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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