A quintessential dish of Indian cooking, with which most have a love and hate relationship. Of course the chef herself has a conflicted mind when trying to enjoy this special dish . There are as many recipes on how to make this dish as there are languages in India. Not only can this be confusing for the novice, but a vast list of ingredients along with numerous preparation steps can scare off the curious mind.

Well have no fear, I have created a simpler version with the same taste. You’ll even have time left over at the end of the night to binge watch your favorite Netflix series.

Birishta. You will learn all about this……the secret to a perfect biryani.

Here are a few things to take into account before you begin to explore the recipe. As usual, I don’t add salt to my dishes but you can add to taste. I have personally made this recipe with brown rice and quinoa. If this happens to be your first attempt, then I would suggest to start with white basmati rice. This will get you more in the groove of things before you progress to brown rice and quinoa for a healthier version of my biryani.

Don’t forget to sign up via email to get alerts to new recipe posts. I’m always creating something, making it healthier. Keep on going and I’ll help you to get skinny in your kitchen 🙂



Print Recipe
  1. In a large pot heat 3 tsp of oil on medium heat. Add the onions and fry on medium heat, stirring often.
  2. Keep frying until the onions are dark brown-not black(cause that means they are burnt)
  3. Reduce the heat. Strain out the onions from the oil. Spread the onions on a paper towel. Set aside.
  4. Add the remaining tsp of oil to the pot and add your chicken. Add the chili powder, cumin powder, coriander and garam masala powders, salt and turmeric. Stir everything to let the chicken get coated in the spices.
  5. Raise heat back to medium and fry the chicken for about 2-3 minutes, stirring often. Add the chopped tomatoes, lime juice and if needed, 1/4 cup of water. Don’t add too much because the chicken and tomatoes have a lot of water in them already.
  6. While the chicken is cooking, put the now crispy fried onions in a bowl and crush them into as fine a powder with your hands as possible. Set about 1 tsp worth aside. Wash your hands and add the yogurt. Stir to make a paste. This is the Birishta. It makes the magic happen, I promise. Add the paste to the chicken curry and stir in.
  7. Cook another 15 minutes till the chicken is fully cooked and there’s very little liquid left. Taste to check for salt. Turn off the heat.
  8. In another pot, heat the washed rice and add about 3 cups of water on medium. Add the 1/4 tsp of salt, the whole cardamom pods, cinnamon bark, peppercorns, bay leaves, cumin seeds and cloves.
  9. Let the rice cook about halfway (most of the water should be absorbed by this time). There should be a little water left in the rice, but not much. About 10-12 minutes, depending on the pot you use. Once the rice is half-cooked (think slightly more raw than al-dente), turn off the stove. Carefully ladle the rice over top of the chicken curry mixture, but don’t mix the two. Drizzle what’s left of the water in the rice over the top, but no more than about 1/4 cup of water (throw the rest out, you don’t want this to get too soggy).
  10. In a glass cup, heat the milk to lukewarm in the microwave. Mix/mash in the saffron strands with your fingers and allow the milk to change color and pick up some of that lovely saffron fragrance.
  11. Drizzle the saffron/milk mixture over the rice and sprinkle on the leftover crispy fried onions.
  12. Slide a flat pan (I use an old crepe pan) under the pot so it helps diffuse the heat from the stove. Wrap the lid of the pot in a kitchen towel, cover and let the biryani steam on low heat for 40 minutes to an hour. The secret her is the hear defusing plus steam absorption.........slooooow cooking with steam.
  13. Serve with yogurt raita and enjoy.
Recipe Notes

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 4
Servings Per Container 1

Amount Per Serving
Calories 233 Calories from Fat 52.2
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5.8 g 9%
Saturated Fat 4.3g 22%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 18.1mg 6%
Sodium 293 mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 27.8 g 9%
Dietary Fiber 2 g 8%
Sugars 9.4 g
Protein 17.1g 34%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

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