Chicken Biriyani.

Chicken Biriyani

Kerala Style Chicken Biriyani Recipe / How to Make Kerala Style Chicken Biriyani / Traditional Chicken Biriyani Recipe.

Just 2 more days to go for Christmas! I am sure that you all are planning menu for Christmas and days around it.. I too have planned and at the same time I was thinking of some recipes to be posted on my blog. Chicken Biriyani of course has a vital role to play in the Christmas lunch and dinner. It is featured in wedding feasts in Kerala.

Biriyani, a word I started to hear from my childhood. It’s a special occasion dish. For any occasions, for weddings and for any get together we make biriyanies of different varieties. Most of us make Biriyanis at least once in a month, I hope so.. When we plan a menu for a party, usually biriyany take the first place in the list! Making Biriyani is a challenging task as it takes time and effort but always it is worth. As far as I understood, there is no specific method for making biriyani. Everybody or every region has their own way of making it.

This is the Biriyani recipe I follow for chicken and I hope it will help you too. This recipe saved me on many occasions and I didn’t fail even the first time. My mom makes biriyanies at least once in a month and on special occasions. She makes it in an brass uruli( a traditional cookware which is made of bronze). Every time she goes for different varieties of biriyanies. The taste of biriyanies she make always varies. One special thing I have noticed in her biriyany is that she make coconut, ginger-garlic and green chilly paste in advance and she add it along with biriyani masala. The aroma we get when we mix it with other spices is unexplicable. The house fills with its aroma. The day we make biriyani, we all get in to the kitchen to help mom. One starts cutting vegetables, one makes rice, one makes salad and so on..

I always use absorption method for cooking rice for biriyanies (where we have to be so careful) other than soaking rice and cooking rice in plenty of water and then draining it. The absorption method we normally used to make Ghee rice. The Biriyani I made came out excellent and my better half asked me to cook the same way here after.

Biriyani is traditionally associated with Mughals, Arabs and Hyderabadi cuisine. Biriyanis can be made with chicken, mutton, beef, prawns, pork, egg, fish, dal, soya or mixed vegetables etc. Chicken and Mutton are the most commonly used meat for making biriyani. Biryani has a stronger taste of spices. It comprises two layers of rice with a layer of meat (or vegetables) in the middle. Here fragrant long-grained rice is layered with meat or vegetables that have been cooked in a mixture of spices. This dish may be served with Yogurt, Raitha, Pickle and Pappad..

The first layer is the meat and the yogurt based marinade at the bottom of the biriyani cooking pot and the layer of rice placed over it. Some people use potatoes with biriyani (I love it). If you prefer it, then you can add it on the top of the masala layer followed by rice layer. Biriyani pot is usually sealed with wheat dough to allow cooking in its own steam and not opened till ready to serve. A boiled egg, pappads, pickle and salad often accompanies the dish.

The most common varieties of rice used today for preparation of biryani are the long-grain basmati rice. I have bought a new brand of Basmathi rice this time and to my surprise, it was not full of long grain rice!! You can see the difference in my pictures!

So here goes the yummy Chicken Biriyani recipe..

Ingredients of Chicken Biriyani:

For Marinating:

Whole Chicken, cut in to pieces with bones, cut – 1 kg
Chilly Powder – 1 tsp.
Salt – to taste
Lemon Juice – 1 tbsp.
Turmeric Powder – ¼ tsp.
Homemade Garam Masala Powder – ¼ tsp

For Rice:

Basmati Rice – 4 cups
Hot Water – 6 ½ cups
Bay leaf – 2
Cinnamon – 4
Star Anise – 2
Cloves -5
Cardamom -3
Black Pepper – 1 tsp
Salt – to taste.

For Biriyani Masala:

Onion (savala, sliced) – 3 big
Green Chilly (slit) – 8 (as per your tolerance)
Homemade Ginger Garlic Paste – 2 tbsp.
Tomato (medium sized, finely chopped) – 2
Yogurt – 1 cup
Turmeric Powder – ½ tsp.
Coriander Powder – 2 tsp.
Caraway Seeds / Black Cumin – 1 tsp.
Homemade Garam Masala Powder – 1 tsp.

