Authentic Indian Chicken Biryani.

This Authentic Indian Chicken Biryani is fragrant, flavorful and so vibrant! Fluffy basmati rice, with tender cubes of chicken, spiced to perfection! It’s really delicious, and the best special weekend dinner!

This is our 7th recipe from our “Around the World Series” and this bright and colorful Chicken Biryani is from India! Indian cuisine is one of our favorites, so of course we had to do India!

What is Chicken Biryani?

Chicken Biryani is an Indian dish, made with aromatic basmati rice, a variety of Indian spices, (including turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, cayenne, cardamom, garam masala, cumin, paprika, and saffron!) crispy onions, and some type of meat. Chicken is traditionally used, so that’s what we’re using today!

The Basmati Rice:

Basmati Rice is the best rice to use for Chicken Biryani. It is par-boiled with salt, cloves, bay leaves, star anise, and cardamom pods! We par boil the rice, because it later cooks more with all the other ingredients in the Biryani.

Now we will say that Chicken Biryani is one of those things that is a bit more involved. But if you follow our instructions, it’ll turn out perfect, and honestly it’s a lot of fun to make!

What Makes a Good Biryani?

One way to tell a good Biryani is when part of the rice stays white, and some parts are a bright yellow. And the third part should be mixed with the chicken curry. And that’s exactly what this recipe has!

Saffron Water:

Saffron threads are soaked in water for 10 minutes, which turns the water a bright yellow, orange-ish color. It gives the rice that yellow color, and adds flavor. Only a small amount of saffron is used, but it can be somewhat expensive. So in a pinch, saffron powder will work. Just mix 1/2 tsp. with the water.

And once it’s done, just top with some coriander (also known as cilantro) and squeeze on some lime juice. You can also serve it with some plain yogurt if you’d like!

As always, we hope you guys enjoy this recipe, and if you try it, let us know in the comments down below! Also, be sure to tag us on our Instagram because we love seeing what you make!

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Authentic Indian Chicken Biryani

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This Authentic Indian Chicken Biryani is fragrant, flavorful and so vibrant! Fluffy basmati rice, with tender cubes of chicken, spiced to perfection! It’s really delicious, and the best special weekend dinner!



For Chicken:

2/3 cup plain yogurt

1/2 cup water

1 Tbsp. vegetable oil

6 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 inch knob ginger, grated

1/8 tsp. ground turmeric

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper, optional (if you don’t like it spicy, skip this spice)

1/2 tsp. ground cardamom

2 tsp. garam masala

2 tsp. coriander, chopped

1 Tbsp. ground cumin

2 Tbsp. paprika

1 1/2 tsp. salt

1.5 lbs. boneless and skinless chicken thighs, diced

For Par Boiled Rice:

1 Tbsp. salt

10 cloves

5 dried bay leaves

1-star anise

6 green cardamom pods

2 1/4 cups uncooked basmati rice

For Crispy Onions:

4 Tbsp. vegetable oil

2 Tbsp. ghee (or butter)

1 onion, finely sliced

For Saffron Water:

2 Tbsp. warm water

1 tsp. saffron threads

For Serving:

1/2 cup coriander, chopped

Fresh lime juice, for serving


1. To make the Chicken Marinade: In a large bowl, mix the chicken marinade; 2/3 cup plain yogurt, 1/2 cup water, 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil, 6 minced garlic cloves, 1/2 inch knob grated ginger, 1/8 tsp. ground turmeric, 1/4 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional), 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom, 2 tsp. garam masala, 2 tsp. chopped coriander, 1 Tbsp. ground cumin, 2 Tbsp. paprika, and 1 1/2 tsp. salt. Give that a quick whisk, then adds in 1.5 lbs. diced boneless and skinless chicken thighs. Coat the chicken well, cover with plastic wrap, then let it marinade for at least 1 hour.

2. For Par Boiled Rice: Bring 10 cups of water to a boil, then add in 1 Tbsp. salt, 10 cloves, 5 dried bay leaves, 1-star anise, 6 green cardamom pods, and 2 1/4 cups uncooked basmati rice. Stir that, and let it cook for 5 minutes. Drain the rice, and take out the spices. The rice should be slightly firm.

3. For Crispy Onions: To a pot or saucepan, add 4 Tbsp. vegetable oil and 2 Tbsp. ghee. Let the ghee melt over medium-high heat, and once the oil is hot, add in 1 finely sliced onion. Let it cook for 15-20 minutes, until golden and crispy. With a sloted spoon, remove the onions, and transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. (Discard most of the oil, keeping about 1 Tbsp).

4. For Saffron Water: In a small bowl, mix 2 Tbsp. warm water, and 1 tsp. saffron threads. Give that a quick stir, and let it sit for at least 10 minutes, or until ready to use.

5. Cook the Chicken: In the same pan you cooked the onions in, remove most of the oil, saving about 1 Tbsp. Add in the chicken and cook for 5 minutes. Flip, then cook another 5 minutes.

6. Assembly: Once the chicken is cooked, remove about 1/2 of the chicken, add on 1/3 of the crispy onions, some chopped coriander, and about 1/ 2 of the rice. Add on the remaining chicken, 1/3 of the onions, some more coriander, and all of the remaining rice. Add on the last 1/3 of the onions and drizzle on the saffron water. Cover the pot, and cook over low heat for 10 minutes.

7. Serving: Serve with some coriander, and a squeeze of lime juice! Enjoy!

  • Prep Time: 30 mins.
  • Cook Time: 1 hr.
  • Category: Savory
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Indian


  • Serving Size: 1 serving
  • Calories: 450

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