This chicken biryani recipe is THE one to make.
Chicken biryani is one of the most popular takeaway meals ever and… it is incredibly tasty!
When Jay and I met money was tight, so I remember cooking potato biryani for us so many times it should be illegal; as money started coming in, we started having chicken and potato biryani and, after having egg in biryani in many places (such as the rooftop of a hotel in New Delhi), I started adding also that.
Chicken, egg and potato?
My mother-in-law is not very impressed when I mix chicken and potatoes, and she always asks if that is because we can’t afford to buy enough chicken (mothers are always worrying… no matter how old we get!), but the truth is my chicken biryani recipe is more a chicken, potato and egg biryani.
Tasty, fragrant, delicious, and authentic!
Where does biryani come from?
It is very unclear where exactly this dish generated from… the only certainty is that it comes from the Indian subcontinent; many believe it comes from multiple Muslim centers in Northern India, like Delhi, Lucknow, and Rampur, while others believe it is a Southern Indian dish (Hyderabadi Biryani and Thalasseri Biryani are so very famous and delish!) , as rice is much more used in this part of the country.
The truth is: it doesn’t matter at this point as every region has a different twist to biryani and it tastes authentic yet brilliant in every single place. (One more reason to schedule a road trip!)
In Mumbai, I remember Jay and I bought a whole biryani pot from a local outlet: we ordered it one day, they delivered it the next and they came to collect it once we were done eating it.
If you are wondering: yes, it took multiple days for us to finish the whole biryani pot!
Another time I loved eating biryani was – as mentioned before – on the rooftop of our hotel in Delhi. That was a unique experience; the taste, the atmosphere, the sounds of the city around us… that felt like India, yet it tasted like home.
This recipe contains many ingredients that are extremely healthy and have multiple nutrients, vitamins, and benefits – let’s have a look at the main ones:
Basmati Rice: basmati rice has a very unique smell, which many describe as popcorn, and it is no surprise the word basmati means fragrant in Hindi. While most white rice has a high GI (glycemic index), basmati has a GI of 50-58, which is low to medium; additionally, to this, some types of basmati rice also have a high amount of dietary fibers, which can help the digestive system.
Basmati rice is also rich in Vitamins, such as B-1, also known as thiamine, which may help brain functions; other nutrients in basmati rice are Copper, Folate, Iron, Zinc, Phosphorous, Magnesium, and Vitamin B-6.
Chicken Thigh: The nutritional benefits of eating chicken are known, but what is the difference between white meat and dark/red meat? Well, the red meat of the chicken (legs and thighs) are a very rich source of essential nutrients like iron and zinc, which help maintain a healthy immune system, and, while being present in the white meat of the chicken, they are found in much higher quantities in the red/dark meat. This type of meat also has multiple nutrients that help regulate the metabolism, such as Vitamin B-1 (thiamine), B-3 (niacin), and B-12.
Potatoes: This vegetable is rich in nutrients that support heart health, such as Vitamins C and B-6, as well as fiber and potassium; potatoes also have no cholesterol, adding to its heart health benefits, while having large amounts of fiber.
Eggs: There is no need to go on and on on the benefits of eggs, as they are known as the super-protein and are recommended for most weight-loss and muscle-gaining diets. They are rich in Vitamins, such as B-6, B-12, and D, as well as selenium, iron, zinc, and copper; they are also a source of fat-soluble vitamins (vitamins that are absorbed and transported by the body in a similar way of fats) like Vitamins A, D, E and K.
How to cook biryani?
This biryani is very simple to prepare using very few Indian Spices and whole masalas, to create a nice flavor and aroma of homemade masalas in the air.
For this chicken biryani recipe you will require only two pans and a bowl and the steps are only five: marinate the chicken, boil the eggs, boil the rice, fry the onions and assemble in the biryani pot the whole lot. The steps are quick and easy and you finish with a perfectly looking dum biryani – although this last ‘dum’ step is only 10 minutes long.
What whole masalas are used in this recipe?
I used cardamom, bay leaves, black pepper, cloves, mace, and cinnamon; should you not have all of them you may skip some, but if you do, it is worth the effort – trust me!
How long does it take to cook this chicken biryani recipe?
It took me just over one hour, including washing the dishes while waiting for things to fry, marinate, cook… so very quick!
Can I freeze this biryani?
Yes, you can! Ensure it has fully cooled down before doing so.
What can I serve this biryani with?
I serve this biryani with cucumber, onion and tomato raita, some papad or poppadom, and pickle.
How many does this recipe serve?
This recipe is sufficient for six portions.
Can I add nuts and dry fruit to this biryani?
You sure can! A good choice would be cashews; I have not added in this instance as this is a rich meal already and wanted to keep the calories a tiny bit lower, but nuts and dry fruits make a great addition, which I use when cooking for Jay only.
