Chicken Biriyani

Chicken Biryani

Have you ever made Biriyani before? If not I dare you to try this recipe. Biriyani seems complicated and the list of ingredients could be overwhelming but boy oh boy the taste you will experience is worth the all the effort!

My mother never made Biriyani and I was not at all familiar with the dish. If not for my Tastic rice recipe book and the lip smacking picture in it I probably wouldn’t have tried it either. I just love the creamy spicy sauce and I even when all the Chicken have been eaten, that last tiny bit of rice and potatoes that’s  left in the pot is still my favorite lunchbox treat for the next day.

As you can see I love my spices


Serves 6 – 8


1.5 kg Chicken

3 ml Turmeric

5 ml Ginger powder / fresh ginger

5 ml ginger (minced)

250 ml plain yogurt

2 tomatoes (grated or processed to a pulp)

2 cinnamon sticks

4 Cardamom seeds

20 ml Masala

10 ml Cumin

10 ml Coriander powder

15 ml chopped mint

45 ml Lemon juice

125 ml black lentils

500 ml raw white rice / Basmati

10 ml salt

oil for frying

2 onions in rings

6 small potatoes peeled and halved

50 g butter

pinch of saffron

125 ml cold water

Biriyani chicken busy marinating

1. Place the Chicken in a bowl and rub with the Turmeric, ginger and garlic.

2. Add the yogurt, tomatoes, 1 Cinnamon stick, 2 cardamom seeds, Masala, Coriander powder, mint and lemon juice. Marinate for an hour.

3. Cook the lentils in salt water, strain and put aside.

4. Place the rice, water, salt, 2 x cardamom seeds and 1 x Cinnamon stick in a pot and parboil the rice, strain and set aside.

5. Heat the oil in a large pot and fry the onions with the cumin seeds until soft. Add the potatoes and fry for another 2 minutes stirring if necessary.

6. Add the butter to the pot add the Chicken without the marinade to the pot and fry for a few minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and add some of the lentils on top of the Chicken and the potatoes.

7. Layer the parboiled rice and the rest of the lentils on top and add the rest of the marinade and a pinch of saffron. Lastly add the cold water over the mixture in the pot and cook for 10 minutes on a high heat.

8. Place lid on the pot, reduce the heat and simmer for 45 -60 minutes. The potatoes should be soft and most of the liquid should have reduced.



Make sure you have at least 2 hours to spend before attempting the recipe.



4 thoughts on “Chicken Biriyani

  1. My boyfriend once attempted a biriyani recipe that claimed you could do it in less than an hour. I warned him that a good biriyani takes a minimum of two hours IF NOT THE ENTIRE DAY, and I was right. Yours looks amazing, I’ve never had one with lentil, but it seems like it makes sense they go together!


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