Simple Indian Recipes...
Delicious and healthy dishes that can be made even by first timers.

Chicken Biryani (Chicken Biriyani)

 Published 2007-Oct-01   Updated 2018-Jul-31

- Submitted by Dahlia

(Kozhi Biryani, Chicken Pulao, Murgh Biryani)

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Biryani is a dish made with rice, a combination of spices and some meat/vegetables. It is a favourite and famous dish among Indians and even other parts of the world. It was invented in the kitchens of the Muslim Indian kings, which is now found in every nook and corner. Every king had their own taste and chef's would customize the biryani to please their kings. As a result we have many variations of Biryani. The most popular Hyderabadi Biryani, Mughlai Biryani, Malabar Biryani etc. is cooked using Dum method by layering rice with marinated meat. There is another popular variation especially in South India wherein the rice, meat and spices are all cooked together. That is the style of Biryani that I have given below.

The recipe given below is that of chicken biryani. Using the same recipe but changing the ingredients instead of chicken , you can make different biryanis like turkey (van kozhi) biryani, mutton biryani, quail (kada) biryani, duck biryani, beef biryani, pork biryani, mushroom biryani, soya biryani, fish biryani, prawns biryani, corn biryani , chikpea biryani or vegetable biryani ( with mixed vegetables).

I have shared 5 different ways of cooking the chicken biryani. You can choose the method that is suitable for you. 

Recipe for Chicken Biryani

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 40
Serves: 6

Ingredients - 1

  • Basmati rice - 3 cups
  • Chicken- 1 lb (1/2 kg) (cut into small pieces)
  • Onion -1 large/2 small ( cut lengthwise)
  • Tomato - 2 ( finely chopped or crushed)
  • Ginger garlic paste -1 tsp
  • Coriander leaves - ¼ cup (finely chopped)
  • Mint leaves - ¼ cup (finely chopped)
  • Green chillies - 5 no's (finely chopped)
  • Oil -3 tbsp
  • Ghee - 3 tbsp
  • Yoghurt -1/4 cup
  • Water Coconut milk mixture - 4.5 cups ( 1 cup coconut milk diluted with remaining water)
  • Salt - to taste
  • Chilly powder - 2 tsp ( or as needed)
  • Fennel Powder - 2 tbsp
  • Turmeric powder - ¼ tsp

Ingredients-2 ( For Marination)

  • Salt - ¼ tsp
  • Lemon juice /Yoghurt - 2 tblsp
  • Turmeric powder - ¼ tsp
  • Coriander powder - 1 tsp
  • Cumin Powder - 1 tsp
  • Garam Masala - 1 tsp
  • Pepper powder - ½ tsp
  • Chilly Powder - 1 tsp
  • Ginger garlic paste -1 tsp

Garam Masala

  • Bay leaf - 2
  • Cinnamon - 4
  • Star Anise - 2
  • Cloves -5
  • Cardamom -3

Preparation Steps

  1. Wash and cut chicken into small pieces. Marinate using all ingredients from list-2 and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least half an hour.
  2. Rinse the rice, soak it for at least 15 minutes, drain all water from it and keep aside.
  3. Optionally, toast the rice with some ghee till a nice aroma comes. This will make the biryani even more flavorful and prevent the rice from sticking to each other. You can omit this step if you don't have time.


  1. In a heavy deep vessel/ pressure cooker heat oil and ghee together. Once it gets heated up, add the whole garam masala. You can grind the garam masala and add it if you do not like whole masala coming in your mouth.
  2. Slowly add onions along with chopped green chillies.
  3. When onions turn slightly brown and crispy add ginger garlic paste, chopped coriander and mint leaves.
  4. Next add tomatoes and sauté for a while till the oil separates.
  5. Now add marinated chicken along with turmeric powder, chilly powder, fennel powder, yoghurt and salt. Sauté everything for 5-10 minutes until it thickens to a gravy consistency.

NOTE: If you are making biryani with mutton or pork, you have to cook it completely before adding the rice.

After this step, you can proceed in any of the following ways :-

Using a pressure cooker

  1. Add the coconut milk and water mixture to the gravy and bring it to a boil. Add the soaked rice, check for salt and bring it to a boil again.
  2. Cover the pressure cooker and put the whistle, reduce the flame to the simmer and let it cook for 20-30 minutes. (You may not get any whistle as the flame is very low. Just switch off after 20-30 minutes and the biryani will be done. If you increase the flame, there are chances that the bottom might get burned.) 

