So much flavor but so little work required for this easy weeknight chicken biryani! I love this recipe because I feel so good sitting down to this homemade biryani but also relieved that it really is easy to make! And I don't know about you but I need a big scoop of cucumber raita with my biryani! That way, I can make the biryani a bit spicier but know that the cucumber raita will be balancing everything out in the end!
Tips for making a super flavorful chicken biryani quickly and easily!
- Marinate the chicken for a few hours! Overnight or in the morning
- Marinate with yogurt, ginger, garlic, lemon juice and salt
- Fry the marinated chicken in ghee! (or butter) Seems extravagant, but remember you're looking for quick flavor
- Most important buy a biryani seasoning mix! Other than your main ingredients, you will not have to scramble for any other ingredients! I've used these mixes and found them to be perfectly seasoned!
No fancy equipment required!
This is not an Instant Pot or pressure cooker recipe! As much as I love my Instant Pot for quick and easy dinners. I love that this biryani can be made in a regular dutch oven pot or even a large soup pot.
So here's the trick to getting the biryani perfect!
- Fry up the marinated chicken in the ghee, like I mentioned before.
- Add in the veggies (onions, tomatoes, peppers if you are using)
- Add the biryani seasoned mix. Isn't it great when they make these types of seasoning mixes?
- Add in the rice and water or stock. Do not even worry about stirring or anything, just add the rice in a layer on top of the veggies and chicken. Cover the pot with a tight lid, and cook for 15 minutes.
- Check to see if the rice has finished cooking. Fluff with a spoon, add cilantro and serve this weeknight chicken biryani with this kale and garlic raita and pickled onions!
Easy Weeknight Chicken Biryani
- 1 pound chicken boneless, skinless thighs or breasts, cut into 2 inch pieces
- 1 cup yogurt
- 1 tablespoon ginger
- 6 garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon ghee
- 1 cups basmati rice
- 1½ cups chicken stock or water
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 tomato chopped
- 1 potato peeled, cubed and rinsed
- 1 serrano pepper diced, optional
- 2 tablespoons biryani masala or garam masala
- ¼ cup cilantro chopped
Easy Cucumber Raita
- 1 cucumber peeled and grated
- 1 cup yogurt you can use Greek yogurt too, but then do not drain the water from the cucumber
- 1 garlic clove grated or minced
- ¼ cup cilantro chopped
- 2 teaspoons chaat masala or ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon salt taste before adding, the raita may be salty enough with the chaat masala
Marinate the Chicken
- In a small blender, add ginger, garlic, yogurt, salt and lemon juice. Blend to chop up the garlic and ginger. Pour this mixture into a large bowl.
- Add chicken to the bowl, stir to coat the chicken in the yogurt mixture and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
Make the Biryani
- In a small bowl, soak the peeled and cubed potato in water for a few minutes.
- In another small bowl, rinse the starch from the rice multiple times until the water starts running clear. Let the rice soak in water as the chicken and veggies cook.
- In a large stock pot (with a lid), melt ghee. Add the marinated chicken pieces. Cook for 5 minutes. Add veggies (onions, tomatoes, peppers) and seasoning mix. Drain the water from the potatoes and add to the pot. Stir to combine, cook for an additional 3 minutes.
- Drain the water from the rice. Add the stock (or water) and the rice to the pot. No need to stir at this point. Close the lid and cook for 15 minutes. Check the doneness of the rice. If it is not completely cooked, ensure the water has not completely dissipated, then close the lid and cook for another 3 minutes. If the rice is not done and there is no water left, add ¼ cup of water, then close the lid and cook for another 3 minutes.
- Fluff the rice and chicken. Serve with chopped cilantro and raita.
Make the Raita
- Peel and grate a cucumber, drain the water from the cucumber but keep the water aside in case the raita is a bit thick.
- Combine all ingredients for raita in a small bowl. If raita is a bit too thick, add a few spoons of cucumber water to thin it out. Discard the leftover cucumber water.
- Refrigerate raita until ready to serve.