Chicken Biryani

When I first made biryani a million years ago, or so it seems, it was a fun dish for me because it was a perfect vehicle for leftovers – leftover rice, leftover chicken, even a leftover curry. But one can also make it purposefully from scratch, creating a custom version of what you like.

Biryani is an Indian dish, with many variations, which is perfect for the way I like to cook. It’s basically rice and meat, and you can sprinkle the dish with cilantro or green onions, serve with sour cream. It’s fun and flavorful and filling.

I’m not using an actual recipe, simply so I can show you how to make it from scratch and how easy and straight forward biryani is. I’m using the basic Indian-inspired seasonings, basmati rice, and prepared chicken.

After I’d created the seasonings for this biryani, I discovered an actual biryani seasoning mixture that I bought a few years ago. I need to go through my spice drawers!

Chicken Biryani
Printable recipe below

3 tablespoons ghee or butter
1 onion, finely chopped
1 – 1” piece of ginger, minced
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
1 3/4 cups basmati rice, I’m using brown
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, or to taste
Approximately 3 1/2 cups of good chicken broth
4 grilled chicken breasts
2 tablespoons ghee
1 red bell pepper, cut into slices
1 green bell pepper, cut into slices
4 hard-boiled eggs
1 bunch cilantro, chopped

Melt the ghee in a pot over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for about 5 minutes.

Add the ginger and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the garlic, give it a stir, then pour in the rice followed by the spices.

Add the broth and give everything a stir. Bring to a simmer, cover the pot, and cook for about 30 minutes. Brown rice takes a bit longer so test it. If your rice is done and there’s still some broth, give it a stir, keep the lid on, and give it about 10 minutes; the rice will absorb the liquid. Set aside and keep warm.

Cut up the cooked chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces. I put sweet paprika on mine before cooking, which is why they’re red; paprika is not an Indian spice. Set the chicken aside.

In a skillet, heat the ghee over medium-high heat, and sauté the pepper slices for about 5 minutes, getting some good caramelization on them, turning once. You might have to do this in two batches. Set the slices on a plate.

Add the chicken pieces, turn off the heat, put on a lid, and let the chicken heat through.

Peel the hard-boiled eggs and slice in half; make sure they’re at room temperature.

To serve, place the aromatic rice on a serving platter, then cover with the peppers and chicken. If you prefer, you can mix the chicken with the rice instead.

Decorate the biryani with the egg halves, and sprinkle the dish with cilantro.

If you don’t want to grill chicken breasts, pick apart a rotisserie chicken and coarsely chop the meat.

If you want to use less chicken, include a can of drained chick peas to the rice.

Now you can see how you can come up with your own recipe for biryani. It’s fun and easy!



By Published On: June 3rd, 202152 Comments on Chicken Biryani

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!


  1. popsiclesociety June 3, 2021 at 6:02 AM - Reply

    I like the combination of all these spices 😋 And the colours are a joy for the eyes 😉

    • Chef Mimi October 21, 2022 at 12:52 PM - Reply

      Thanks so much! I really enjoy those flavors.

  2. BERNADETTE June 3, 2021 at 6:36 AM - Reply

    This looks like a fun Sunday dinner. I am thinking of making a spice mix to keep handy from the spices listed in your ingredients. Thanks.

    • chef mimi June 3, 2021 at 10:00 AM - Reply

      Smart. It’s similar to a curry powder, which you know, but I always prefer using individual ingredients. And my curry mixtures must have cinnamon.

  3. angiesrecipes June 3, 2021 at 8:21 AM - Reply

    The rice looks perfectly fluffy and chicken flavourful and tender…a perfect meal!

    • chef mimi June 3, 2021 at 9:59 AM - Reply

      Thank you Angie! It’s so pretty and tastes so good.

  4. Healthy World Cuisine June 3, 2021 at 9:21 AM - Reply

    We have always made it with bone in chicken but love this short cut using grilled chicken breasts. All the flavors without all the fuss. Delicious dinner idea.

    • chef mimi June 3, 2021 at 9:58 AM - Reply

      Sure, I’d prefer thighs. But my husband will only eat breasts of chicken. Obviously the recipe doesn’t change much with thighs. Good flavors is what it’s all about! And even leftover chicken!

  5. Dorothy's New Vintage Kitchen June 3, 2021 at 9:53 AM - Reply

    I lose the Kalustyamn’s spices. I have ordered several spices that are hard to find here and they were extremely fresh and flavorful.

    • chef mimi June 3, 2021 at 9:57 AM - Reply

      I went there once in nYC and spent way too long shopping, according to my bored husband. But what fun!

  6. Anonymous June 3, 2021 at 12:00 PM - Reply

    looks amazing and delicious !!

    • chef mimi June 3, 2021 at 4:20 PM - Reply

      Thank you. Really nice flavors.

  7. Gloria Roa Baker June 3, 2021 at 12:02 PM - Reply

    looks absolutely beauty and delicious!!

    • chef mimi June 3, 2021 at 4:20 PM - Reply

      Thank you Gloria!

  8. Smart Home Cook June 4, 2021 at 2:25 AM - Reply

    wow! This looks so appetising.

    • chef mimi June 4, 2021 at 6:53 AM - Reply

      Thanks! It’s vey good.

  9. I think I could make a meal of just the rice Mimi. What a wonderful combination of spices, all my favorites.

    • Chef Mimi October 21, 2022 at 12:53 PM - Reply

      yes! I love all of the curry spices!

