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Monday, November 14, 2016

Chicken Tikka Biryani

In my previous posts on biryani, I have always divided the whole procedure into steps. This is to make the procedure clear and more easy to understand. Preparing biryani is never a rocket science, but yes, it needs a little practice and some fine details that needs to be followed. For example, a good and perfect biryani depends on how well you have cooked the rice.

Whenever I prepare the rice for the biryani, I avoid doing any other work and just stand and wait for the rice to cook. After adding the rice to the boiling water, it takes approximately 8 to 10 minutes. So we need to be a little extra alert to this step. When the rice looks ready, we need to drain it as soon as possible to stop the rice from getting cooked any further. As far as the gravy is concerned, it should neither be a runny or of thin consistency nor too dry and thick. Try to maintain a nice medium consistency with lots of flavors and spices. Compared to other curries, a biryani masala needs more of onion and tomatoes.

The secret to a perfect biryani also lies in its dum-cooking procedure. While assembling the biryani together for dum, make sure that rice and gravy are both hot enough. And after assembling the dish for dum, the steam should appear within 10 minutes of cooking.

You can watch a quick video of this Biryani here:

 Step 1: Chicken Tikka

  • 1 l kilogram chicken (medium size pieces)
  • 2 tbsp. yogurt
  • 1 tbsp ginger & garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp red chili powder
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp roasted cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp crushed black pepper
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • Pinch of red food color
  • 1 tbsp mustard oil
  • Salt
  1. Marinate chicken pieces with rest of the ingredients for minimum 2 hours. 
  2. Heat 4 tbsp oil in a saucepan and cook chicken till it is fully done. This will take about 20-25 minutes.
  3. Preserve the juices with the chicken. 

Step 2: Biryani Masala

  •  2 medium onion chopped
  •  2 medium tomatoes chopped
  •  4 green chilies with slits
  •  1/4 cup mint leaves
  •  1 tbsp ginger & garlic paste
  •  1 tbsp red chili powder
  •  2 tsp coriander powder
  •  1 tsp roasted cumin powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1 tbsp kasoori methi (dry fenugreek leaves)
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala powder
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 cup chopped fresh coriander leaves
  • Whole Spices: 2 " piece of cinnamon, 3 cloves, 3 cardamom, 1 bay leaf, 2 tsp shahi jeera 
  •  Salt 
  • 1/2 cup cooking oil 
  • 1 piece of coal

  1. Heat 1/4 cup cooking oil in a saucepan and add all the whole spices. 
  2. Add 2 onions chopped and fry till light golden, along with 4 green chilies (with slits) and chopped mint leaves.
  3. Add 1 tbsp ginger & garlic paste and fry 1 minute. To this add 2 tomatoes chopped and cook till it is soft.
  4. Now add all the spice powders like 1/4 tsp turmeric, 1 tbsp red chili powder, 2 tsp coriander powder and 1 tsp cumin powder. Cook on low flame for 5 minutes till aromatic and oil separates.
  5. Then add 1/2 cup yogurt, 1 tbsp kasoori methi, 1/4 tsp garam masala powder and 1 cup fresh coriander leaves. Place the lid and cook for another 5 minutes. 
  6. Add this biryani masala to the chicken tikka pieces, mix well and cook for another 5 minutes on low flame. Taste and adjust the seasoning (add water and salt if needed).
  7. Place a piece of foil on the surface of the gravy and keep a hot burning coal on it. Pour a tsp of ghee over the coal. Cover with an air tight lid to trap the smoke. Leave it covered for 15 to 20 minutes.
  8. Open the lid and discard the foil and coal piece. 

Step 3: Biryani Rice

For Rice Preparation
  • 4 cups of long grain basmati rice
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Big piece of cinnamon stick
  • 5 cardamom
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 tbsp oil
  • Enough water to cook the rice.

Method for cooking rice:
  1. Wash the rice thoroughly and soak for 30 minutes in water.
  2. Heat a large vessel filled with enough water. Bring to a boil and add 2 bay leaves, cinnamon stick, cardamom, vinegar, salt and oil.
  3. Add the soaked rice and cook till 90% done. When you check the rice, it should be firm and not mushy.
  4. Drain the rice in a colander and set aside.

Step 4: Dum Cooking

  • 1 cup fried onion
  • 1 cup chopped coriander leaves
  • 1/4 cup milk + 1 tsp rose water + Pinch of yellow colour
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • 2 tsp shahi jeera
  • 4 tbsp. of ghee or butter

Dum Cooking:
  1. In a large sauce pan add all the chicken tikka masala as first layer.
  2. Spread half of the cooked rice and sprinkle with the few drops of milk + rose water + colour mixture. Sprinkle a handful of coriander leaves and fried onion along with pinch of garam masala and 1 tsp shahi jeera. 
  3. Repeat the step 2 with rest of the rice.
  4. Make some deep dents in the rice so that the steam can easily circulate. Pour some ghee or butter over the rice and seal the vessel with a foil and a tight lid. (to avoid the steam from escaping)
  5. Cook on medium high heat for 10 minutes. You will see the foil has puffed up due to the steam. Switch off the gas and let the biryani stay covered for another 15 minutes.
  6. Serve hot.


  1. Your Biryani collection always entices me and makes me want to do it immediately. I can make them but I just don't seem to make them often and it never comes with the same wow factor for me. When that happens, I too will blog! LOL InshaAllah!Tikka, 65, what next?

    1. Thanks Famidha. I am waiting for your biryani recipes too.

  2. That looks lipsmackingly delicious shanaz!!

  3. How many grams is 4 cups of rice??

  4. Yummy biryani Shanaz my family loved it. Made it today for lunch.Jazakkallah khair

  5. is it ok to double the ingredients for 8 cups of rice???