Nawabi Chicken Biryani

Celebrate Eid al-Fitr, the festival that marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, with a fabulous feast which definitely includes this amazing Nawabi Chicken Biryani. May this Eid bring peace & joy to the entire world. 


Very few of us get to taste real gourmet Biryani. Good Biryani is not available at restaurants – even the purse-ripping speciality fine-dining ones in five-star hotels. Great Biryani is made at homes or prepared to order by expert chefs (referred to as “ustads” in Lucknow and Kolkata).


There has to be something sensuous about Biryani. Like Bollywood has united the country, if there is one secular food in India – that has to be Biryani. And what’s Eid without some Shahi Sheer Khurma along with Biryani? Enjoy this Nawabi Chicken Biryani with our Shahi Sheer Khurma recipe —> Shahi Sheer Khurma


Serves – 6


A. Biryani Garam Masala 
2 black cardamom 
10 green cardamom
2 bay leaves 
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 inch cinnamon stick 
2 tsp black peppercorns 
1 tsp caraway seeds 
1 tsp fennel seeds 
2 star anise 
B. For Chicken Marination
500g chicken legs, washed with warm water 
500g chicken breast, cut in cubes & washed with warm water  
300g hung curd 
3 tbsp ginger garlic paste 
2 tsp biryani garam masala 
1 tbsp coriander powder 
1 tbsp red chilli powder 
Salt to taste 
1 tsp paprika powder 
1 tsp cumin powder 
1 tbsp lemon juice 
2 tbsp ghee 
C. For Rice
500g basmati rice 
Salt to taste 
3 black cardamom 
6 green cardamom 
2 star anise 
6 cloves 
1 inch cinnamon stick 
2 bay leaves 
1 tbsp ghee
D. Add Ons 
3 medium size onions, sliced 
1 cup vegetable oil 
¼ cup milk 
Few strands of saffron
3 tbsp ghee

Coriander leaves 
Mint leaves 
Chaat masala
100 grams wheat dough
Hot and Spicy Chilli Sauce


1. For the Biryani Garam Masala, in a pan, add black cardamom, green cardamom, bay leaves, coriander seeds, cinnamon stick, black peppercorns, caraway seeds, fennel seeds & star anise. Dry roast them on medium flame for 2-3 minutes. 


2. Transfer the spices in a mixer grinder and grind them into a powder. 


Please Note: In case you don’t want to go through the trouble of making this biryani garam masala, you can add the normal garam masala you have. But trust us, the aroma this fresh homemade masala has, the market bought garam masala wont.

3. For the chicken marination, add the hung curd, ginger garlic paste, biryani garam masala, coriander powder, red chilli powder, salt, paprika powder, cumin powder, lemon juice, ghee in a large vessel. Mix well and make a paste.


4. Make slits in the chicken legs & the chicken cubes and add them into the marination. Massage the chicken with the marination and keep aside for 3 hours in a refrigerator. 


5. To par-boil the rice, take a deep vessel. Add the black cardamom, green cardamom, star anise, cloves, cinnamon stick, bay leaves and let the water come to boil. 


6. Once the water starts to boil, add the basmati rice & salt. Cook the rice until rice grains are around 85% cooked. Do not over cook the rice as they will be cooked again in later steps.


7. Transfer cooked rice to a colander and drain excess water & add ghee to keep them fluffy & separate.


8. Soak saffron threads in hot milk. Keep aside.

9. For caramelisation of onions, heat vegetable oil in a pan. When the oil is hot, shallow fry the onions on high flame.


10. Strain out all the oil, in a bowl, from the onions using a sieve. 


11. Add the strained out oil back in the pan to cook the chicken. Add all the marinated chicken in the pan and cook for 25-30 minutes on medium flame or till all the oil separates and the chicken is 85% cooked. Take out all the excess oil from the pan.


12. Now for the layering of Biryani, take a deep vessel or pan that has a flat heavy based bottom to avoid sticking of the cooked rice. Add one tbsp ghee and ⅓rd of the cooked rice, spread it evenly. 


13. Top the rice with caramelized onions, coriander leaves, mint leaves, saffron milk, a pinch of the biryani garam masala and some chaat masala. Then add half of the chicken legs and breast over it. Lastly top it with another tbsp of ghee.  


14. Repeat the 1st layer again.


15. Lastly top the chicken with the last portion of the rice and spread caramelized onions, coriander leaves, mint leaves, saffron milk, a pinch of the biryani garam masala, some chaat masala & the remaining one tbsp of ghee over the rice. 


16. Seal the edges of the vessel with wheat dough, cover with lid & put the vessel on a non stick tava over low flame for about 20 minutes.


While serving, garnish the biryani with some coriander and mint leaves. 

Eid Mubarak! 🙂

Happy Cooking!
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3 thoughts on “Nawabi Chicken Biryani

  1. Pingback: Shahi Sheer Khurma | Krishti Kitchen

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