Chicken Biryani


  • 1 cup whole milk yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 Tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 lb chicken thighs
  • 1 onion, sliced thin
  • 4 Tbsp ghee
  • 1 box Shan biryani seasoning
  • 1 lb basmati rice
  • 3 star anise
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 4 green cardamom pods
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp milk
  • 1 pin chsaffron
  • Pretty heat the oven to 350 F


1_ Mix the yogurt, ginger and garlic in a medium bowl and then coat the chicken with the mixture. Allow to marinate for up to 2 hours.

2_ Heat the milk to steaming in a small bowl and add the saffron to steep while the rest is being prepared.

3_ Saute the onion in the ghee in a Dutch oven or a deep oven proof skillet with a lid.

4_ I used Shan biryani seasoning at the recommendation of my friend who grew up with this. I'm sure you could also use any recipe for biryani seasoning found online.

5_ When the onions are starting to brown, add the spices and continue cooking, scraping the bottom for ~1 min

6_ Add the chicken and yogurt mixture to the onions and continue to cook ~ 5 min, flipping once and scraping the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat.

7_ Add the whole spices, salt and 2 quarts water to a 3 quart pot. Bring to a boil.

8_ Add the rice to the water and bring to a boil. Boil two minutes, and then drain, reserving the whole spices.

9_ Add the drained Rice and the reserved spices to the chicken.

10_ Drizzle the saffron milk over the rice.

11_ Place a wetted wax paper sheet on the top of the rice.

12_ Soak and ring out a dish towel and then place on top of the wax paper.

13_ Place a lid on dutch oven and bake 1 hour at 350. Turn the oven off and then let dish sit inside the oven another 30 min.

14_ Serve with yogurt mixed with cucumbers or preserved curried limes.