredients
Marinated Chicken 1 kg
Cinnamon 1 inch
Green Cardamom2
Black Cardamom2
Whole Black Pepper9-10
Dried Kashmiri Red Chili1
whole cumin seeds1 tsp
Bay leaf2
Ginger Grated1 tsp
Garlic Grated1 tsp
Onions finely sliced3 large
Salt1 tbsp/As Per Taste
Sugar1 tbsp
Saffron (kesar)1 pinch
Honey1 tbsp
Red-orange color1 pinch

For Chicken Marination:

Bone-In Chicken pieces1 kg
Curd2 teacup
Tomato2 large
Coriander leavesa small bunch
Mint leaves (pudina)a small bunch
Green Chilies4
Cashew Nuts10 broken pieces
Ginger2 inch
Garlic cloves6 large
Coriander powder1 tbsp
Cumin Powder1 tbsp
Turmeric Powder1 tbsp
Red Chili Powder1 tbsp
Biryani- Garam Masala Powder2 tbsp
Salt2 tbsp
*Chicken Marination Ingredients*


  • Grind all the above mentioned ingredients- tomato, green chilies, coriander leaves, mint leaves, cashew nuts, ginger and garlic in a grinder.
  • In a large bowl, add curd, turmeric powder, red chili powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, biryani-garam masala powder, salt and the grounded paste with the chicken in a bowl, mix and marinade, keep aside for half n’ hour before cooking.
Marinated Chicken
  • In a bowl, take 1 pinch Kesar (saffron) ,1 tbsp honey and 1/2 teacup milk, mix well and keep it aside for layering.
Honey-Saffron Milk
  • Mix 1 pinch red-orange color in a bowl of basmati rice and keep it ready.
  • Heat oil in a wok or a large pot, add 1 tsp salt in the oil, 2 whole finely sliced onions, fry till it turns sweet and a bit crispy golden brown over a high flame.

“This process is called caramelizing the onions used later for layering as well as for garnishing the Biryani”.

“Properly caramelizing the onions adds loads of ‘pleasant savory taste'(umami), and also lends a subtle sweetness that’s the perfect contrast to the savory and spicy chicken”.

Caramelized Onions for layering and garnishing

How to Cook:

  • Step 1 : Heat oil and ghee in a wok, add cumin seeds, cinnamon, green cardamom, black cardamom, whole black pepper, cloves, bay leaf and dried kashmiri red chili cook till it changes color, add ginger-garlic paste/grated in the wok, cook till it changes color and releases its aroma over a high flame.
This process is called “Phodon” in Bengali
  • Step 2 : Add onions and fry till it turns translucent over a high flame.
  • Step 3 : Add the marinated Chicken to the onions in the wok, add salt, sugar, mix and cook for 7-8 mins. over a high flame. Cover the pan and simmer for 5-7 minutes more.
Add Marinated Chicken
Cook Well
Simmer for 10-12 minutes over a high flame
  • Step 4 : Add 3-4 tbsp of ‘caramelized onions’ (directly or paste) over chicken, mix and cook for another 2-3 minutes until the chicken is cooked from inside over a high flame. Once done, keep it aside.
Add caramelized onion directly or make a paste of it.
  • Step 5 : Layering
Layering Ingredients
  • First/Bottom Layer : Spread the chicken at the bottom of the pot/large bowl (microwave safe)
  • Second Layer : Scatter basmati rice all over the chicken .
  • Third Layer : Spread cilantro, caramelized onions and colored basmati rice over the plain rice.
  • Forth Layer : Spread 1 tbsp kesar-honey milk all over it in the bowl .
  • Fifth Layer : Add Chicken at the top of the layer.
  • Sixth Layer : Again, scatter rice and cover the chicken properly.
  • Seventh/Top Layer : Add red-orange colored basmati rice at the top most layer, spread cilantro, caramelized onions and 1 tbsp kesar-honey milk again and cover.
  • Step 6 : Cover the bowl and place it inside the oven and cook for 6-7 minutes. Serve it with bundi-raita and papad.

Honestly, I used to think Chicken Biryani is one of the difficult recipes one can cook but it is actually not true, cooking this recipe is in fact very simple and straight forawrd but its preparation requires time and efforts therefore, people make this dish occasionally on special events and functions.

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