• Aaisha Fakih


Updated: May 14, 2020

Chicken Biryani is a flavorful and wholesome meal loved by all. The juicy tender chicken, spiced gravy and the aromatic rice makes for a mouthwatering combo.

You talk about Biryani and two things are sure to happen. One, your mouth starts watering and the next is the reality of the amount of work and effort that goes into making this beautiful and tasty dish.

We’ve come to such an era where things, places, people, and FOOD have all been transformed into commendable heights. Experimenting with food has become a trend and delightfully it has changed our take on this whole new world of cooking the same old stuff with a Twist.

Biryani seemed like such a ‘Heavy’ word to me back then and it freaked me out every time I thought of making it. It has quite a lot of steps and a whole lot of ingredients. But watching my Elders making it over and over, I came up with my very own way to make it and it worked wonders. BINGO!

I used the basic ingredients that go in the making of every Biryani i.e, fried onions, tomatoes, yogurt, herbs, and spices. But I came out of those long procedural to a short and easy way by marinating the chicken/meat a day before. I then cooked the marinated chicken in the oven for about 30-40 minutes on a very low flame. Then prep the gravy and add this baked chicken to the gravy. Top with the boiled rice and leave it to cook on simmer. And your Easy Peasy Chicken Biryani is all set and ready!

What goes best with the Biryani?

Biryani is mostly served with the Indian raita. You'll find the recipe here. It adds a cooling effect to the spiced biryani.

The kind of rice used in making Biryani

A classic Biryani is made using Basmati rice. It's thinner and longer than traditional rice. Kewra water and saffron water add a beautiful fragrance to the Biryani Rice.

Let's get in the making of Biryani the easy way.


rep time: 30 minutes Cook Time: 45 minutes Total Time: 1hour 15 minutes

Cuisine: Indian Author: Aaisha

hicken Biryani is a flavorful and wholesome meal loved by all. The juicy tender chicken, spiced gravy, and the aromatic rice make for a mouthwatering combo.


For the chicken marinade

  • 800 gm chicken

  • 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste

  • 2-3 tbsp yogurt

  • 2 tsp chili powder

  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder

  • 1/2 tsp garam masala powder

  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder

  • 1 tsp paprika powder

  • Juice of 1 lemon

  • Salt to taste

  • 2 tbsp oil

For the gravy

  • 3 medium onions sliced

  • 3 medium tomatoes (blanched, peeled and chopped)

  • 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste

  • 1 tsp chili powder/paprika powder

  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder

  • 1/2 bunch of chopped cilantro and mint leaves

  • salt to taste

  • 2-3 tbsp oil

  • 1/2 cup of water

For the rice

  • 3 cups of rice

  • water to boil the rice

  • salt

  • whole spices ( cloves, black peppercorns, black and green cardamom, cinnamon stick, star anise, and a bay leaf)

  • Kewra water and strands of saffron


Baking the chicken

  1. Preheat the oven.

  2. Mix all the ingredients of the marinade and rub it over the chicken. Let it rest for a few hours. (overnight for best results)

  3. Bake it for 30-40 minutes, turning in-between after 20 minutes.

  4. Take it out when done and keep aside.

Cooking the Biryani

  1. Heat oil in a dish and add the onions. Cook until translucent, about 3-4 minutes.

  2. Add the ginger-garlic paste, tomatoes, and water.

  3. Simmer and allow to cook for 10 minutes.

  4. Add the spices, salt, and herbs. Let cook for a couple of minutes and now add the baked chicken and stir.

  5. Place the boiled rice over the chicken and sprinkle kewra water, saffron water, herbs, fried onions, and oil on the rice and keep on dum.

  6. Make sure to seal it well as the rice has to fluff.

  7. Turn off the heat after 18-20 minutes and let sit, covered for a few minutes before serving.


Recipe Notes

  • When the water is boiling for the rice, take out a few spoonfuls in a bowl and add saffron strands to it. Cover and keep for later use.

  • Kewra water is optional, though I never miss this step as it gives a royal aroma to the dish.

  • I prefer to Blanche the tomatoes and peel the skin off as it helps the tomatoes to melt away easily when cooking in gravies and sauces.

  • Marinate the chicken a day before as it helps to enhance the flavor. If not overnight then at least for a couple of hours.

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