Chicken Biryani

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

Chicken Biryani is a bold and flavorful Indian dish with crazy tender bites of chicken with bell peppers in a deliciously spiced and fragrant rice.

Vegetable Biryani was the first Indian rice dish on the menu and now we’re making all of our favorite Indian recipes including Indian Butter Chicken and Easy Chicken Tikka Masala.

Chicken Biryani on plate
  Easy Chicken Biryani Recipe

This easy Chicken Biryani recipe is a dish I actually have fumbled with a few times. The mixture of chicken that’s been browned in the skillet before cooking down with the liquids until it is meltingly soft. You’ll find your rice is fluffy and soft with tender bites of chicken throughout.

This biryani is easier than most, no whole spices being toasted and ground. No red curry paste or ginger garlic pastes are needed. The resulting flavors are incredibly delicious and addicting.

What to serve with chicken biryani:

We love serving this with Indian Raita, sliced cucumbers and tomatoes, naan and Easy Tandoori Chicken.

What kind of rice is used in vegetable biryani:

A classic biryani is made using basmati rice. This rice is thinner and longer than a traditional long grain rice.

easy chicken biryani

How do you make chicken biryani?

First you brown the chicken and onions. Then some grated tomato is added to the chicken and liquids before cooking down until soft and fluffy. The rice is traditionally made using ghee (clarified butter) along with onions, garlic and ginger.

Why is biryani rice yellow?

The yellow coloring in the rice comes from the use of turmeric along with other spices. These spices are added into the dish before the uncooked rice is mixed in.

The best way to reheat chicken and rice dishes:

Add the mixture to a microwave safe bowl and cover with an almost dripping wet paper towel draped over the bowl or plate.  Microwave on high for 3-4 minutes.

the best biryani with chicken

Tools used in the making of Chicken Biryani:
Basmati Rice: The perfect rice for the biryani, do not substitute long grain rice.
Cast Iron Dutch Oven: I used to fry in my cast iron skillet, but this dutch oven is perfect for cooking the vegetables and rice, maintaining heat without any hot spots that may burn the food.

Recipe

Save

Chicken Biryani Recipe

5 from 15 votes
  • Yield: 6 Servings
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Course: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Indian
  • Author: Sabrina Snyder
Chicken Biryani is a bold and flavorful Indian dish with crazy tender bites of chicken with bell peppers in a deliciously spiced and fragrant rice.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil or ghee if available
  • 4 chicken thighs boneless and skinless, cut into 1" chunks
  • 1 yellow onion cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 tablespoon garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger minced
  • 2 roma tomatoes grated
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 green bell pepper sliced
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups basmati rice rinsed and drained

Instructions

Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

  1. Add olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the chicken and cook until browned on both sides.
  3. Add in the onion, and cook until translucent, about 3-4 minutes.

  4. Stir in garlic, ginger, tomatoes, and 1/2 cup water.
  5. Bring to a simmer, and cook until the water has evaporated, about 20 minutes.

  6. Add in the bell pepper, salt, cayenne, black pepper, garam masala, coriander, turmeric, cumin and cinnamon, stirring well.

  7. Add in the chicken broth and bring to a boil.
  8. Add in the basmati rice, reduce to low heat and cook (covered) for 18-20 minutes.

  9. Turn off the heat and let sit, covered, for five minutes before opening and serving.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 6 Servings, Amount per serving: 483 calories, Serving Size: 1 , Calories: 483g, Carbohydrates: 55g, Protein: 18g, Fat: 20g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 73mg, Sodium: 1414mg, Potassium: 467mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 340g, Vitamin C: 31.5g, Calcium: 46g, Iron: 1.8g

All images and text © for Dinner, then Dessert.

Keyword: Chicken Biryani
Save
Quick chicken biryani
authentic chicken biryani

About the Author

Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

See more posts by Sabrina

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.

Categories:

Chicken Recipes Dinner Recipes Indian Food Main Course Recipe

Leave a comment & rating

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comments

  1. Hi there,

    For the coriander, do you mean ground coriander or the coriander leaves? I am thinking the leaves but just wanted to double check haha

      1. Thanks! I made it last night. It was good although it didn’t turn out as yellow as it is pictured here and I did use the same amount of turmeric powder asked in the recipe. Do you know what might be the reason?

  2. I often end up with excess meat – chicken, beef, pork, etc. and am always looking for recipes that allow me to easily add the previously cooked meat into the recipe – this recipe is perfect for chicken leftovers.

  3. hi i have home knowledge test tomorrow you had to decide what food you wanted to cook and i decided buryani i took your recipe but could you write a little in detail how to do in the beginning would be so grateful

    1. I’m not sure what you are asking for, but you can email me directily at contact @ dinnerthendessert .com and let me know what you are asking.

  4. Coriander in the ingredients is missing in the instructions.

    I plan to try this using chickpeas and tofu instead of chicken with brown basmati rice.

