Thursday 25 October 2018

Recipe 46: Shahi Chicken Biryani

I made this biryani around 3 years back and it was a success at the first attempt itself.

Kept for the most special occasions, my Shahi Chicken Biryani is filled with the rich flavours of almonds and fresh cream.

Unlike most biryani recipes, this one is white in color and devoid of heavy spices.

While the preparation is a bit much, the process of cooking is rather simple. The overnight marination of chicken makes the pieces tender and it is not required to pre-cook chicken before adding to the rice.


  1. 500gms basmati rice
  2. 1 kilo chicken
  3. 10-15 blanched almonds
  4. 3 medium size onions sliced thinly
  5. 4-5 green chillies chopped
  6. 2 tbsp. ginger-garlic paste
  7. 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  8. 1 cup sour yogurt
  9. 1/2 cup fresh cream
  10. 1/4 cup milk
  11. 1 tbsp. black pepper powder
  12. 2 tsp. cinnamon powder
  13. Mixed whole spices (4-5 elaichi/cardamom, 4 cloves, 2 mace flower, 1 big elaichi, 1 bay leaf)
  14. 1 tbsp. biryani essence (click to buy Meetha Attar)
  15. 1/4 tsp. haldi or yellow/orange food color (click to buy Royal Powder Food Color Set of 5)
  16. Ghee for cooking
  17. Salt to taste


The night before marinate the chicken pieces with yogurt, whole spices, onions, green chillies, black pepper powder, lemon juice, ginger-garlic paste and salt.
Refrigerate in a closed non-metallic container.
Soak rice for atleast 1 hour before cooking.
Finely grind the skinless almonds to a smooth paste using cream.
Parboil the rice with some salt till its 50 percent cooked.
For the biryani preparation, in a large handi add some ghee.
Add all of the chicken along with its marination as the first layer.
Now add the second layer of almond cream.
Do not mix.
Almond paste should not touch the bottom of the handi. It will burn easily.
Now for third layer, add about 90 percent of the rice.
Mix a pinch of yellow/orange food color or haldi to the rice set aside.
Add this colored rice as the last layer.
Sprinkle some biryani essence, more ghee and milk all over the rice.
Cover tightly and place your handi on a tawa (to avoid direct heat).
Cook biryani for 45 minutes on low heat.
Switch off the heat and keep handi closed for another 10 minutes before serving.
Open the handi lid and mix thoroughly all the layers.
Serve hot.

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