Ma's Chicken biryani recipe

January  6, 2014
2 Ratings
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

I live over 15 thousand miles away from my home in's my ma's cooking I miss the most and she knows that. That's why every time I go back home, the aroma of this particular dish is what greets me! This recipe has been in my family ever since I can remember chewing on solid food. Although, to my dad and brother, this recipe loses to other richer, red meat based, cream infused treats my mother makes, but for me - this is what reminds me of her. The flavor to this dish comes from its caramelized onions. They are the star of this biryani, and a must. Supporting cast includes clarified butter and black pepper..Hope you enjoy! —ashly

What You'll Need
  • 1 tablespoon Meat Masala (Can be found in most stores, if not Garam masala would do)
  • 1.5 tablespoons Chili Powder
  • .5 tablespoons Turmeric Powder
  • 1.5 tablespoons Black Pepper powder (Freshly ground)
  • 1 tablespoon Coriander Powder
  • 4 Onions (Sliced thin)
  • 2 inch Ginger (Sliced thin)
  • 6 cloves Garlic
  • 4 Cloves
  • 4 Cardamom
  • 1 inch Cinamon Stick
  • 10 Black pepper corns
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • .5 cups Ghee or Clarified Butter
  • 2 tablespoons Ghee or Clarified Butter
  • 2 cups Basmati Rice (Washed and soaked in 3 cups water)
  • to taste Salt
  • 2 pounds Chicken (whole, cut in to medium pieces)
  1. Combine Chicken, Garlic, Ginger, Red chili powder, turmeric powder, Coriander powder, Black pepper powder, Salt. Set aside in the fridge for one hour.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the half cup butter in a skillet. Add the onions. Lower flame to Medium. Add a pinch of salt (helps draw out the water int eh onion so it cooks faster). Stir frequently (every 30 -40 sec). Tip - If you feel the onions are burning and sticking to the bottom, add a few drops of water and stir. It will help 'unstick' the onions.
  3. Add the chicken to a deep heavy-bottomed pot with a half cup water and put on low flame, till its mostly cooked. Stir once in a while so it doesn't stick to the vessel.
  4. While the chicken is cooking, heat the remainder of the clarified butter to a deep heavy-bottomed pot and add the whole spices (bay leaves, cardamom, cinamon, black pepper corns) in it and stir till they crack open. Drain the rice and add it to the pan. On a low flame, fry the rice without any added water for 2 minutes. Add 4 cups of water, salt and bring to boil. Add the rice. Cover and cook till rice is almost done. DO NOT overcook the rice.
  5. Once the rice is done, shut off the flame and add the chicken pieces to it. Reserve the remaining 'masala stock' till the end. After mixing the rice and chicken, add the stock one teaspoon at a time and stir slowly, making sure not to break the rice too much.
  6. Layer the caramelized onions on top of the rice and chicken mixture. Sprinkle the Coriander leaves and close the vessel. Turn on the heat to the lowest setting and let it cook for another 10-15 mins.
  7. Turn off the flame and serve.
  8. You can have the Biryani with some raita and pappad, but its still delicious without any accompaniments!
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