Bland Chicken? Not in My ‘Mom’s’ Kitchen: #SpicyChat Chicken Biryani!

It’s been said that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Well, in my house it is a proven fact. The other day my husband casually mentioned that I have been so busy lately with work and travel that I haven’t cooked for ‘him’ lately. But naturally, I had to take immediate action. I surprised him the next day with his ultimate Indian comfort food he enjoys the most from my hands – Spiced Hyderabadi Biryani.
As Risottos are to Italy and Paellas to Spain, Biryani is to all of South East Asia, pinnacles of rice cookery. As it is a one pot meal, the time spent on them is worth the effort.  Aromatic ingredients such as Saffron, Cardamom, and Kewra/Rose water take this dish to another level to please all your senses.

A raw meat Biryani requires that you combine raw but marinated meat with partially cooked rice and let them both cook gently together to make a harmonious one pot dish. The meat and delicate basmati rice needs to cook at the same moment, a tricky operation where timing and technique are all.

My version of the Hyderabadi Biryani is marinated meat with an assortment of Indian herbs, spices and yogurt. I tend to add Kewra Water which gives a delicate, sweet aroma when the dish is revealed.  This is one dish which will please all palates. Since this version is created for #spicychat, it tends to be a bit spicy; feel free to omit the chili’s to accommodate your personal taste buds.


Bland Chicken? Not in My 'Mom's' Kitchen: #SpicyChat Chicken Biryani!
Recipe type: Entree, Spicy
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-10
  • 2 Cornish Chickens skinned and cut into small pieces
  • 4 cups Basmati Rice
  • 2 cups Yogurt
  • 1 tbsp. Red chili powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 2 tsp. coriander powder
  • 1 tbsp. garam masala
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 medium onions (thin slices)
  • 3tbs. Garlic
  • 2tsp. Ginger
  • 10-12 Indian green chilies
  • 1 cup fresh coriander leaves
  • 1 bunch fresh mint leaves
  • 1\2 cup oil
  • Few strands of saffron, soaked in warm water
  • Few drops of Kewra essence
  • For rice: 1 stick cinnamon, 6 cloves, 8 green cardamoms, 2 bay leaves
  1. Fry the onions until light brown.
  2. Remove the onions from the oil and reserve 1\4 onions for later use.
  3. Put the fried onions, garlic, ginger, coriander leaves, mint, green chilies, yogurt, garam masala, lemon juice, and 1 tsp in a blender or food processor and blend to a paste. Marinate the chicken with the yogurt mixture overnight in a refrigerator.
  4. Put the rice in a sieve and wash it thoroughly under a running cold tap until the water runs clear. In a large heavy based pan put plenty of water and add cinnamon, cloves, cardamoms, 2 bay leaves, and salt. Bring it to a rapid boil and add the washed rice. When the rice are 1\4 cooked, drain and keep aside.
  5. In a large deep pan on medium heat place 1\2 cup of oil. Place the chicken with all the marinade. Cover the meat with the rice and level it with a spatula. Sprinkle reserved fried onions, saffron, and kewra on the top of the rice.
  6. Cover the pan with thick aluminum foil and then place the lid.
  7. Allow to cook for 20 minutes on medium heat then reduce the heat to a very low and cook for further 15 minutes until the rice and meat are tender.
  8. Let the rice rest for at least 10 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff the rice gently combining the sauce with the meat.
  9. Serve hot with Raita. Enjoy!!
My version tends to be a bit spicy; feel free to omit the chili’s to accommodate your personal taste buds. Feel free to substitute kewra essence with almond or rose essence. You can substitute chicken for any red meat or Lamb. You will have to pre-cook the red meat completely before continuing with bullet 4 to finish the biryani.

I made this yesterday and couldn’t wait till #SpicyChat to share it with my readers . The delicate basmati and ultra flavorful chicken sweetly kissed with the fragrance of kewra is truly intoxicating. Oh my kitchen smells so good when I make this chicken biryani. My family just can’t wait to dig in.

Are you fond of rice? What is your favorite rice dish you crave the most? I would love to hear from you!!

Until next time, have a spicylicious #spicychat!!

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One Comment

  1. This is such a beautiful looking Biryani. I’ve been wanting to make one for ages but get overwhelmed by all the stages. Even though it’s just a glorified pilaf. Shall try it for my Friday night curry.

    NB: Thanks for the mention on twitter.


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