Kolkata Style Chicken Biryani


  • 2 cups Basmati rice
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp rose water
  • 1 tsp keora water
  • 1 heaped tbsp of ghee
  • 750 gm chicken
  • 2 medium potatoes
  • 5 big onions
  • 20-25 cloves of garlic
  • 1” piece of ginger
  • 150 gm plain curd
  • 1 tbsp red chilli powder
  • A pinch of sugar
  • 2 tbsp warm milk
  • A pinch of saffron
  • 4 boiled eggs
  • Salt to taste

For the Biryani Masala –

  • 1 tbsp caraway seeds
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp white pepper
  • 2-3 black cardamoms
  • 7-8 green cardamoms
  • 1 whole nutmeg
  • 2 whole maces
  • 5-6 cloves
  • 1” cinnamon stick

Method –

  1. Dry roast all the whole spices on a hot tawa, till they start to release their aroma.
  2. Take them off the heat and let them cool a little following which blend them to get the powdered spice.
  3. Sieve the ground spice and store in an airtight container.
  4. To prepare the rice, take 4 or 5 cups of water in a pan and bring it to a boil.
  5. Add couple of green cardamom, 1 clove and a cinnamon stick. Add a pinch of salt.
  6. When the water starts to boil, add the rice and cook till it is done. Drain the extra water.
  7. Clean under running water to get rid of excess starch and salt. Take a flat plate and spread the rice.
  8. Slice the onions and fry them with a pinch of sugar in 2 tbsp oil till they caramelise
  9. We will use half of the onions to cook the chicken and half for assembling the final dish.
  10. Peel the garlic and ginger, blend them in a blender with a spoonful of water till you get a smooth paste.
  11. The ratio of ginger and garlic should be approximately 1:3.
  12. Take 2 spoonful of warm milk and add a pinch of saffron strands and keep it aside so the milk gets the color.
  13. Wash the chicken pieces and pat them dry with a kitchen towel or clean cloth.
  14. Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a pan and sear all the chicken pieces.
  15. After the chicken pieces starts to get a golden brown color, add half of the fried onions, all the ginger-garlic paste, plain curd, 1 tbsp biryani spice-mix, 1 tbsp red chili powder, 2 tsp rose water (if you are using rose essence then use 1 tsp), 1 tsp Keora water and salt.
  16. Mix well and bring it to a simmer. Reduce the heat and let it cook for at least 20 mins.
  17. Check occasionally, if required add a little water. We do not want a lot of gravy.
  18. When done take the chicken off the heat and keep them in a separate bowl.
  19. Take two potatoes, cut them into four pieces each and cook them in a pressure cooker with a pinch of salt. When done keep them aside.
  20. In the same pan, after finishing the chicken, fry the boiled potatoes till they start to acquire some golden color. Turn off the heat.
  21. Now that we have all the elements of biryani ready, we just need to assemble them.
  22. Take a heavy bottomed pan.
  23. In the pan, put the potatoes, chicken at the bottom, top it up with 2 tbs of gravy, some fried onion and a pinch of biryani masala.
  24. Now add a layer of rice. Top it up with fried onion, 1 tbs of gravy, a pinch of biryani spice-mix and 1 tsp of saffron milk.
  25. Put another layer of rice. Top it up with fried onion, 1 tbs of gravy, a pinch of biryani spice and a tsp of saffron milk and boiled eggs.
  26. Drizzle the ghee on the top.
  27. Cover the pan with a lid. Try to use a pan with a tight fitting lid. Put the pan on low flame and cook it for 10 mins. Turn off the heat and let it rest for another 5 mins.

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