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Mughalai Chicken Biryani

Biryani -also known as biriyani is a South Asian mixed rice dish which originated among the Muslims of South Asia. It is made with spices, meat and rice.

Biryani is a no compromise dish and is often a fixed menu for sunday lunch when the family gets together, basically it is the convenience of putting together a one-dish meal rather than cooking three to four dishes.

Anything can happen over biryani in India. Marriages can be fixed or be broken over biryani. In 2014, in Karnataka, a bride called off the wedding over the ruckus created by the grooms family on the taste of the biryani. The bride then sent 30 kg of chicken biryani to the grooms house but it came back as the groom’s family preferrred mutton biryani. This is one of the many amusing stories I have heard in connection with biryani.

I usually make a chicken / prawn biriyani at home for Sunday lunch, that is when the whole family is at home. But when we go out, we usually order mutton biriyani! How strange is that!  In the case of Prawn biryani, you have to add a little coriander powder, and the method is slightly different. Will put up a lovely recipe soon! As a family though, we enjoy a good biryani and will make an effort to try out all the joints in town that serve good biryani.

It’s Christmas time and you have a biryani to try. The recipe may look long and tedious but it’s worth a try!

For the Chicken Marinade:

  • Chicken- 750 GMs
  • Curd-1 cup
  • Ginger- garlic paste -green chilli paste -3 tbsp
  •  onions – 3 ( fried till golden brown)
  • Tomatoes-2 chopped
  • Mint leaves -3 tbsp chopped
  • Coriander leaves- 3 tbsp choppe
  • Lime juice of 1 lime

Whole spices :

  • Cinnamon-5
  • Cloves-5
  • Cardamom-5
  • Bayleaves-2
  • Shah-jeera-1/2 tsp
  • Cummin seeds-1/2 tsp
  • Peppercorns-5


  • Cut chicken into medium pieces. Wash and  keeep aside.
  • In curd, mix all the above ingredients including spices and marinate the chicken for an hour. Add salt to taste.

For the rice :

  • Rice -1/2 kg
  • In a muslin cloth take the following :
  • Cinnamon-5
  • Cloves-5
  • Cardamom-5
  • Bayleaves-2
  • Peppercorns-5
  • Lime skin of 1 lime
  • Shah- jeera -1/2 tsp
  • Jeera -1/2 tsp

Tie all the above spices in a muslin cloth and keep aside.

Method for the rice :

  • Wash the rice thoroughly, soak the clean rice in lots of water for 15 minutes. Drain thoroughly.
  • Immerse the muslin cloth in lots of water no bring to a boil. Add salt.
  • Add soaked and drained rice and cook on a high flame for 6-8 minutes till 3/4 done.
  • Strain into a large vessel and keep aside .
  • Remove the muslin cloth and let the rice cool.

Method for the chicken layer:

Ingredients :

  • Whole spices – 2 each of cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, bayleaves
  • Cummin seeds, shah- jeera -1/2 tsp each
  • Chilli powder-1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder-1/2 tsp
  • Ghee – 4-5 tablespoons

Method :

  • In a vessel, to the ghee, add the whole spices and fry well.
  • Add chilli powder and turmeric and fry well.
  • Add the chicken along with the marinade and cook till meat is tender and the gravy is of a thick consistency. Check if salt is adequate.

To assemble the biriyani:


  • Lime juice of 1 lime
  • Mint and coriander leaves chopped -3 tbsp each
  • Garam masala -1 tsp
  • Hot milk -1/2 cup to which a few  saffron strands are dissolved.
  • Grease the bottom of a dish with ghee.
  • Add chicken mixture and spread it evenly.
  • Sprinkle lime juice, garam  masala and chopped coriander and mint leaves.
  • Cover with rice.
  • Add milk- saffron mixture.
  • Cover with a tight fitting lid  and bake in the oven -(180deg c – preheated ) for 20 minutes  or place on dum over a griddle stone for 20 minutes.
  • Garnish with fried onions, fried cashewnuts and boiled eggs and serve with raita of your choice.

Chefs tips and instructions:

  • Make sure you use a thick base vessel for cooking the chicken.
  • The chicken has to be marinated over 2-3 hours.
  • Fried onions in the marinade  is a must.
  • Cook the meat at the lowest flame possible,low heat helps in uniform cooking.
  • Adding 2 tablespoons of ghee to the MARINADE will only add on to the flavour of the dish.
  • The lid should be tight or else should be sealed so that heat does not escape – while baking or putting on dum.
  • Do not add raw onions to the marinade.

                It’s Christmas Eve. Merry Christmas to all and have a fabulous weekend. 

                Joy to the world, the Lord has come!

The New Year is almost here-

My wish for you:

Work hard but stay humble,

Take time for family and friends and the people that matter most,

Keep away from drama, and be kind to everyone you meet.

Wishing you a safe, happy, healthy and fantastic New Year-2017.

Till my next post.



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