Chicken Biryani With Onion-Herb Marinade

Anyone who is regular to this blog, knows my love for biryanis or any kind of flavored rice. It is also known fact that, I like to make something new instead of following same recipe again and again. When we were in India, we had so many favorite restaurants and whenever we felt like, we would go out and eat. But here, the Indian food choices are not very good. So cooking these favorite dishes is the only way out.

This time when I bought chicken, I wanted to change my recipe slightly. This is pretty much a combination of all other biryanis on this blog. The final result was amazing. I want to cook this for my dad, brother and SIL when I meet them next time, I am sure they would love it.

I made a huge batch of it and had it for two days. I served it with a cold raita. Yumm.

Rice preparation:
2 cups basmati rice
4 cardamom
3 cloves
2″ cinnamon
2 bay leaves
1/4 tea spn turmeric
Ghee & Oil
3 cups water

Wash rice, drain and spread on a kitchen towel for about 15mins.
Heat ghee and oil, add cardamom, cloves, bay leaves, cinnamon. Add rice, turmeric powder and fry for 2-3mins till a nice aroma comes out. Add salt water and cook till all water is absorbed. (Remember, here we are adding less water than normally required to cook the rice completely, this is done to undercook the rice).

For chicken marination:
1/2 kg (17oz approx) chicken
1/2 cup onion
1/2 cup tomato
1/2 cup coriander leaves
1/4 cup mint leaves
3 tea spns green chillies
3 tbl spn thick yogurt
2 tea spns ginger
2 tea spns garlic
1 tea spn biryani masala(home made or store bought)
1 and 1/2 tea spns chilli powder

Heat oil and add onion. When they turn brownish, add tomato and fry till they are mushy. Grind these with coriander leaves, mint leaves, ginger, garlic, biryani masala, chilli powder, salt to a smooth paste. Add this paste and yogurt to chicken pieces. Leave the chicken to marinate for about 30mins.

Remaining ingredients:
1/2 cup thin slices of onion
1/4 cup finely chopped tomato
1/4 cup water
2 tbl spn yogurt
Ghee and oil
2 tbl spn cashews
Salt(only if required)

Heat a little ghee and oil and add onion. Fry for 2-3 mins till they are translucent.
Add the chicken along with marinade. Fry for a minute. Add water.
Cover with rice. Top with tomatoes. Spread yogurt.
In another pan, heat ghee and fry cashews till they are brownish. Spread these on top of rice. Cover with a tight lid. Keep something heavy on the lid to press it down(I keep the pan on a tava while cooking to give extra thickness). Cook on a medium low flame until done.
Keep it undisturbed for another 15mins.
Serve hot.

Serves : 5
Preparation time : 90mins

Pictorial –

26 thoughts on “Chicken Biryani With Onion-Herb Marinade”

  1. Looks amazing Shilpa. I’m a regular to your blog and have tried many of your dishes and love them all. I had a couple of doubts
    1) did you use boneless skinless ch.breasts? How long did they take to cook through once you layered and sealed the lid?
    2) How long would bone-in chicken( cut to small pieces) take to cook through in a dum-style method?

    1. I normally use boneless chicken, not very specific about chicken breast though. I use anything that is available. Both boneless and bone-in chicken (or for that matter even vegetable biryani), I cook about 25-30mins on a medium low flame till a nice aroma comes out. Then check once to see if the rice is cooked completely. If required I keep it for little longer, usually chicken also cooks in this time. Btw, chicken available here in US cooks much faster than the fresh one available in India, but I think that also should be cooked in this time. Hope that helps.

  2. I am your fan when it comes to cooking. I am visiting my dad and each day i pick one recipe from your blog to treat him. If is loving it. Thanks

  3. padmaja ravindranath

    thanksfor biryani, can i cook same proses with vegetable because iam only vegetarian. my daughter and husband are like chicken can i try.

  4. Hi Shilpa

    This looks great!!!. My family likes Biriyani. But I was never successful in preparing the tasty biriyani. I wanted to try this recipe. Which Biriyani masala did you use in the preparation, so that I can buy this in Indian store. Thanks

  5. I followed your instructions down to the last letter and made this biryani for lunch today- it was awesome…we are practically comatose

  6. I made this last night and am about to enjoy leftovers in about an hour. It was delicious! Do you have any Lamb Biryani recipes?

  7. Hi Shilpa,

    I have never cooked chicken in my life and always had chicken briyani in restuarants only. Could you please let me know how to use boneless chicken? Is there any cleaning procedure. I am learning cooking now to win my husband’s heart. Please tell me /send me a link if you can.

  8. I made this last night for my family and my kids just LOVED this dish. They ate so much! I just wanted to say thank you. THe only change I made was to use brown rice instead, cook it fully instead of partly cooked.

  9. Marilla Fernandes

    thanks shilpa.. i am going to try this out for my birthday.. it looks really delicious..

  10. Hi Shilpa,

    I’m a great fan of your website and been following most of your posts and tried them out as well.

    But whenever I make Biriyani, it turns up something different. I guess, the biriyani masala makes the difference.

    Could you please tell me how to make biriyani masala powder and Garam masala powder?

    It would be really helpful, if you can 🙂


  11. Excellent! Loved the practiced simplicity of your recipe.
    The flavors are so well balanced. For mine,I almost doubled up on the onions and customized it to taste but THANK YOU!

  12. hi
    Tried this today. Turned out great. I was doing simple chicken pulav till date, the one shot type.
    Thanks for your efforts!
    ~ Sameer

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