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Kolkata Chicken Biryani

Kolkata Chicken Biryani

Kolkata Chicken Biryani. Pearls of rice, succulent chicken, an ensemble of spices, a dollop of ghee, tempting strands of saffron. And those fried potatoes.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr 5 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Bengali


For Biriyani

  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 5 - 6 chicken biryani cut pieces
  • 1/2 cup curd whipped
  • 3 tbsps onion paste
  • 1/2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tsp turemeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 5 - 6 green chilies slit
  • 2 tbsps oil
  • 3 tbsps ghee
  • salt to taste

For my special Kolkata biriyani masala

  • 5 - 6 Kebab chini
  • 2 one inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 black cardamom
  • 5-6 green cardamom
  • 5-6 cloves
  • 1 star anise
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg preferably freshly grated
  • 1 floret mace
  • 2 tsp black pepper corn

To assemble

  • 3 - 4 Boiled eggs
  • 5 - 6 Potato halves fried till golden
  • 3 tbsps Fried onion
  • 1 tsp saffron
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • few drops keora water
  • Flour dough to seal the cooking pot


  • To make the biriyani masala, dry roast all the ingredients (under the heading For my special Kolkata biriyani masala) till they release their fragrant aroma. Cool and grind to a fine powder. Keep aside.
  • Marinate the chicken pieces with onion paste, ginger-garlic paste, whipped curd, turmeric powder, red chili powder, a hint of salt and 1 tbsp of biryani masala. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  • In the meantime, soak the basmati rice for 20 odd minutes. Drain the water.
  • Cook the rice now in boiling water, just a few drops of oil added to the water, till about 70% done. Drain the water. Spread the cooked rice on a flat dish and keep aside.
  • Heat oil in frying pan, shake off the marinate and lightly sear the chicken high flame. Add the marinade now and cook over a low flame till about 70% done. If its getting a bit too dry, splash a little water in between.
  • Soak the saffron strands in warm milk. Keep aside.
  • Now to assemble the biriyani, take a deep bottomed pan, grease with ghee. Spread a layer of rice, place chicken pieces along with the gravy. Throw in green chilies, fried onions, a boiled egg and fried potato halves. And a generous sprinkle of ghee.
  • Follow this with yet another layer of rice and on it, the remaining cooked chicken with the gravy, green chilies, fried onions, a boiled egg and the fried potato halves. Again a luxuriant dollop of ghee.
  • Finally another layer of rice. Gently pour over the saffron infused milk, keora water and the remaining ghee. Cover the lid and seal firmly with flour dough.
  • Place the pan on another flat frying pan and cook over low flame for 15-20 minutes.
  • A standing time of 10 odd minutes and the biriyani ready to serve.