You will love this recipe as it is easy, tastes authentic and it looks beautiful!
You can easily follow through the steps as I have divided the ingredients by stages and you can enjoy this meal for a couple of days after preparing it.
Are you ready to get transported to the most glamorous streets of Mumbai?
Or, the restaurants in Delhi where the locals eat?
This recipe will make you feel like you are where you want to be… with one bite!
~~ Looking for other easy chicken recipes? Try this delicious garlic chicken curry!
~~ A fan of potatoes? This dry potato curry recipe is so easy, you’ll be preparing it multiple times!
- 360 g White Basmati Rice
- Whole Masala of Choice Cardamom, Bay Leaves, Cinnamon, Mace, Cloves, Peppercorns
- 2 Eggs
- 4 Tbsp Ghee
- 10 g Fresh Coriander Thinly Chopped
- 10 Saffron Strands
- 50 ml Luke-Warm Semi-Skimmed Milk
For the fried onions
- 400 g Red Onions Julienned
- 3 tbsp Sunflower Oil or Vegetable Oil
For the chicken and its marinade
- 150 g Skinless Chicken Thighs Diced
- 150 g Skinless Chicken Breast Diced
- 50 g Full-Fat Natural Yogurt
- 1 tbsp Ginger Garlic Paste
- Salt to Taste
- ½ tsp Turmeric Powder
- ½ tsp Red Chili Powder
- Half of the fried onions from the above ingredients
- 1 Large Tomato Chopped
For the Potato Base
- 2 tbsp Sunflower Oil or Vegetable Oil
- 300 g White Potatoes Peeled and Diced
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 8 Black Peppercorns
- 1 Piece of Mace
- ½ inch Cinnamon Stick broken in two
- 5-6 Green Cardamoms can mix with Black Cardamoms if available
- 5-6 Cloves
- Start by shallow frying the julienned red onions in the sunflower oil until brown; remove from the oil with a skimmer and put on a paper towel, so as much oil as possible is removed.
- In a bowl, put the chicken, yogurt, ginger garlic paste, salt, turmeric, red chili powder, chopped tomato, and half of the fried onion and mix well, until uniform; set aside and allow to marinate while preparing the other ingredients.
- Warm up the 50 ml of semi-skimmed milk for thirty seconds in the microwave and add the saffron strands to it; set the bowl aside.
- In a pot full of water, boil the eggs until they are hard-boiled. Cool them down under cold water, peel them, make some gashes on their sides (three or four each), and set them aside.
- Soak the rice for the biryani in plenty of room temperature water for fifteen minutes; do not over soak the rice as this will make it mushy in the biryani.
- Bring a large bowl of water to the boil with the whole masalas of choice (I’ve put the same as in the potato base, just half the quantity); once the water boils, add the basmati rice and cook it until it is three quarters done. My basmati rice said on the box that it needs 11-12 minutes to cook, so I boiled it for 8 minutes; once it is three quarters cooked, strain it and cool it down under cold water. Leave it in the strainer, so it remains fragrant while continuing to release the excess water.
From the next step, you start assembling your biryani.
- In your final biryani pot start preparing the potato base: add the sunflower oil and once warm add the whole masalas (cardamoms, cloves, mace, cinnamon, peppercorns, and bay leaves) and the potatoes. On a medium flame, allow the potatoes to brown, frying them on all their sides; this is a step that can be a bit tedious, but take five minutes to do so, as this adds a lot of flavors.
- Once all the sides of the potatoes have browned, add the marinated chicken (including all the marinade) to the potatoes and mix well, keeping it on a medium flame. Cook the chicken like this for two to three minutes, then add half a cup of water.
- Mix well the water in the biryani curry and put a lid on the pan; allow the chicken to cook on a low to medium flame until ready – this should take about ten more minutes.
- At this stage, remove the lid and add the eggs to the biryani curry, mixing them well in it, to absorb its flavor.
- Turn the heat off under the pan and straight away assemble the two top layers of the biryani: add one-third of the chopped coriander on top of the curry and half of the rice. You mustn't press the rice to even it out on the surface: use a large spoon to spread it evenly in the pan, but leave air gaps in between grains. On top of the rice add three-quarters of the remaining fried onions, half of the remaining coriander, and then add the remaining of the rice, the same way as before.
- On top of the last layer of rice add the remaining fried onions, chopped coriander, ghee, and saffron milk (including the strands).
- You are now ready to finish cooking the biryani: apply the lid on top of the biryani pot and put on a high flame – cook it this way for 8 minutes; after exactly eight minutes, turn the heat to low and cook for a further two minutes.
- After two minutes, turn the heat off and allow the biryani to sit with the lid on and the heat off for 10 minutes, before removing the lid and opening it. Serve and enjoy!