The Ultimate Chicken Biryani Recipe | Step-by-step With Photos & Video

Did you ever eat this yummy Indian/Pakistani dish? If not, you are missing out too much. Whether you are invited on a dinner, attending a friend’s wedding or just happened to be in a random religious/cultural event_you will smell its fragrance. That’s the king of all dishes in the Subcontinent, the amazing biryani!

While the staggering number of ingredients may overwhelm you, all that effort will certainly pay off once it’s on your dining table.

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If you are outside the Subcontinent and away from major cities in the US, UK, Canada and Australia, chances are, you may find it difficult to grab one key ingredient from a nearby store. In fact, I am talking about Biryani Masala (Translation: Biryani Mix Spice). But no worries! You can buy it on Amazon. Trying biryani without Biryani Masala..hmm not going to be biryani!

How to make biryani

Biryani masala is the key ingredient. It gives the dish it’s special mouthwatering fragrance and taste. It’s a mix of tens of spices taken in special proportions. Some popular names in this regards are Shan and National.

Enough talking right! Let’s start making the dish..

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Karachi Chicken Biryani

ultimate chicken biryani recipe

The delicious savory biryani loaded with spicy marinated chicken. There is a reason why 1.3 billion people love this dish.

  • Author: Isla
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 5 people 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Cuisine: Indian


  • 600 g Basmati Rice (Boiled)
  • 1 Kg Chicken (Thighs recommended)
  • 320 clove Tomato (Chopped)
  • 400 g Onion (Thinly sliced)
  • 1 tbs Garam Masala ( Powdered)
  • 4 tbs Mint Leaves (Minced)
  • 2 tbs Coriander (Powdered)
  • 1 tbs Ginger Paste
  • 1 tbs Garlic Paste
  • 4 pcs Green Chilli (Sliced & Slit)
  • 2 tbs Tomato Puree
  • 2 tbs Cumin Seeds
  • 8 pcs Green Cardamom
  • 6 tbs refined Oil
  • 2 tbs Milk

For Marination

  • 1/2 tbs Chilli Powder
  • 1 tbs Turmeric Powder
  • 6 tbs Plain Greek yogurt


  1. Take a bowl/pot and add Greek yogurt, turmeric, chili powder, optionally squeeze a small sized lemon, salt to taste. Add the chicken thighs and mix well preferably with your hand. Let the mixture sit for 20-30 minutes. During this time, the chicken will properly absorb the juices from the masala mix.preparing the marinade for chicken biryani
  2. Pour refined oil in a thick bottomed pan and heat on medium flame. Add cumin seeds and green cardamom and saute for about 2 minutes. Add sliced onion and fry for 3-4 minutes to light brown. Now add tomatoes/tomato puree and fry for another 7 minutes.
  3. Add the slit green chilies, ginger-garlic paste to the mixture. Fry the mixture for another 2-3 minutes. Add coriander powder and turn the flame to medium-low while stirring and cooking the masala. Add the marinated chicken and continue frying for another 6 minutes.
  4. Bring the flame to medium, cover the pot/pan with a lid and let it simmer for 6 minutes. Stir every 2 minutes to make sure you don’t burn the food.
  5. Once the chicken is ready, turn off the flame. Take a relatively deep bottomed pot, add 1/4 of the cooked chicken curry followed by a similar proportion of boiled rice. Sprinkle milk soaked saffron along with garam masala, mint and coriander leaves. Repeat this with the remaining chicken and rice for a progressive layering of the two.
  6. Cover the lid-make sure that the lid is tightly closed and steam doesn’t escape easily (You can do this by placing a clean cloth under the lid). Place the pot on a medium flame for 5 minutes then turn it to low. Keep it there for 15 minutes. Open the lid and ensure the a uniform cooking. Turn off the flame, let the rice stay closed for the next 5 minutes. Your yummy Karachi biryani is ready for the table. Serve hot with raita.


  • Soak the rice in water for half an hour before boiling. This will both elongate the rice and make cooking faster.
  • You can skip safron if not readily available.

Did you make this recipe?

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Aaaand finally, while it’s hard to share biryani with everyone in the community, it’s easier to share it on Pinterest:

The Ultimate Chicken Biryani Recipe



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