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The Best Chicken Biryani Recipe

by Lily

Here is the best chicken biryani recipe you will ever taste. There are a lot of ingredients and spices, and well, that’s why it tastes so darn good! This is not really categorized as a Mediterranean or Middle Eastern recipe, but I could not pass up sharing it with you. Anytime I have a recipe that is life-changing good, I promise, I will share it with you.

How Did I Get My Hands on This Recipe?

Sophia helps take care of our daughter during the week. She is from Sri Lanka, and her mother is originally from India. She has been such a help to our family over the last few months. Recently, I asked if she would make us her favorite meal for dinner one night. We were in for such a treat!

Sophia made a beef curry and a chicken biryani, and the chicken biryani was the best biryani I’ve ever had. I had a work trip to India for a few months back in 2013, and that’s where I fell in love with Indian food. Indian food is so colorful, flavorful, and alive. And if you like spicy… oh boy.

After having this chicken biryani recipe, I asked Sophia to teach me how to make it. And, I proceeded to have this every week for a month.

I’ve never tried to make any sort of Indian recipe at home, until now of course. I had some sort of mental block that I would horribly mess up the recipe. Well guys, I am the perfect reason for you to try this! If I can do it, so can you. Literally.

This recipe makes a pretty large batch of biryani rice. I’ve kept the serving size high because I like food options that can be reheated easily in the week. I love to eat, but I don’t want to spend all of my time in the kitchen. So, this is a nice balance whenever there are meal options that reheat particularly well.

Let me know if you like this biryani recipe in the comments below.

Tips for How to Make the Best Chicken Biryani Recipe

For the full recipe and step by step instructions, check the recipe card below.

There are two types of chicken I’ve liked for this recipe: a whole chicken cut up into pieces with the bone (remove the skin) and using chicken breast chunks without the skin and bone. You choose whatever you prefer.

Marinate the chicken and soak the rice at the same time, while you slice the onions and mash the garlic and ginger together.

If you don’t have ghee on hand, you can use butter. The taste will not be the same, but it will still be close enough.

I use my Le Creuset pot for this dish, and I only turn up the heat to high when starting to boil the rice.

Basmati rice is the best rice for this recipe! You can use a different rice if that’s your only option, but basmati rice is really a main ingredient for this dish.

Options for This Side Dish

You can eat this as a main entree or as a side dish. I prefer to eat this as a side dish to balance out my meal. A few great recipes that go well with this are below.

Yassmine’s Lamb Shank Roast Recipe

Bone-In Ribeye Roast

Cucumber Mint Yogurt

Beef Curry Recipe

chicken biryani recipe
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the best chicken biryani recipe

The Best Biryani Chicken Recipe

  • Author: Lilian B.
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 12 1x
  • Diet: Halal


Here’s an authentic biryani chicken recipe that is easy and delicious!



  • 1 lb of boneless skinless chicken breast OR 1 whole chicken cut into pieces with skin removed
  • 4 cups of basmati rice
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 3 tbsp of fresh ginger
  • 8 whole cardamom pods
  • 4 star of anise
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick
  • 3 whole fresh chili
  • 4 tbsp ghee
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 3 small red onion
  • 1 small white onion
  • 3 small tomato
  • 10 fresh curry leaves
  • 6 biryani leaves
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 tbsp turmeric powder
  • 1 1/2 tbsp ground garam masala
  • 2 tbsp ground biryani masala powder
  • 1/2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro (coriander)
  • 1 cup chopped fresh mint **optional
  • 40 cashews
  • 1/4 cup of golden raisins


  1. Cut the chicken into desired pieces. Add lemon and salt to the chicken. Add curry powder, turmeric, chili powder, garam masala, and biryani powder. Add 1 cup of yogurt. Let chicken rest for 10 minutes.
  2. Soak basmati rice in water for 10 minutes.
  3. On medium heat. Add oil and ghee to the pan. Add the whole cardamom, cinnamon stick, curry leaf, biryani leaf, star of anise, and sliced red onion.
  4. Mash garlic and ginger paste with a mortar and pestle.
  5. Once the onion starts to get golden brown, add crushed garlic and ginger.
  6. Add chili peppers that are sliced down the center.
  7. Add some paprika. Add chicken and mix well.
  8. Add chopped tomatoes and bouillon cube. Continue to cook on medium for 10 minutes covered.
  9. Add basmati rice. Mix well. 
  10. Add 6 cups water and turn heat to high. Once the rice starts to boil, then turn to medium.
  11. Once the water goes below the rice, mix slowly 2 turns, then cover the rice and turn to low heat. Rice is cooked once tender (after about 15 minutes).
  12. Slice the white onion.
  13. In a separate pot, fry the white onion in vegetable oil to a golden brown color.
  14. Toast the cashews in a dry pan on medium heat.
  15. On top of the biryani, add the fried onion, toasted cashews, golden raisins, chopped cilantro, and chopped mint.


Chopped mint is optional.

The nutrition facts are using 1 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast.

  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Indian


  • Serving Size: 2 cups
  • Calories: 473
  • Sugar: 6 g
  • Sodium: 55 mg
  • Fat: 13 g
  • Saturated Fat: 5 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 8 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 69 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 22 g
  • Cholesterol: 34 mg

Keywords: biryani recipe, indian biryani recipe, chicken biryani recipe, the best biryani recipe

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