best ever chicken biryani recipe

Chicken Biryani

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Chicken Biryani is a prominent and flavorful Pakistani dish with crazy tender bites of chicken with boiled potatoes in a deliciously spiced and fragrant rice.

Biryani an evergreen classic, really needs no introduction. It’s aromatic, it’s heavenly and one of the most loved delicacies not just in Pakistan and India but also across the globe.

It is rich in flavor, grand in tradition, and elaborate enough to take center stage at holiday dinners, Eid or weddings and specially on every Friday lunch.

chicken biryani recipe

How to make Biryani?

Biryani is a rice dish made with layers of rice, spices and  meat of your choice.

My favorite, of course, is the one made by my mom that I grew up eating.Will share the recipe soon of my Mama’s signature Biryani.

Best Rice for Biryani:

You can make Biryani with following types of rice:

Types of Biryani Rice:

  • Basmati rice long grain
  • Sela rice/ parboiled rice

Basmati rice:

  • It needs to get soaked for about half hour before boiling.
  • It is soft and smells amazing.
  • But it can break easily if cooked full done, so works best for all other types of Biryani, except of dum/steam biryani.

Sela rice:

  • It needs to get soaked for about 2-3hours before boiling.
  • It also lacks the smell of basmati perfume.
  • It don’t break easily and have a little rubbery texture but works best for dum/steam biryani.

Types Of Biryani:

There are different types of Biryani Recipes that originate from several cities of Pakistan and India.

  • Beef Biryani
  • Dum Biryani
  • Pulao Biryani
  • Tikka Biryani
  • Mutton Biryani
  • Prawn Biryani
  • Fish Biryani
  • Hyderabadi Biryani
  • Sindhi Biryani
  • Bombay Biryani
  • Pulao Biryani
pakistani chicken biryani in plate

Difference between Pulao & Biryani:

Despite of the fact that Pulao has its own prominent place in the hearts of Desi foodies but it is also true that it cannot take the center stage in-front of Biryani.

Pulao is so easy to make, cooking all the ingredients together in one pot.Check the yummy Yakhni Pulao Recipe.

Unlike Pulao, Biryani involves cooking rice and meat separately and finally cooking them together by forming layers of each in a pot.

Chicken Biryani Recipe:

A quick and easy homemade Chicken Biryani is something you cannot escape.

best ever chicken biryani recipe

Nothing like a good plate of aromatic biryani! This Pakistani Chicken Biryani hits all the right spots with its wonderful aroma and exotic flavors!

Steps of making Chicken Biryani:

For making Chicken Biryani all you need to do is ,In a large pot,first golden brown the chopped onions then add in ginger garlic paste along with some green chilies and saute until fragrant.

Then put your chicken in it and fry until color changes.

Once your chicken is sauteed, add in your spices , yoghurt and tomato paste.

Mix them well together and cook it on medium flame until all water gets dried and oil comes on top.

Make sure not to full done the chicken at this stage because it will further get cooked at the final stage of giving steam / dum to biryani.

Secret Ingredients :

The mouth watering savour mixture of lemon, vinegar , tamarind and dried plums are the secret ingredients of this Biryani recipe.

It brings out the authentic biryani flavor. Add this mixture in the pot and simmer for 5 minutes , then turn off the flame.

Meanwhile cooking the chicken, you can boil the potatoes in another pot, if your family loves potatoes in Biryani.

Once all your above steps are done from tender spiced Chicken to boil potatoes and rice , then it’s time to assemble the Biryani in a large pot .

Last but not the least, in a cup prepare the food Color mixture to pour on top of the biryani for giving it a authentic look and amazing aroma. Mix together some biryani essence , water , food color and saffron and pour on top.

Cover the lid tightly and leave it on low flame for the dum/steam.

One of the most famous ways of cooking Biryani is the dum method. It involves sealing the vessel thoroughly and keeping the lid closed to trap in the aroma. The Biryani is then cooked over slow fire/dum.

Assembling of Biryani:

  • Quarter portion of boiled rice
  • Cooked chicken curry
  • Remaining boiled rice
  • Sprinkle of herbs, leaves, lemon, crispy fried onions and green chilies.
  • Boiled potatoes
  • Food color mixture.
pakistani chicken easy biryani recipe

What to serve with Biryani?

Biryani is a complete meal in itself, perfect for all occasions; whether a hearty meal on a lazy Friday afternoon or a grand, scrumptious indulgence at the dinner table on Sunday.