For Layering Biriyani:

Lemon Juice – 1 ½ tbsp.
Saffron – a pinch
Coriander Leaves – 1 ½ cups
Mint Leaves – 1 ½ cups
Curry Leaves – 2 sprigs (optional)
Ghee – 3 tbsp.
Salt – to taste
Oil – 3 tbsp.
Onion, fried – 2 cups, divided
Cashews – as required
Raisins / Kismis – as required

How to Make Kerala Style Chicken Biriyani:

Clean the chicken very well and make gashes and drain them. Marinate chicken with ingredients given under marination. Keep it aside minimum for 30 minutes. Grease a baking bowl with butter or ghee and keep it aside. Rince rice twice and drain it thoroughly and keep it aside. Peel, wash and finely chop onion. Cut tomatoes and green chillies too. Make Ginger garlic paste.

In a big pot take hot water and boil it. When it comes to boil, add all the spices given under ‘for Rice’ Section. Add salt too. Then add rice. Cook rice in this spicy salted water until done and water is completely absorbed. Spread the rice in a tray. Let it cool down.

Keep a wide pan on stove in medium heat. Once the pan is heated add oil. Add caraway seeds. Sauté it and then add Onions. Sauté till it becomes translucent and brown. Next add green chilly followed by homemade ginger garlic paste. Sauté for one or two minutes. Add tomatoes along with little salt. Sauté it well. Add turmeric powder, coriander powder and garam masala and mix it well till oil separates. Add yogurt, salt and mix it well. Add half of the coriander leaves and mint leaves and mix well. Sauté for a few minutes till the masala becomes thick. Now add the chicken pieces and mix it well. Cook until chicken is done.

Layering the Biriyani:

Preheat oven for 10 minutes at 180 degree. Take the greased bowl. Put one layer of Chicken masala we made. Fluff up the rice and then add rice on top of it. Spread it evenly. Spread some coriander leaves, mint leaves, fried cashews and raisins, lemon juice, ghee and saffron color. Then again put Chicken masala. On top of that put a rice layer. Repeat the process until the whole ingredients for layering is finished. Cover the bowl with an aluminium foil and bake it in the pre heated oven for 30 minutes. Take it out from the oven and now your Chicken Biriyani is ready to be served. Garnish with fried onions, cashews and raisins.

Serve chicken biriyani with raitha (cucumber, onion and tomato salad), pickle, pappad and boiled eggs. Serve it on a large serving dish.

You may also be interested in other rice dishes of this blog like, Chana Dal Biriyani, Ghee Rice, Chicken Biriyani, Coconut Milk Rice and Vegetable Pulao.
My Recipe Notes on Nadan Chicken Biriyani:

1. You can use the same recipe with beef or mutton.
2. Wash chicken pieces with lemon juice or vinegar to avoid the raw odour of chicken
3. You can use Biriyani Masala (home made or store bought) to flavour this dish.
4. Try to use fresh saffron which gives nice flavour and orange color.
5. Using mint leaves and coriander leaves give a wonderful aroma and flavour. I used curry leaves too since I like it. You can omit it.
6. If you want biriyani to be extra spicy, add some chilly powder too, but personal I don’t prefer using Chilly powder in Biriyanies which changes the entire look of the Biriyani.
7. Instead of oven, you can cook it on stove top too. Those who are not having an oven, Take water in a big pot and place a small bowl or a plate in the middle. Add water and boil it on stove top. Put the biriyani pot inside the big pot. The water needs to touch the biriyani pot. Seal the biriyani pot with some wet flour or atta. Keep the lid and cook on medium heat for thirty minutes. Your biriyani is done.
8. Using yogurt marinates and tenderizes the chicken very well along with giving the dish a wonderful flavour.

PICTORIAL of Kerala Style Chicken Biriyani:


Take all Ingredients

Marinate Chicken










Serve Chicken Biriyani

Happy Cooking..




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Kerala Chicken Biriyani / Kozhi Biriyani / ചിക്കൻ ബിരിയാണി.

Prep Time 10 min Total Time 10 mins


Get the easiest and very popular Chicken Biriyani Recipe of Kerala for all the Biriyani lovers. Make this aromatic, spicy and finger licking Chicken Biriyani on special and festival days and occasions. Get the step by step process of making it here.

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