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An authentic & insanely delicious recipe for Chicken Biryani with Cilantro Yogurt Sauce. | #chickenbiryani #indianrice #indianchicken

Chicken Biryani Recipe

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An authentic and delicious recipe for Indian Chicken Biryani and a flavorful Cilantro Yogurt Sauce. Perfect for a Sunday dinner. Go here for a vegetarian option! 


Units Scale
  • 1/2 cup ghee
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 smashed cardamom pods
  • 1 extra large onion (1 lb) diced
  • ——
  • 1 cup yogurt (don’t use low or no-fat)
  • 1 cup cilantro
  • 1 cup fresh mint
  • 2-inch piece of ginger, sliced
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • ——-
  • 1 Tablespoon turmeric
  • 2 Tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 Tablespoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ——–
  • 34 sliced green chilis (split lengthwise)
  • 1 lb diced tomatoes (3 medium tomatoes)
  • ——
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 2 pounds chicken thigh meat (either boneless skinless, or bone-in, skin on) cut into pieces, salted. or substitute chickpeas, 3 cans rinsed and drained.
  • 3 cups washed Basmati rice
  • 3 cups chicken stock or water
  • ——-
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • —–
  • Garnish with fresh cilantro and Cilantro Coconut Yogurt Sauce:
  • ———–

Cilantro Coconut Yogurt Sauce

  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1/4 cup flaked coconut or fresh grated coconut ( see above)
  • 4 green chilis
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • ——-

Tempering oil for Cilantro Yogurt Sauce

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon black gram dal
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon asafoetida powder
  • a few curry leaves


  1. In a large dutch oven (one that has a tight-fitting lid) melt ghee over medium-high heat. Add cinnamon, cloves, crushed cardamom pods and diced onion. Saute 2 minutes and turn heat down to medium, stirring occasionally.
  2. Place yogurt, cilantro, mint, ginger and garlic into the blender and blend, adding a little bit of water to get blender going, if necessary. Set aside.
  3. Add dry spices and salt to the pan with the onion- turmeric, cumin, coriander, chili powder and salt. Stir for a minute or two, then pour in the yogurt mixture from the blender. Add the tomatoes and the split chilies. Cook over medium-low heat about 10 -15 minutes, or until oil separates.
  4. Cut and salt the chicken, and add it to the pot, and continuing cooking, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes, until chicken begins to brown and becomes tender. Slowly stir in ¼ cup oil.
  5. Add the washed Basmati rice and the water. Double-check you’ve added the salt.
  6. Stir just a bit. Bring to a boil. Continue simmering over medium heat, uncovered until most of the water has evaporated. Be patient. Once it looks like the photo above its ready to cover.
  7. Lower the heat to lowest setting.
  8. Cover the pot with a moist cloth, and place the lid over top, bringing the corners of the cloth towards the lid handle (to prevent a fire). Cook on the lowest heat for 30 minutes, then at this point, check rice for tenderness or continue cooking until the rice is tender ( another 10-20 minutes).
  9. Make the Cilantro Coconut Yogurt Sauce: Place the yogurt, coconut, chilies, cilantro, ginger and salt in a blender and blend. Place in a bowl and make the finishing oil.
  10. In a small skillet, heat the oil, and add the spices. When the mustard seeds begin popping, after 30 seconds or so, pour over the yogurt sauce.
  11. The Chicken Biriyani is done when the rice is tender. Once tender, give a stir, and adjust the salt, adding more if necessary. Serve with the yogurt sauce on the side and fresh cilantro leaves.
  12. Enjoy!


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 490
  • Sugar: 8.5 g
  • Sodium: 676.4 mg
  • Fat: 31 g
  • Saturated Fat: 11.2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 32.4 g
  • Fiber: 2.3 g
  • Protein: 22.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 116.4 mg