The Best Chicken Biryani

by 247tasty

Prep Time: 20 minutes | Cook Time: 45 minutes | Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes | Servings: 5 Portions

Cooking Biryani for some is a bit intimidating that is why I have broken the steps down. Enjoy the process of making the best Chicken Biryani at home that your whole family will enjoy – juicy chicken pieces cooked in yoghurt marinade and layered with crispy onions, coriander, mint, and basmati rice.


Brown Onions:

2 Onions Large
1/2 cup Vegetable Oil

Chicken Marinade:

700 grams Chicken Thighs and Drumsticks bone-in and skinless
3/4 cup Yogurt or hung curd
1/4 cup Tomato Puree
1/4 cup Vegetable Oil
1 tablespoon Ginger Garlic Paste minced ginger and garlic
1 tablespoon Red Chilli Powder sub with 1 teaspoon Paprika + 1 teaspoon Cayenne
1 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
1 teaspoon Garam Masala Powder
2 tablespoon Brown Onions
1 1/4 teaspoon salt


2 tablespoon Hot Milk
10-15 Saffron strands

Parboiled Rice (70% cooked):

2 cups Basmati Rice
6 cups Water
2 tablespoon salt
1 Bayleaf
5-6 Cloves
2-3 Cardamom Pods

Other Biryani:

1 cup Mint Leaves fresh
1 cup Coriander Leaves Cilantro
1 1/2 tablespoons Ghee or Butter

To Serve:

Crispy Brown Onions
Onion Raita

How to make The Best Chicken Biryani

Step 1: Start by patting the onions dry. I would suggest leaving them out for 15 to 20 minutes on a kitchen towel to dry.

Step 2: Add the onions in heated oil. Slightly fry on medium heat for about 15 minutes until golden brown. You can even make the onions ahead and just store them in an airtight container overnight or use store-bought fried onions or shallots.

Step 3: Combine the chicken marinade ingredients and marinate the chicken thighs and drumsticks for at least 2 hours or preferably overnight.

Step 4: In hot milk, soak the saffron strands. Do this when it’s time to make the biryani. And use the back of the spoon to slightly rub them. Set aside.

Step 5: Boil water and when it comes to a roaring boil add in the salt, whole spices, and basmati rice. Cook for precisely 5 minutes. Completely drain but leave the whole spices in the rice. At this point, the rice is about 70% cooked and still raw in the middle. Test this by pressing a grain of rice between two fingers.

To layer and cook the Chicken Biryani:

Step 6: Add the chicken into a heated heavy-bottomed pot (dutch oven) and cook for about 4 minutes, turning the pieces of chicken once. Cook for 3 minutes more, covered. Shut the heat off before spreading half of the onions all over the chicken, followed by coriander, and mint leaves.

Step 7: Then, add the rice over the mint and coriander and drizzle with saffron milk and ghee.

Step 8: Cook for about 20 minutes on low heat, covered to steam the rice, and cook everything until done.

Step 9: When cooked, allow the biryani to set for at least 5 minutes. And before serving, scatter the rest of the onions on top.


1. For homemade biryani, I highly recommend using only chicken thighs and drumsticks. This will help cut the cost if using a whole chicken and cut the cutting time if using chicken breasts. Leave the bone in as it holds the chicken juicy.

2. Although I prefer to prepare brown onions myself, I know it can be time-consuming. So it’s perfectly okay to use store-bought. Just make sure that it’s not batter fried.

3. Buy only basmati rice and not just any long-grain rice as it gives the biryani that distinct flavour and taste. Basmati rice is fragrant and has somewhat thinner grains.

4. The ingredients in the last step of layering and cooking are all par-cooked. We cook the biryani on low heat for about 20 minutes and the steams make sure that everything is perfect. When a heavy-bottomed pot is not available, use a regular pot and just place it on a Tava or a flat griddle before putting on the stove on medium heat. This will ensure that the chicken will not burn as the Tava separates the flame and the pot and it creates the perfect heat source.

Nutrition Facts:

Calories: 866kcal | Carbohydrates: 70g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 54g | Saturated Fat: 35g | Cholesterol: 88mg | Sodium: 3514mg | Potassium: 570mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1309IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 140mg | Iron: 3mg

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