Chicken Biriyani | Lonumedhu

Chicken Biriyani


Since making chicken biriyani is a really long process that requires you to make so many different components, we’ve divided the instructions into easy to follow segments. Our version is rather old school and does not use any packaged biriyani spice mixes.

Serves: 6-8



  • 1 kg curry cut chicken, skin removed
  • 2 ½ cups uncooked rice
  • ½ tbsp cumin powder
  • 2 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tbsp fennel powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 ½ tbsp red chilli powder or to taste
  • 5 hard-boiled eggs
  • 3 large onions
  • 1 cup green peas
  • 10 cardamom pods
  • 6 inch piece of raanbaa
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • ½ githeyo mirus (scotch bonnet pepper) or to taste
  • 1 cup kanamadhu (sea almond)
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 5 inches of cinnamon
  • 3 curry leaves
  • 1 inch piece of ginger
  • 6 tbsp oil
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 tsp rose water
  • Salt to taste (the amounts we used are in the instructions)


Make the marinade:

  1. Roughly chop the garlic and ginger.
  2. Using your mixer, blend together the garlic, ginger, cumin, fennel, coriander, red chilli powder, seeds of 5 cardamom pods, 1 inch piece of cinnamon and salt (we used 1 tsp).
  3. If you feel like the mixture is too dry, you can add up to 2 tbsp water when blending the mixture.
  4. Rub the mixture onto the chicken, cover and leave to marinate while you prepare the other ingredients.  


Frying the onions, kanamadhu and raisins:

  1. Slice the onions thinly. It’s important that you slice them all into same sized pieces so that they cook evenly.
  2.  In a large pan, heat 2 tbsp oil (we used olive) and add in ½ of your sliced onions.
  3. Keep the heat on medium and stir frequently.
  4. When the onions begin to take on a golden brown colour, add the kanamadhu (sea almonds) and the raisins.
  5. Cook the mixture until the onions turn fully brown. You might have to lower the heat a little to stop anything from burning.


Making the curried chicken:

  1. In a pot, heat 2 tbsp of oil.
  2. Once the oil is heated, add in the remaining half of your onions, 3 curry leaves, 3 inches of your raanbaa, 2 inches of your cinnamon, and 3 cardamom pods with their ends snipped off.
  3. Cook until the onions begin to turn brown.
  4. To the pot, add the marinated chicken and ½ cup of water. You can use the water to clean out whatever container you used for marinating the chicken, so that you can get most of the marinade into the pot.
  5. Add the githeyo mirus, mix everything well, cover and let the mixture gently simmer on low heat for around 20 to 30 minutes.
  6. Do a taste test and adjust salt if needed.


Making the rice:

  1. Wash the rice thoroughly.
  2. Place your rice along with 4 cups of water, 3 inches raanbaa, 2 cardamom pods, 2 tbsp oil, salt (we used 1 tsp), turmeric and the rest of your cinnamon in a pot with a tight fitting lid.
  3.  Bring the water to a boil, and once the water starts to boil, reduce the heat and cook until the rice has absorbed all the water.
  4. Switch off the stove and let the rice sit for around 5 minutes.
  5. We used long grain rice. Different varieties of rice cook differently. So do keep that in mind. It’s important that the rice does not turn soggy. Rice usually gets soggy when there’s too much water. A good way to make sure of this is to have the water half an inch above the rice in the pot.


Putting it all together:

  1. You’ll need a large pot with a lid. We used one with a 10 inch diameter and our assembly instructions are based on this pot size.
  2. Drain the green peas.
  3. Halve the boiled eggs.
  4. Place half of your rice inside the pot and make an even layer.
  5. Place half of the curried chicken pieces on top of the rice evenly.
  6. On top of the chicken, place half of your green peas.
  7. On top of the peas, place half of your eggs.
  8. On top of the eggs, place half of your kanamadhu, onion and raisin mixture.
  9. Repeat steps 24 to 28.
  10. If your pot size is different to ours, aim for a rice layer of 2 inch thickness, and base the other layers on that.
  11. Take a teaspoon of rosewater, and using your fingers, sprinkle it over the contents of the pot, cover the pot.
  12. Place the pot on top of the stove and switch on the stove.
  13. Keep the pot over very low heat for 15 to 20 minutes.
  14. Cut through the layers when you are ready to serve.


Eating Out

Curry Recipes

Hedhikaa Recipes

Dessert Recipes

Chicken Recipes

Rice Recipes

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