1. Clean and wash the rice.

2. Cut the chicken into large pieces, wash and set aside.

3. Grind green chilies, garlic and ginger in a blender. Cut the tomatoes into pieces. Mince both the cilantro and mint leaves separately. Mix half of the mint in 1 tablespoon of yogurt and set aside.

4. In a pot, heat half of the oil. Add the cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and bay leaves. When they change color, add the onion that has been cut lengthwise into slivers. When the onion turns brown, add the ground masala paste (green chilies, garlic and ginger). Next, add the tomatoes and half of the cilantro. Keep stirring.

5. Add the chicken pieces, garam masala, red chili powder and turmeric. Stir well and then add the mint leaves that were mixed with the yogurt, salt, milk and the remaining yogurt.

6. Cover the pot and let it cook for 10 minutes. Don't stir.

7. Add the lemon juice and 2 cups of water. Cook the chicken until it is done. Turn off the heat. Remove the chicken pieces.

8. When cooking rice for biryani, the amount of liquid should be double the amount of rice. Measure the stock from the pot and add water or chicken broth to make 4 cups of liquid. Add the liquid and the uncooked rice to the pot.

9. Add the chicken pieces back to the pot as well. Add salt to taste. Add the remaining cilantro and mint leaves. Mix well. Cover the pot and cook over low heat for 20 minutes.


- Serve this Chicken Biryani recipe with Tomato Cucumber Raita or Onion Raita.


2 cups basmati rice

1 lb chicken

8 cloves garlic

1 piece ginger, 2 inches

4 onions

1 bunch cilantro

1/4 cup mint leaves

2 tsp garam masala

1 tsp red chili powder

1/4 tsp turmeric

3 tomatoes, large

1/2 cup yogurt

1/2 cup milk

1 lemon, juiced

6 green chilies

6 cloves

4 cinnamon sticks

6 cardamom pods

4 bay leaves

1 quart chicken stock, optional

1 Tbs salt

1/2 cup oil

Chicken Biryani [Indian recipe]

Biryani is traditionally made with lamb which can be substituted for the chicken in this South Indian recipe. The best Biryani is made by using meat with bones because the flavor is pulled from the bones during the cooking process and absorbed into the tender rice. I add chicken stock to supplement the flavor since my family prefers the convenience of the boneless chicken. This is a special Kerala recipe fit for company or a celebration with the caramelized sliced onions sprinkled on top for a garnish.