Using a rice cooker

  1. Add the gravy and soaked rice to the rice cooker along with water and coconut milk mixture and mix well.
  2. Check for salt and cook them in a rice cooker. 

Using a heavy bottomed pan

  1. Add the coconut milk and water mixture to the gravy and bring it to a boil. Add the soaked rice, check for salt and bring it to a boil again.
  2. Cover the pan with a tight lid to prevent the steam from escaping. Reduce the flame to the lowest possible setting and leave it for half an hour. (You can use a aluminium foil to cover the top of the pan and then put the lid if the lid is not very tight. That way no steam will escape.)

Cooking in convectional oven

  1. Add the gravy and soaked rice to a oven safe dish along with water and coconut milk mixture and mix well.
  2. Check for salt, cover the dish with an aluminium foil to prevent the steam from escaping and cook it for 45 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

Cooking in Microwave Oven

  1. Add the gravy and soaked rice to a microwave safe dish/ micro cooker along with water and coconut milk mixture and mix well.
  2. Check for salt, cover the dish and cook it on micro power high for 20 minutes.

Finally whatever method you use, the outcome is a flavourful, mouth watering biryani. Garnish with coriander leaves, toasted cashew nuts and raisins.

Serving Chicken Biryani

Other Biryani and Pulav Recipes

Quail Biryani Kaadai / Quail Biryani Corn Biryani Corn Biryani Semiya Biryani Semiya Biryani Kappa Biryani Kappa Biryani
See more ⟩⟩

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Comments (38)

Person   ()
How much water and coconut I should add just for 1 cup of rice? I don't want it to be too sticky. Thanks
Person   ()
For 1 cup of basmati rice, use 1 cup of water and 1/2 cup of diluted coconut milk.
Person   ()
Can I use ponni rice? Then how many cup of water needed to cook ponni rice. I'm a beginner in cooking. I don't have basmati rice. Please help
Person   ()
Basmati Rice has a unique aroma and texture that is required for making a good biryani. So I always recommend using Basmati Rice. The other options are jeeraga samba rice.

You could give a try with ponni rice since that is what you have. Use 2 cups of water for 1 cup of rice.
Person   ()
I'm a beginner. I don't have basmati rice in my home now. Can I use ponni rice? Then how much water should I add to cook
Person   ()
U r really an excellent cook.. Im a beginner n Cooking..i usually follow recipes frm websites nd cook..I got so many doubts most f d time i refer many websites to clarify myself before cooking any dish😉😐 bt ur website is clear cut..explained everything in detail nd lots of options to pick👍👍thank u soo much😍😍
Person   ()
Thanks dear. Please ask if you have any queries.
Person   ()
It's superb
Person   ()
Thank You.
Person   ()
How much water coconut milk mixture should be added if I am using just two glass of rice?
Person   ()
For 2 glass of rice, I would add 1 cup of coconut milk and 2 cups of water.
Person   ()
I an my country we do not have coconut milk what to do?
Person   ()
Just add plain water. Its not a problem.
Person   ()
Super recipe,very delicious.
Person   ()
Thank you.
Person   ()
Thank you for your guidance
Person   ()
U r welcome!!
Person   ()
just tried it n it was wonderful... thank you...
Person   ()
Thank you.
Person   ()
thanks, full of wonderful recipes
Person   ()
Thanks :-)
Person   ()
Can't wait to try the recepie. I hope it comes out the way I have imagined it out
Person   ()
I cant wait to hear your feedback... Try it soon...:-)
Person   ()
tnk u 4 dis receipi my husband like this dish very much n when i made my own he was so happy with me.
Person   ()
That awesome!!
Person   ()
such an wonderful site, as it has become part and parcel of my life...
Person   ()
Thats so nice to hear. Do keep in touch frequently with your comments and feedback.
Person   ()
can we add coco water instead of milk
Person   ()
no. coconut water has a much more sweeter taste and it will ruin the dish.
Person   ()
thanku for such nice recipe will surely try it
Person   ()
u r welcome!!
Person   ()
really its g8/can we add coconut water instead of milk
Person   ()
TQ! My two young fussy eaters ate without a word...
Person   ()
wow.. thats a great compliment... kids r the best judges..
Person   ()
thanx for the recipe...this is a good site for guys like us who dun watch t.v. or read books...
Person   ()
Thank You.
Person   ()
We've made this biryani so many times in my house....n it's simply too good.....thanks for this great recipe.....quite a complex dish made easy.............keep up the great work in maintaining such a useful site
Person   ()
Thanks Mirna

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Old Comments

Comment by neetha shankar
          thank u so much fror the wonderful recipe it was awesome
Reply :-
        Thank You. Enjoy!!

