Chicken Biryani

One of the most complicated rice-based dishes, made a little easier… Originally from ancient Persia, nowadays very popular for special occasions in India as well as Pakistan.

Ingredients (for 2)

  • 3 chicken thighs
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 2 red tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup white yogurt
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 2 tbsp cilantro
  • 1 tbsp mint
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp saffron
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • chili, salt & black pepper to taste


  • Remove skin from chicken thighs, de-bone and chop into pieces
  • Chop the tomatoes and finely dice the onions, and set them aside
  • Heat vegetable oil (or ghee) in a large skillet and stir fry onions and crushed garlic clove until golden brown
  • Add ginger (grated), turmeric, cumin, chili, cloves and black pepper, and sauté the spices over medium heat for 1 minute
  • Stir in the tomatoes, yogurt and mint, cover with a lid and cook over low heat for 5 minutes
  • Add the chicken pieces, a pinch of salt and a sip of water, give it a good stir, and cook over low heat (covered) for 30 minutes, until tender
  • In the meantime, wash the rice thoroughly in a colander and place it in a deep saucepan
  • Add chicken stock, cardamom, cinnamon and saffron; stir, cover and cook at very low heat until rice is tender (stir frequently and add more stock if necessary to keep it moist)
  • When ready, spoon the rice onto your serving platter, layer the chicken on top and sprinkle with some fresh cilantro

Tips from the Chef

  • It is very important to cook rice and chicken separately with their own spices, and layer them together only in the end
  • Try using ghee (clarified butter) instead of vegetable oil for a more authentic flavor
  • If individual spices are not available, you can use garam masala powder