Chicken Biryani is one of my most favorite dishes and definitely one of the most requested meals at my house. We often pair it with a cooling raita, garlic chutni and a bowl of salad.

If you want to serve biryani on some grand occasions of birthdays, get togethers or on festive occasions like Eid Al adha and Eid ul Fitr you can serve it with the sides like Korma, Seekh Kebab , Chapli Kebabs. Some appetizers like cheese samosas followed by the desserts like Lotus lasagne or shahi tukray.

Variations in Biryani:

There are many possible variations in the Biryani recipe that originate from several cities of Pakistan.

  • Meat:You can use whichever meat your family prefer like beef, mutton , prawns and fish etc.
  • Rice:Basamati and sela, both rice can be used.
  • Spices: You can change the flavor of Biryani according to your choice, by changing the spices.
  • Types of Biryani:You can make Kachchi biryani , pakki biryani or Dum biryani.
  • Garnish:Lemon, saffron and boiled potatoes can be eliminated and more fried onions could be added .
  • Essence: Kewra essence can also used instead of biryani essence.
  • Food color:Red orange and yellow, any food color can be used either in powder form or liquid form.
best ever pakistani chicken biryani
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5 from 2 votes

Chicken Biryani Pakistani Recipe

Chicken Biryani is a prominent and flavorful Pakistani dish with crazy tender bites of chicken with boiled potatoes in a deliciously spiced and fragrant rice.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian, pakistani, South Asian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 5 people


For Chicken curry:

  • 1 kg Chicken
  • 1/3 cup Oil/ Ghee
  • 1 cup Onion chopped
  • 2 tbsp Ginger garlic paste
  • 4 Green chilies
  • 1/2 pkt Shan Biryani masala
  • 2 tbsp Coriander powder
  • 1 tsp Salt or to taste
  • 1 tbsp Turmeric powder
  • 2 Tomato chopped
  • 1/2 cup Yogurt
  • 1 small Lemon sliced
  • 2 tbsp Tamarind or paste
  • 5 pieces Dry plum
  • 2 tbsp Vinegar

For Rice:

  • 1 kg Rice soaked 30 minutes
  • Water for boiling
  • 2 Cinnamon Stick
  • 2 Green Chili
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 3 tbsp Salt or to taste

For Food Color Mixture:

  • 1/3 cup Water
  • 1 tbsp food color
  • 1/2 tsp Biryani Essence
  • 1 pinch Saffron

For Garnish:

  • 2 large Potatoes boiled and sliced
  • 1/2 cup Mint leaves
  • 1/2 Cup Fresh Coriander
  • Food color prepared
  • 1 lemon sliced optional


For Chicken curry:

  • In a large pot,golden brown the chopped onions in oil/ghee then add in ginger garlic paste, green chilies and saute until fragrant.
  • Add chicken and fry until color changes. Then add coriander powder, salt, turmeric, Shan Biryani masala, yoghurt and tomato paste.
  • Cook it on medium flame until all water gets dried and oil comes on top.
  • Make mixture of lemon, vinegar,tamarind and dried plums and leave it for 15 minutes. Add this mixture in the pot and simmer for 5 minutes,then turn off the flame.
  • Boil two large potatoes in another pot.
  • In a cup prepare the food Color mixture with biryani essence, water , food color and saffron.

For the Rice:

  • In a larger pot boil the water then add in salt, cinnamon, Green chillies, bay leaf, cardamom and rice.
  • Boil the rice until medium done and strain the Rice.


  • In a large pot add quarter portion of boiled rice
  • Then cooked chicken curry
  • Then remaining boiled rice
  • Then sprinkle the herbs, leaves, lemon, crispy fried onions and green chilies.
  • Add Boiled potatoes
  • Pour food color mixture
  • Cover the lid tightly and leave it on low flame for the dum/steam.

Pro Tips:

  • You can also boil potatoes with a pinch of food color,to make them look more attractive.
  • If you are using Basmati rice,don’t full done them while boiling otherwise they will break after dum/steam.
  • Also don’t over cook the chicken while making curry otherwise it will also break after dum/ steam.
  • Make sure to tightly close the lid for dum or seal it with the foil or cloth.

Did You try this recipe? Let me know in the comments, or tag me on Instagram @the_cravingzone. Also, please consider leaving a star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating in the comment section below.

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