Chicken Biryani – North Indian style

Briyani, is one of the most favorite dishes in my family. My brother loves it, my husband loves it and it is often the specialty of most of the women in our families. I love to make briyani, mostly because it is a one pot meal and it has always been my number one choice for when I am entertaining friends. I had my friends over this weekend, and I made this North Indian style briyani, and it turned out to be very flavorful. Actually its a hybrid version I should say from my Mom’s. I am going to stick with this recipe from now on for Chicken briyani.

The quantity of the briyani I made was quite large, because I had friends over and because we love to the leftovers all week. ūüôā Please scale the recipe down, as needed.


5 cups basmati rice

7 cups water

4 lbs bone – in chicken cut up, skin removed

1/2 cup canola oil

8 cloves, 4 cinnamon sticks, 6 cardamom, 2 star anise, 4 bay leaves

5 tbsp ginger garlic paste

3 large onions, quartered and sliced thin

15 green chillies, slit

4 tomatoes chopped

2 cups of yogurt whisked

3 tbsp coriander powder

1 1/2 tbsp cumin powder

2 tbsp kasuri methi

2 tbsp briyani masala(I used Sakthi masala)

1 tsp turmeric powder

salt to taste

1 cup cilantro chopped

1/2 cup mint leaves, chopped


Wash the rice and soak it in water for atleast 30 minutes.

In a large pressure cooker over medium high heat, heat the oil, and the add the whole garam masala – cinnamon, cloves, star anise, cardamom and bay leaves. When they splutter and are fried, add the onion and lower the heat to medium. Fry until the onion is golden brown.

Add the slit green chillies and the ginger garlic paste. Add the tomatoes and salt. Fry until the tomatoes soften and the oil oozes out, for about 10 minutes. This is the part that actually builds the flavor of the biryani,so the longer this mixture fries, the better.

Nest, add the turmeric, cumin, coriander, briyani masala and the kasoori methi. Stir to combine. Add the chicken and mix it in until the masala is coating the chicken. Cook for a couple of minutes. Add the  yogurt and mix it in carefully, so that it does not curdle. Add 7 cups of water to this mixture and bring it to a boil. Taste for seasoning. Strain and add the rice and let it boil without covering the cooker. Cook until most of the water has been absorbed, but the rice is not yet fully cooked, about 10 minutes. Add 1/2 the cilantro and the mint leaves. Stir it in. Put the lid on the pressure cooker and put the weight on. Let it continue cooking over very low heat for 10 minutes. Switch off and let it rest for another 10 minutes. Sprinkle it with the reamining cilantro and serve hot with raita.

Verdict: The briyani tasted so rich and had a depth of many flavors. I was kind of skeptical about adding kasoori methi to briyani, but I was surprised by the flavor and aroma that it brought to the dish. I loved it.

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