Chicken Kachchi Biryani

Biryani is sheer delight to non-vegetarians, known for its brilliant taste and amazing flavour, across the sub-continent. It has its rich tradition, originated somewhere in middle-east, traveled miles, loved by millions and reached far end of the globe. They say that preparing Biryani is a meticulous job, which needs an eye of an expert, precision of a chemist and experience of decades. Without having any of these virtues at their minimal, I give here a simple recipe of Biryani, which can be prepared at your own kitchen, still bearing the good old flavour of traditional dum Biryani.

Chicken Biryani

Chicken Biryani

Ingredients to serve 4 :

  1. Chicken (cut into 5 or 6 large pieces) – 600 gm.
  2. Basmati rice (good quality) –  1½ cups
  3. Potato ( large) – 2
  4. Grated ginger & garlic – 1½ tbspoon
  5. Biryani masala – 1 tbspoon
  6. Chilli powder – 1 teaspoon
  7. White pepper powder (samorich) – ½ teaspoon
  8. Turmeric powder – ¼ teaspoon
  9. Milk powder  – 1 tbspoon
  10. Cinnamon stick – 1½ inch
  11. Green cardamom – 4
  12. Caraway seed (sajeera) – ½ teaspoon
  13. Plain yogurt – ½ cup
  14. Fried brown onion or “beresta” – ½ cup
  15. Ghee – 3 tbspoon (for recipe see under “Useful Supplementary” tab)
  16. Cooking oil – 2 tbspoon
  17. Kewra water – 1 tbspoon
  18. Saffron – 3 to 4 strands
  19. Milk – 1 tbspoon
  20. Yellow food colour (optional)
  21. Salt to taste
  22. Wheat flour – 1 cup

Procedure :

Try to take the meat twice as much as rice.

To prepare “Biryani masala” at home see the ingredients in the page Biryani Masala under the tab “Useful Supplementary”, otherwise you can use those available in the market.

Put the grated ginger and garlic in ¼ cup of water, let them soak for 10 minutes and then extract the juice out of these. Marinate the chicken with salt, “biryani masala”, chilli powder, white pepper powder, yogurt, milk powder, ½ tbspoon “kewra water”, the juice of ginger & garlic and cooking oil for minimum 2 hours. (For best result marinate the chicken overnight).

Put the saffron strands in 1 tbspoon of milk and let it soak for few minutes.

Make a soft dough by wheat flour and water.

Peel the potatoes and cut them into two halves, coat with salt and turmeric powder and boil them till half-cooked. (I cooked them in microwave and it takes around 8 minutes. You can also fry them in oil.)

Now spread the chicken in a heavy bottomed pan or preferably in a “Handi” (a deep, narrow-mouthed cooking vessel) greased with 1 tbspoon of ghee and add ½ cup of hot water, sprinkle half of the fried brown onion or “beresta” (look for the recipe under the tab “Useful Supplementary”, Beresta) on the top.

Soak the rice in cold water for at least 10 minutes. Put the cinnamon stick, green cardamom and caraway seeds together in a clean cloth and tie it up well like a small bag. Boil sufficient amount of water in a large pan, add salt (around 3 teaspoon) to it and immerse the cloth bag containing the spices. Then add the rice to this water.

Cook the rice till 50% (take one grain of rice and press from the middle; if it breaks then it is cooked half) and then put the gas on low (don’t put the gas off).

Using a sifter ladle (chanta) take half of this semi-cooked rice from the pan and spread over the meat to make 1st layer of rice. Sprinkle over the remaining fried brown onion or “beresta” and place the potatoes nicely. Also spread half of the saffron milk, 1 tbspoon of ghee and few drops of kewra water.

Let the remaining rice to cook for few more minutes until it is done up to 70%. Again using the sifter ladle spread it on the top of 1st layer of rice.

Spread the remaining kewra water, ghee, saffron milk, a pinch of food colour over the rice. Put the lid of the pot. Seal the pot with dough to make it air tight. Now put a “tawa” on medium flame and keep the sealed pot containing the meat & rice over it, cook for 10 minutes and then put the flame on low. Cook for approx. another 30 minutes. The rich smell, a perfect blend of meat and rice with spices, coming out of the container will let you know that your Biryani is all cooked and ready to serve.


  1. You can also add boiled egg to your biryani if you like. Place them with the potatoes between the layer of two rices.
  2. You can also add 1 tbspoon of rose water along with kewra water . I didn’t have that so I skipped it.

5 thoughts on “Chicken Kachchi Biryani

  1. Dear Jayeeta,
    Thank you for such a thorough Biryani recipe, I actually never have had it with potatoes this looks delicious. As I said I have never made Biryani, but I see it has a similar cooking method to Afghan rice, since you first cook the rice separately and then finish the cooking with the chicken. I would suggest that you:
    1) Cook the marinated chicken, fry it with browned onions. Save the broth (this should be used to flavor the rice).
    2) Use the saved chicken broth to add to the rice later.
    3) Cook your rice with the spice bag until al-dente and then drain.
    4) In a pot place your cooked chicken, half cooked potatoes, and add the al-dente rice. If you feel the rice needs more seasoning (because you cooked it with the spice bag for a shorter period of time) then mix some spices with the chicken broth. For every 2 cups of rice I would do about 1 cup of the chicken broth, just gently mix the chicken broth/spices with the rice (this is just to flavor the rice).
    5) At the end gently make holes in the rice with the back of your ladle (careful not to crush the potatoes), just to check the liquid content. There should be barely any liquid, and then add a few tablespoons of the broth in the holes. Then cover and cook on high for about 10-15 minutes until steaming and on low for about 25 minutes.
    ***This is how I believe you will get perfect individual grains of fluffy rice. However when I have had Biryani it is a bit of a “smushy” rice which I believe is how rice is made in Pakistan (I have had Biryani made by only Pakistani friends, so I am not familiar how it is other places). I personal like my biryani softer so I think your recipe is probably the correct methodology. Maybe just add enough liquid to just barely cover the rice, and then let the rice cook and absorb all the liquid, just check the rice periodically and add liquid only if rice needs to be cooked longer. This will result in a more fluffy rice. Sometimes I feel people put too much liquid in the rice at the very beginning, and that results in rice that loses its texture and becomes too sticky.
    **I hope you are not offended by my instructions, I just wanted to adequately respond to the questions you posted on my blog, I know you are a very accomplished cook so I hope this is of some assistance to you!!
    Thank you once again for visiting, I will be trying this recipe as now it has caught my attention.
    Take care 🙂


    • Thanks a lot for such an elaborate reply. How could I be offended ?????
      Biryani can be prepared in different ways. As you suggested to cook the meat first, it is also one of those methods of preparing biryani. In many places this technique is used and the outcome is really good and you described it exactly the way they do.
      Actually I prefer this “dam” method as it requires less effort and time. But next time I will keep in mind your words, I will make holes between the rice and check the water level.
      I never had Pakistani Biryani, but in India the biryani rice should not be sticky and soft, every grain should be identified. 🙂
      Not only potato you can also add hard boiled eggs to your biryani. 🙂
      I hope time, experience and the suggestions from friends like you will help me to make it perfect. 🙂
      At the end I want to know your name. I didn’t find it in your blog.


  2. Pingback: Vegetable Dam Biryani | Cooking Delight

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