  5. ? for someone who hates cooking I just made it so easy my friend version she puts a lot canola of oil. I like this version same taste. Wish there is a button to upload photo. (Double the recipe was a big hit)

    1. I’m so happy you enjoyed it! I’d love to see a photo. You can always post it on Instagram and use the hashtag #dinnerthendessert

    2. Could you explain how you doubled the recipe? Everything exactly doubled? Any cook time adjustments? Thank you!

    1. Slice a thin round off the bottom of each tomato. Starting at cut end, grate tomatoes on the largest holes of a grater over a medium bowl until all that’s left is the flattened tomato skin and stem. Hope this helps!

  6. This is so good! My kids LOVE this dish. I make this once a week and it goes fast. This says a lot with two very different children and one that is very picky. Thank you for this recipe!

    1. I know how hard it is at times to find a recipe that the whole family enjoys! Thanks for taking the time to come back and let me know.

  7. I made this with chicken breast, the flavors were good but somewhat diluted. I spiced up with a (home made) Kasundi chutney on the side to spice it up.
    Felt there was way, way, way too much rice. The next time I would use only one cup of rice, two cups of stock. The spice mixture is good, but too diluted through the rice.

  8. I love this dish and the simplicity of it! My resident Indians/Pakistanis (fiancé and his mother) have informed me that this isn’t actually Biryani though. It’s called Ukni or Plow, depending on which language you’re speaking in. Traditional Biryani has the rice cooked separately from the protein/other ingredients. Then it’s layered in the pot, alternating rice & protein/other ingredients. Finally, the top layer of rice is topped with a few drops of yellow food coloring (I think that’s weird, but that’s what they do!). Biryani is also dryer than this dish. Anyway, I really like this and when I make this what they tease me as “white girl Biryani,” everyone gobbles it up! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  9. It would very cool and useful to list an approximate cost to make this dish. I rarely see that anywhere. I for one disdain to find out that I cannot afford the ingredients after going to whole foods the entire drive with my mouth watering! Just a thought! Now I’m hungry, darn take out again! Thanks for all you do! Namasté ??REV.PAX•LISI, PhD. M. D.

    1. Shopping at “Whole Paycheck” might be the problem. 😉 This dish is very inexpensive; rice is super cheap as are chicken thighs. If you have an International store as a shopping option nearby, or anything other than WF, then that would be a more economical bet. House of Spices (hosIndia.com) has 7oz bags of these spices for $2 a bag. They seem to last forever even if you do a lot of Indian cooking like I do. I calculated this recipe and come up with less than $9 for the pot, a little cheaper if you use EVOO instead of ghee. But you can expect to double or triple that if you shop at WF. The $9 estimate is also with these adjustments: 4 cloves of garlic, 1 inch of ginger, 1 greenhouse tomato, and only 1/4 teaspoon garam masala (most recipes call for this amount, but this one is very heavy in this spice), and no cinnamon (it’s already in the garam masala; don’t need more). Tip: toss the garlic, ginger, and tomato in a mini food processor to save time and gadgets. This really makes a ton of food; my family of 4 eats it, and then I usually freeze half of it and pull it out a few months later for another dinner. Don’t forget to make some red onion Raita to go with it!

  10. Made this at the weekend absolutely beautiful, will be making it again. Do you know if it would be OK to freeze and reheat at a later date.

  11. I made this last night. Great easy recipe, but I felt that the cinnamon was quite strong for me personally, I would go with 1/4th tsp next time and I also thought it was a little bit bland (but I personally like it to be spicy) so I added a pinch more of each spice and it turned out very nicely.

    Added some fresh chopped cilantro in the last phase.

  12. I’d like to try this but I’m curious, is the basmati rice you add to the pot precooked? I notice that once you add it you only cook for an additional 18-20 minutes but basmati takes 45 minutes to make properly…

    1. I’m still waiting to eat this dinner… the rice takes WAY longer than 20 min to cook. Count on 45 min to cook OR parboil the rice first

  13. I grew up eating biryani, but never made it myself before. This recipe hits the spot!
    The only thing I slightly altered was that I used low-sodium chicken broth in place of regular broth, and the dish was still full of the flavors of my childhood. Thanks for the wonderful recipe, Sabrina!

  14. I made this today; I didn’t have any bell peppers or coriander on hand, so I just left them out. Also, I pre-seasoned my chicken thigh pieces with a bit of onion powder and granulated garlic. Delicious!

  15. We love Indian food. We made this tonight exactly according to the recipe. It was amazing! Great flavor and nice spiciness.

    This one goes in the make it again file.

    Thank You!

  16. Thank you for this delicious recipe. I noticed that the ingredients say 1/2 cup water, but the instructions say 1 cup water. Which is correct?

    1. You can just leave them out if you’d like otherwise I would suggest using a poblano pepper, though the flavor will change a bit with using that substitution. Enjoy!

  17. Having a husband who can no longer eat tomatoes I’m trying to find tasty recipes I can adapt. I noticed  this doesn’t have a lot of tomato so, to help me replace the tomato, are you able to tell me the purpose of the tomato. Eg, is it there for colour or to provide a bit of sweet & sour taste etc. 

    1. The tomatoes add moisture to the recipe and it’s really an important part of flavoring as well. I’m not sure what to use as a substitution without completely changing the recipe. I’ve never tested it so I’m not comfortable giving a recommendation. So sorry.