Chicken Biryani – South Indian Recipe

Chicken Biryani- South Indian Style“WoW” was the first word that came out of my husband’s and my mouth after tasting this biryani…

There was no special occasion nor any particular reason for me to make biryani, yet I made biryani and made an ordinary day very special. When I was with my mom I got to eat biryani almost every week, each time she made it in a totally different way – lamb biryani, hyderabadi biryani, kashmiri biryani, vegetable biryani, fried chicken biryani, dum biryani, king fish biryani, mussel biryani, prawn biryani, malabar biryani, chettinad biryani, beef biryani and the list is just endless. How I miss those days šŸ™

One of her biryani preparation methods captured my interest. Despite the easy preparation method that biryani tasted real delish. Also, when I had visited my hubby’s aunt while in India, she had made biryani in which the method she used to cook the rice sounded pretty interesting. So this time when I made biryani, I combined my mom’s simple method of making the chicken and my hubby’s aunt’s method of making the rice.

Usually, when I make the rice for biryani, I make the rice separately in a rice cooker after flavoring the water with spices. While making this biryani, I first cooked the chicken in a pressure cooker after adding lil more water than usual, then drained the excess water from the cooked chicken. Believe me, this water is full of flavor and aroma. So for cooking the rice, I cooked the rice in this water. The cooked rice tasted unbelievably yummy and that’s what made this biryani much tastier than the other biryani’s I had made.

After tasting the cooked rice, I felt like I don’t need to mix the chicken with the rice as the rice itself tasted phenomenal. Also, this time I didn’t layer the rice and chicken separately. I combined both the rice and the chicken in a wide pot and garnished with cilantro. I even skipped garnishing this biryani with roasted cashew nuts, fried onions and roasted raisins, even without these this biryani tasted so divine. However, you could go ahead and add all the extra garnishing to make this even more delightful.

The aroma that emanated while cooking this biryani had made both my husband and I go wild. When the biryani was all ready on the dining table we didn’t talk nor looked at each other, we were seen greedily gobbling it. And the first word that came out of both of ours mouth was “WoW”.

Cooking Video

South Indian Style Chicken Biryani Recipe

Chicken BiryaniCooking the Chicken

Ingredients:

  • Chicken, bone-in- 10 pieces
  • Onion, cut thin lengthwise- 4
  • Small onions- 8
  • Garlic- 7 cloves
  • Ginger- 3 inch slice
  • Green chilies- 8
  • Cinnamon- 1 inch slice
  • Cardamom- 3
  • Cloves- 2
  • Bay leaves- 2
  • Garam masala- 1 tbsp
  • Tomatoes, chopped- 3
  • Fennel powder- 2 tbsp
  • Yogurt- 2 tbsp
  • Lemon juice- 1 tbsp
  • Cilantro, chopped- 1/4 cup
  • Mint leaves, chopped- 8 leaves
  • Water- 1 cup
  • Ghee- 2 tbsp
  • Salt- to taste

Preparation:

  • Grind small onions, garlic, ginger and green chilies together into a coarse paste and keep aside.
  • Place a pressure cooker over medium heat.
  • Add the ghee, add cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and bay leaves, saute for a second.
  • Add the onions and salt, saute for a few minutes.

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  • Add the coarsely ground small onions, garlic, ginger, green chili to the onions and saute till the raw smell goes away.
  • Add garam masala and combine everything well.
  • Add tomatoes and cook for a couple of minutes.
  • Add the chicken and combine well.
  • Now, add fennel powder and give it a stir.
  • To the chicken, add yogurt, lemon juice, chopped cilantro and mint leaves.

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  • Add enough salt according to your needs.
  • Add 1 cup of water to the chicken.
  • Close the cooker with its lid and cook until 2 whistles- about 20 minutes.
  • After the pressure subsides, open the lid and drain the water from the chicken through a mesh strainer, keep aside the water and the chicken separately.

Cooking the Rice:

Ingredients:

  • Basmati Rice – 2 1/2 cups
  • Water drained from the cooked chicken- 4 cups ( if the water from the cooked chicken measures less than 4 cups, add extra tap water to make it to 4 cups)
  • Whole Cinnamon- 1 inch slice
  • Whole Cardamom- 2
  • Bay leaf- 1
  • Garam masala- 1 tsp
  • Ghee- 2 tbsp
  • Salt- if needed

Preparation:

  • I cooked the rice in the same pressure cooker used for cooking the chicken, you could use rice cooker or a non-stick pan instead.
  • Wash the rice placed in a mesh strainer under running water.
  • PlaceĀ the cooker over low-medium heat.
  • Add ghee, to that add cinnamon, cardamomĀ and bay leaf.
  • Add garam masala and give it a quick stir (don’t burn it).
  • Immediately add the rice and combine well.

  • Add the water from the cooked chicken and combine everything.
  • If needed add salt for taste.
  • Close the cooker and place the whistle on it.
  • Keep the heat to low-medium and cook the rice for 12 to 15 minutes.
  • Don’t over cook the rice.
  • Remove the cooker from the stove and let the pressure subside.

