Prep Time: 20 mins | Cook Time: 45 mins | Total Time: 1 hr 5 mins | Servings: 5 Portions

Making homemade biryani is not hard as your think. Simply follow the step-by-step directions to Make the Best Chicken Biryani. Do not be intimidated, try this first, and you are on your way to creating the most aromatic and well-spiced biryani.


Brown Onions:

2 Onions Large

1/2 c. Vegetable Oil

Chicken Marinade:

700 g. Chicken Thighs and Drumsticks bone-in and skinless

3/4 c. Yoghurt or hung curd

1/4 c. Tomato Puree

1/4 c. Vegetable Oil

1 tbsp Ginger Garlic Paste minced ginger and garlic

1 tbsp Red Chilli Powder sub with 1 tsp Paprika + 1 tsp Cayenne

1 tsp Turmeric Powder

1 tsp Garam Masala Powder

2 tbsp Brown Onions

1 1/4 tsp Salt


2 tbsp Hot Milk

10-15 Saffron strands

Parboiled Rice (70% cooked):

2 c. Basmati Rice

6 c. Water

2 tbsp Salt

1 Bayleaf

5-6 Cloves

2-3 Cardamom Pods

Other Biryani:

1 c. Mint Leaves fresh

1 c. Coriander Leaves Cilantro

1 1/2 tbsp Ghee or Butter

To Serve:

Crispy Brown Onions

Onion Raita

How to make The Best Chicken Biryani

Step 1: After patting the dry onions dry, leave them on a kitchen towel for approximately 15 to 20 minutes to slightly dry them out. In a pan, heat the oil. Once the oil is hot, add the onions to the pan and shallow fry them over medium heat for about 15 minutes until deep golden brown. When done, remove the onions from the pan and transfer them on a paper towel to drain. Set aside. If desired, make the brown onions ahead and simply store them in an airtight container overnight. Or just use store-bought fried onions/ shallots.

Step 2: Combine the marinade ingredients and marinate the chicken for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Step 3: In hot milk, soak the saffron stand (do this when you are ready to make the biryani). Using the back of a spoon, slightly rub the saffron strands and set them aside.

Step 4: Add salt, whole spices, and the basmati rice to roaring boiling water and cook for precisely 5 minutes. Drain completely when done, leaving the whole spices in the rice. The rice at this point is 70% done. When you press the grain of rice between two fingers, it should still be raw in the centre.

Layer and Cook the Chicken Biryani:

Step 5: Cook the chicken in a preheated heavy-bottomed pot such as a dutch oven for about 4 minutes, flipping once. Put the lid on and continue to cook the other side for 3 minutes more. Then, turn the heat off. On the entire chicken, spread half of the onions followed by the coriander and mint leaves. Then, over the mint and coriander, layer the rice and drizzle with saffron milk and ghee. Cover the pot again and continue to cook for another 20 minutes over low heat to help the rice steam and cook to doneness.

Step 6: Allow the biryani to rest for at least 5 minutes once it is cooked. Then, on top, scatter the rest of the onions and serve hot. Enjoy!


For best results, I suggest using only chicken thighs and drumsticks. And to keep the chicken juicy, leave the bone in.

Feel free to substitute brown onions with store-bought fried onions. But make sure not to use batter-fried onions.

Be careful when buying rice. Make sure to grab the one labelled as basmati and not just long-grain rice. The real basmati rice is aromatic and has slightly thinner grains compared to long grain rice.

The ingredients in the last step of layering and cooking the biryani are par-cooked. They will be steam and cook when cooking the biryani over low heat for about 20 minutes. If you are using a regular pot, place it on a Tava or a flat griddle before putting it on the stove over medium heat. This will keep the chicken from burning as the Tava /griddle makes a degree of separation between the flame and the pot and supply the perfect heat source.

Nutrition Facts:

Calories: 866kcal | Carbohydrates: 70g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 54g | Saturated Fat: 35g | Cholesterol: 88mg | Sodium: 3514mg | Potassium: 570mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1309IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 140mg | Iron: 3mg