Chicken Biryani Recipe



This recipe serves 6


  • 1kg Boneless Chicken(If using a whole chicken, cut it up into equal pieces so as to cook evenly)
  • 500ml Mala/Yoghurt
  • 2 Medium Onion(chopped fine)
  • 4 Garlic cloves(chopped)
  • 15gm Root Ginger(chopped)
  • 4 tsp Curry Powder(you can add more if you need a deeper curry flavour).
  • Salt


  1. Place the cut up chicken in a bowl and pour about half the mala/yoghurt and let it sit for at-least 30 minutes. The idea is to soften the meat,however if you are using soft meat you can leave the Yoghurt for less time. The left over mala/yoghurt will be used to add to the food for more gravy.
  2. On a thick bottomed pot, cook the onion and ginger over a medium heat until it browns evenly while stirring constantly to avoid the onion burning from one side.
  3. Add the chopped garlic when the onion is slightly browned. Garlic cooks faster than the onion and ginger, that is why we add the garlic later.
  4. Add the curry powder just before the onion is fully browned and stir to allow to cook for about 1 minute. Remove from the heat if too hot to avoid the onion from burning.
  5. Add the chicken in the yoghurt/mala to the pot and stir making sure the onion is fully mixed into the chicken, add the salt at this stage too. The heat should be medium.
  6. Allow to simmer while covered for about 10-15 minutes depending on the size of the chicken pieces. Add more yoghurt/mala to give it more liquid to cook in while occasionally stirring to avoid the chicken from sticking to the bottom. You can also add water to bulk up the sauce.
  7. To tell if the chicken is cooked, cut the biggest piece(if using bone in chicken) and if the liquid coming out is clear then the chicken is cooked.
  8. Taste and adjust the salt and turn off the heat. The sauce should be thick and rich when ready. If its too light(after adding water, cook until it reduces and thickens.
  9. To finish, in a separate pot, make layers of chicken and rice in alternating sequence
  10. Serve with Rice either on the side or mixed with Raita(yoghurt with cucumber) and Kachumbari

Chef Raphael’s Tip

  • You can use the same recipe with beef or lamb, just make sure when buying the meat, its not from the tough part of the animal.
  • When cooking beef biryani especially, you may need to consider using green papaya to tenderize the meat. Yoghurt/Mala also acts as a tenderizer as well as being the liquid in the food.
  • If you want the food to be extra spicy, add some chopped chilli together with the curry powder so to cook into the sauce.


  • -Joan Cajic

    Always wanted to make Biryrani looks delicious will try this and put on my blog.