Layer Chicken Biryani Recipe


Layer Chicken Biryani Recipe ( also known as Chicken Biriyani / Chicken Biriani )

Biryani or Biriyani is a flavoursome slow-cooked dish made with ‘ Rice, Aromatic spices and Meat ‘. The two main variants are
1. Pakki style – cooked meat&rice, layered and slow cooked
2. Kuchi style – raw meat&rice slow-cooked for several hours.

This recipe is ‘Layer Chicken Biryani’ ( Pakki style Biryani ) is made by layering the cooked meat and cooked rice and slow cooking the layered dish for several minutes or sometimes even for HOURS depending upon the quantity used…but trust me, the moment you take the first bite – you admit it was WORTH WAITING !!

Do you want to know about the origin of Biryani?…
Never mind, forget the THEORY ! what you really need is a plate full of flavouRich BIRYANI 😀 ..  bon appetit !

Ingredients: ( for Chicken Biryani               Serves 6 – 7 )

for the chicken gravy:
1 Chicken (cut into 13 – 15 pieces)
2 big Onion (or 3 medium) chopped
ginger paste – with 2″ piece (freshly crushed)
garlic paste – with 10 cloves (freshly crushed)
2-3 green chillies (whole)
1/2 cup chopped coriander leaves
1/4 cup chopped mint leaves
5 cardamom
6 cloves
4 star anise (pieces)
cinnamon – 3″ stick
1/2 tsp – turmeric powder
1 tsp – chilli powder (or more if you like HOOOOT :)..
2.5 Tbsp – coriander powder
2 Tbsp – fennel powder
1 – 2 Cups of water
2 Tbsp oil
Salt to taste

for the rice:
4 Cups or 1 kg – Basmati Rice ( I used 4 Cups of Sella/Parboiled Basmati rice)
7 Cups of Water ( use the same cup used to measure the rice )
3 cardamom
2 cloves
2″ cinnamon stick
1/2 lemon juice
1/2 tsp pepper ( freshly crushed if possible)
Salt to taste ( add required amount while cooking rice )
2 Tbsp – oil

garnishes for layering:
1 big onion – sliced & fried ( in 1 tbsp of oil )
(Optional – fried 20 cashews & 2 Tbsp raisin )
1″ ginger – finely chopped
1 big green chilli – finely choped
1/4 tsp saffron ( in a small bowl, soak saffron in 2 Tbsp of warm water )
2 tbsp – ghee (clarified butter)
1/3 cup – chopped coriander leaves
2 Tbsp – chopped mint leaves
1/2 Lemon juice


I have described in 4 Parts :
Part 1 : Cleaning chicken, washing rice and chopping the ingredients
Part 2 : Cook the Chicken
Part 3 : Cook the Rice
Part 4 : Layering chicken&rice and slow-cook on a stove top

Part 1 : Cleaning chicken, washing rice and chopping the ingredients

Step 1) Clean and cut the chicken into 13 – 15 pieces. Place it on a strainer to remove excess water.

Step 2) Wash 4 Cups of basmati rice and soak in 7 cups of water.

Step 3) Do all the slicing/chopping for gravy, rice & layering as mentioned in the ingredients list.

Step 4) Fry 1 onion for layering:
Heat a big curry pan, pour a tbsp of oil and fry 1 sliced Onion until light brown and keep aside ( for layering ).
(note: If you like to add cashews & raisins, add these to the above fried onions towards the end and cook for a minute. Take out everything and keep aside for layering )

Part 2 : Cook the Chicken ( with ‘for the chicken gravy’ ingredients )

Step 5) Heat the same big curry pan you used to fry onion (in step4). Pour 2 tbsp of oil.

Step 6) Add onion and mix. Add the cardamom,  cloves, star anise, cinnamon and cook until the onion turns light brown.

Step 7) Add  the ginger and garlic paste and fry for a minute. Add the green chillies and mix for a minute

Step 8) Reduce the heat to very low and add the spice powders ( turmeric powder,
chilli powder, coriander powder, fennel powder) and mix for 10 seconds.

Step 9) Immediately, add the chicken pieces and mix well to coat the chicken with masala. Turn the heat to medium, add 1/4 cup of water and mix for a minute.

Step 10) Add the coriander+mint leaves and mix for 2 minutes. Add salt to taste and mix well. now add 1 cup of hot water and bring it to a boil (stirring occassionaly). When it starts boiling, reduce the heat to medium and cook for 20 mts…
(note : remember to stir every 5 minutes)

While the chicken is cooking, cook the rice…

Part 3 : Cook the rice ( with ‘for the rice’ ingredients )

Step 11) Heat a big pan on low heat. Pour 2 tbsp oil, add the cardamon, cloves, cinnamon and immediately add the rice + same soaked water.

Step 12) Add pepper, lemon juice, salt to taste and heat on high. Once it starts boiling, reduce the heat to very low and cook for 12 minutes.

note: for ‘rice : salt ratio’ ( for 1 cup rice – add 1/2 tsp salt and increase as needed )

note: about cooking time – ( for less than 2 cups of rice, cook for 10 minutes)…(for 4-5 cups of rice, cook for 12 minutes)…( for 5 – 8 cups, cook for 15 minutes)…for (8 -10 , cook for 20 minutes)

Remember to check the chicken and turn off the heat. Once the rice is done…start layering quickly…


Part 4: Layering chicken&rice and slow-cook on a stove top

note: Be ready with all the ‘garnishes for layering’ ingredients. You also need a big heavy-bottomed pan to layer the entire chicken & rice.

Step 13) Heat a deep or wide heavy bottomed pan on high for 40 seconds…and turn OFF.

Step 14) Layering begins… 😀
  • Add 2 tsp of ghee and coat the bottom and edges of the pan.
  • Add 70% of the chicken gravy and 6 – 7 chicken pieces at the bottom of the pan
  • Add half of TOP section rice…and gently scatter it
  • Now sprinkle some garnishes – 1 tsp of ghee, some ginger, some chilli, little fried onion, (optional – cashews&raisins), some coriander+mint leaves, few drops of saffron water
  • Add some rice to just cover that topping
  • Add half of remaining curry evenly on top.
  • Save 4 chicken pieces and add the rest on top
  • Add little rice and again sprinkle all the ginger & greenchilli
  • Add most of rice (by saving some to cover the top in the end)
  • Add the remaining 4 chicken pieces and gravy on top ( and along the sides as well)
  • Top with remaining rice and garnishes (fried onion, cashew&raisin if any, coriander+mint leaves, saffron water, ghee and lemon juice)
  • Immediately, put the lid on and ( if there is any hole in the lid, place a small piece of rolled tissue inside the hole to prevent the steam from escaping)…and seal the sides with some dough or place some weight on top like a mortar (pls see video)
  • Now turn the heat to high for just 40 seconds. After 40 seconds, reduce to very low and slow-cook for 20 minutes…
  • After 20 minutes, turn OFF. Let it sit for 25 – 30 minutes (do not open during this wait time… please wait 😉
    Ok…thanks for waiting… your BIRYANI is READY !!
    Now you can open and start serving…
    note:- to serve, scoop from one side… no mixing needed for layer biriyani – please watch the video for this part :)..

As I was writing this recipe, I honestly got tempted & wished a plate of this biriyani appeared next to me.. haha.. I think the same happened with YOU :D.. Sooo, Let’s make it this weekend ! YES !!! 😀

Try this Chicken Biryani and feel free share your feedback. I will be so pleased if you could send me some pictures of your end result of this Layer Chicken Biryani :)..

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