  10. David Scott Allen June 6, 2021 at 4:13 PM - Reply

    Love this! And of course I’ve mentioned several times (and in an upcoming post) the Indian food is one of my favorite. By the way, don’t you love Kalustyans? If I lived anywhere near it I would be so poor from buying new in different spices…

    • chef mimi June 6, 2021 at 4:21 PM - Reply

      I almost became poor just shopping at Kalustyans once!!! Great store. I could just stand there and breathe!

  11. /biryani catering June 6, 2021 at 10:13 PM - Reply

    How did u know this? U r really smart

    • chef mimi June 7, 2021 at 7:46 AM - Reply

      I’ve been cooking for a very long time!

  12. June 7, 2021 at 12:07 AM - Reply

    I love your serving platter there Mimi! Looks like the perfect delicious meal for people to help themselves to. Love how you break the recipe down. It gives me the opportunity to drool over cooking each stage. Ha ha!

    • chef mimi June 7, 2021 at 7:46 AM - Reply

      Aw, thanks Neil! I appreciate that!

  13. Tandy | Lavender and Lime June 7, 2021 at 2:59 AM - Reply

    I am not a rice fan but I do love a good biryani, and this one looks really tasty :)

    • chef mimi June 7, 2021 at 7:45 AM - Reply

      That’s a first! Well, you can certainly eat around the rice.

  14. sherry June 7, 2021 at 6:20 AM - Reply

    woo hoo yee har! all those fabulous flavours! i’m ready for it:)

    • chef mimi June 7, 2021 at 7:45 AM - Reply

      I could eat curried shoe soles! so I get what you mean.

  15. Hannah Kaminsky June 7, 2021 at 8:27 PM - Reply

    Such a versatile, crowd-pleasing dish! It’s been far too long since I’ve made biryani. I’ll have to try your formula next time, perhaps with chickpeas. ;)

    • chef mimi June 7, 2021 at 9:53 PM - Reply

      Yes! That would be wonderful. And tofu, maybe…

  16. 2pots2cook June 8, 2021 at 7:59 AM - Reply

    Love Indian food very, very much. Your communication with Hanna just inspired me :-) I’ll use tofu next time….. Great idea ! Thank you both !

    • chef mimi June 8, 2021 at 8:02 AM - Reply

      Tofu is fabulous. I really should use it more often, myself, but in this case I was presenting an actual recipe. In my real life I eat very little meat, but you wouldn’t know it from my blog posts! My husband eats most all of the meaty meals!

  17. kitchenriffs June 9, 2021 at 9:58 AM - Reply

    Terrific recipe! I love biryani — any and all. Haven’t made one in a long, long time — but you’re providing plenty of inspiration for why I should again! I used to look down my nose at packaged spice blends, but am starting to warm up to the idea more and more. Just easier. Anyway, good stuff — thanks.

    • chef mimi June 9, 2021 at 10:45 AM - Reply

      Oh my goodness, me too! I mean, Italian seasoning? You mean basil and oregano??? Used to make me crazy. I have softened over the years! I just discovered one called baharat. Wow!

  18. Raymund June 9, 2021 at 6:26 PM - Reply

    This indeed looks so tasty!

    • chef mimi June 9, 2021 at 7:36 PM - Reply

      Thank you Raymond!

  19. Jeff the Chef June 12, 2021 at 9:11 AM - Reply

    What a brilliant idea, Mimi! I can see how this could be so useful for leftovers. Where has this recipe been all my life?

    • chef mimi June 12, 2021 at 4:57 PM - Reply

      I have no idea!!!

  20. carrietalkingmeals June 15, 2021 at 1:36 PM - Reply

    My husband and I adore Indian food, but we are still working on my kids. This is such a fantastic recipe for chicken biryani! So many fantastic warm and delicious spices…Definitely going to try this!

    • chef mimi June 15, 2021 at 2:21 PM - Reply

      I know, it’s tough with kids. When mine were little I felt like a short order cook, because I wanted to please everyone. Plus I remember my mother making me sit there and finish my peas when I didn’t like peas. I knew I’d never be like that! I probably went overboard…

  21. Karen (Back Road Journal) June 15, 2021 at 2:55 PM - Reply

    My husband and I love Indian food and always order biryani as part of our meal at a restaurant. Your chicken versions looks great and has to be oh so flavorful with you spice blend.

    • Chef Mimi October 21, 2022 at 12:54 PM - Reply

      Thanks, Karen! Such great flavors in this!

  22. cookingontheweekends June 18, 2021 at 3:34 PM - Reply

    Mimi, this is my kind of cooking! Comforting, packed with delicious spices, hearty — and you’ve presented it so beautifully. I’m picturing it in middle of my dining room table with a lot of forks. :-) ~Valentina

    • chef mimi June 20, 2021 at 8:17 AM - Reply

      Yes! It’s a platter of good, shareable food!

  23. Hungry House October 21, 2022 at 3:58 AM - Reply

    looks amazing and delicious!!!

    • Chef Mimi October 21, 2022 at 7:16 AM - Reply

      Thank you!

  24. Hungry House October 21, 2022 at 4:01 AM - Reply

    If you want to order veg Hyderabadi biryani in India. Please visit Hungry House once and get delicious food online at decent offers.

  25. Hungry House October 21, 2022 at 8:45 AM - Reply

    can’t wait to try this recipe!!!

    • Chef Mimi October 21, 2022 at 12:54 PM - Reply

      I hope you do!

  26. Anonymous December 11, 2023 at 11:12 PM - Reply

    It was nice to go through your post. Thanks for sharing the recipe here. Keep up the good work.

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