Comment by Nindi Dahran
        Thanks for the super recipie
Reply :-
        U r welcome!!

Comment by Nishitha Suvarna
         Hi Dahlia, I recently got married & relocated from India to Qatar. I do know how to cook, but need little bit of guidance while doing so. I missed my mom even more whenever I have to think of cooking as she used to guide & teach me. Kind of felt alone here. But one of my friend who is settled in UK gave me the link for this website & I have been trying out new new dishes everyday by checking out the amazing recipes that you have posted here. The other day my husband wanted to eat chicken biriyani & I made it exactly the way you have mentioned. It came out great & he just loved it. I am currently not working, hence I check this website all the time & prepare new dishes for my husband ever day. He is very happy & so am I. I do not feel bored or alone when I am at home now. I keep myself occupied & also do little bit of experiments in cooking on my own. I thank you for posting such awesome recipes. It is a real life saver for me, and specially for someone who doesnt know ABC of cooking. Very easy to prepare. I shared this link with my friends & they also loved it. You are doing a good job. Keep it up & god bless you. 

PS:- Can you please include me in your distribution/group list?
Reply :-
       Thank you so much Nishintha. I'l glad the site is helpful to you. I'll surely send you the invitation to join my mailing list.

Comment by Shameet Karkera
         Nice one... finally i got a my type of biryani, which is easy to make and time saving
Reply :-
         Thank you!!

Comment by Mal S
           Hi Dahlia,
          I made this chicken Biryani today.Came out awesome.I am making it for the first time.Thanks for posting this receipe.
Reply :-
          Glad to hear that Mal. Thanks for your comments.

Comment by Saira John on 05 April 2010 01:23AM
           This Chicken Biriyani turned out to be very delicious. It was worth the effort. I cooked it in a large sized non stick saute` pan. I also tried the aluminum foil wrap around the pan and I'm sure it helped. I give this a ***** !!! Thanks Dahlia!!!
Reply :-
          Thats great to hear Saira!!! Thanks for the a ***** rating too !!!

Comment by A S on 21 September 2009 22:49PM
           Hi. I am Indian but born and raised in the states. I never learned how to cook any Indian food nor anything else. I have been trying to cook as of late and your recipes are great. I have tried Indian cookbooks but the recipes are not detailed. I made chicken biryiani for my non-indian wife's birthday and she loved it. It actually came out like the picture!!! Thanks.
Reply :-
          Thanks.. Nice to see the comments.. Keep try and experimenting with new recipes.

Comment by Safali in orkut   
         awesome Biryani receipe. It was a hit in my last party, since i am veg, I changed the chiken to vegetables and made it....  
Reply :-

 great job
              - by Saravanan on Mon 3/24/08 7:19 AM 

         Dahlia I really appreciate your effort in posting this. Your hubby (would be) should be very lucky!! Can you post home made cashew chocolate preparation using microwave oven?? thanks, Saravanan V 
Reply :-
          thanks saravanan....

 Simple but great
                          - by Helen on Tue 1/15/08 4:04 AM 

          Hi Dahlia, Its really simple to do but great taste..we all enjoyed... 
Reply :-

 Good work
                  - by Helen on Mon 1/07/08 3:10 AM 

          Hi Dahlia, I tried ur chicken biriyani recipe and it came out well. Previously I tried with some other recipes from the net but they were not success for me...Will try ur other recipes too... :)
Reply :-
          Good Helen, do try the other recipes too.

Great Mouth-Watering Dishes!
                                                - by Jibbie John on Tue 10/30/07 10:51 PM 

        I must acknowledge Miss Dahlia taste in food. I tried these dishes out and it wasn't difficult to make at all. My family was very shock to see me cook, but very pleased with the job I did with the Chicken Biriyani. I hope to see more recipes on this website. Miss Dahlia, do you cater?  
Reply :-
        Thanks a lot for these encouraging words. Do try the other recipes too.

 Published by on and last updated on 2018-07-31.