  • This was the first time I cooked the rice in a pressure cooker, I’ve always found cooking rice in a rice cooker better as the rice will cook perfectly in a rice cooker without turning mushy.

Mixing the Chicken and Rice:

  • Heat a wide pan and transfer the chicken into it and let any extra water in the chicken masala dry out.

  • Lower the heat and add the rice to the chicken, combine well.

For Garnishing:
Saffron, soaked in 1/2 tbsp water- a pinch
Fried onions- 1/2 cup
Roasted Cashew nuts- 3 tbsp
Roasted Raisins- 1 tbsp
Cilantro, chopped- 2 handfuls
Mint leaves, chopped- 8 leaves

  • Drizzle saffron soaked in water over the biryani.
  • Garnish with fried onions, roasted raisins, cashew nuts, chopped cilantro and mint leaves.
  • Serve hot with Raita, Chicken fry, Pickle, Pappadam etc.

Tips:

  • If you want to make your chicken more spicy, add more of the green chilies.

Chicken Biryani - South Indian Recipe
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Indian
Ingredients
Cooking the Chicken
  • Chicken, bone-in- 10 pieces
  • Onion, cut thin lengthwise- 4
  • Small onions- 8
  • Garlic- 7 cloves
  • Ginger- 3 inch slice
  • Green chilies- 8
  • Cinnamon- 1 inch slice
  • Whole Cardamom- 3
  • Cloves- 2
  • Bay leaves- 2
  • Garam masala- 1 tbsp
  • Tomatoes, chopped- 3
  • Fennel powder- 2tbsp
  • Yogurt- 2 tbsp
  • Lemon juice- 1 tbsp
  • Cilantro, chopped- ¼ cup
  • Water- 1 cup
  • Ghee- 2 tbsp
  • Salt- to taste
Cooking the Rice
  • Basmati Rice- 2½ cups
  • Water drained from the cooked chicken and extra water- should equal to 4 cups
  • Whole Cinnamon- 1 inch slice
  • Whole Cardamom- 2
  • Bay leaf- 1
  • Garam masala- 1 tsp
  • Ghee- 2 tbsp
  • Salt- if needed
For topping
  • Saffron, soaked in ½ tbsp water- a pinch
  • Fried onions- ½ cup
  • Roasted Cashew nuts- 3 tbsp
  • Roasted Raisins- 1 tbsp
  • Cilantro, chopped- 2 handfuls
  • Mint leaves, chopped- 8 leaves
Instructions
For Making The Masala
  1. Grind small onions, garlic, ginger and green chilies together into a coarse paste and keep aside.
  2. Place a pressure cooker over medium heat.
  3. Add ghee, add cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and bay leaves, saute for a few seconds.
  4. Add the onions and salt, saute for a few minutes.
  5. Add the ground small onion, garlic, ginger, green chili to the onions and saute till the raw smell goes away.
  6. Add garam masala and combine everything.
  7. Add tomatoes and cook for a couple of minutes.
  8. Add the chicken and combine well.
  9. Now, add the fennel powder and give it a stir.
  10. To the chicken, add yogurt, lemon juice, chopped cilantro and mint leaves.
  11. Add enough salt according to your needs.
  12. Add 1 cup of water to the chicken.
  13. Close the cooker with its lid and cook until 2 whistles.
  14. After the pressure subsides, open the lid and drain the water from the chicken through a mesh strainer and keep aside the water and the chicken separately.
For Making The Rice
  1. I cooked the rice in the same pressure cooker used for cooking the chicken, you could use rice cooker or a non-stick pan instead.
  2. Wash the rice placed in a mesh strainer under running water.
  3. Place the cooker over low-medium heat.
  4. Add the ghee and add cinnamon, cardamom, bay leaf to it.
  5. Add garam masala and give it a quick stir (don't burn it).
  6. Immediately add the rice and combine well.
  7. Add water from the cooked chicken (total 4 cups) and combine everything.
  8. Close the cooker and place the whistle on it.
  9. Keep the heat to low-medium and cook the rice for 12 to 15 minutes.
  10. Don't over cook the rice.
  11. Remove the cooker from the stove and let the pressure subside.
  12. This was the first time I cooked the rice in a pressure cooker, I've always found cooking rice in a rice cooker better as the rice will cook perfectly in a rice cooker without turning mushy.
Mixing the Chicken and Rice
  1. Heat a wide pan and transfer the chicken into it and let any extra water in the chicken masala dry out.
  2. Lower the heat and add the rice to the chicken, combine well.
  3. Drizzle saffron soaked in water over the biryani.
  4. Garnish with fried onions, roasted cashew nuts, roasted raisins, chopped cilantro and mint leaves.
  5. Serve hot with Raita, Chicken fry, Pickle, Pappadam etc.
Notes
If you want to make your chicken more spicy, add more of the green chilies.

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Thas is the author of Cooking with Thas, a popular food blog with recipes from Indian, American and Fusion Cuisines. She has been blogging since 2009 and been featured in several magazines. Read more...

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