Saturday, 14 February 2009


This recipe was a speciality of my mum's. She made it almost at every special occasion in our house. We loved it to bits and till date we go mad when this biryani is made.It's simple to make, and with every bite you take can taste the freshness of the ingredients used in it. Every birthday that has gone by since I remember I've had this biryani my kids love it and I hope everyone who tries it loves it. The most important things to remember in this recipe is timing of how much you would boil the rice if you miss that technique you'll miss having a great biryani.

Biryani's are always easy to make and to me basically biryani is a one-pot dish. Biryani is half cooked rice layered with a special kind of curry. As you start to read the method of this one you'll be surprised that this recipe requires very little cooking really. When i make this recipe I usually keep the chillies on the minimal because of my kids but you can have more if you like......hope you like it and becomes a special dish for you and your family as much as it is for me and my family....healthy eating...


  • 1 Whole chicken cut in 8 pieces
  • 4 Tbsp Salt
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Garam masala
  • 1/2 Bunch hara dhanya (coriander)
  • 1/2 Bunch pudina (mint)
  • 8-10 Green chillies
  • 600g yogurt about 1 and 1/4 pack greek yogurt.
  • 2 Tbsp Ginger garlic paste
  • 1 1/2 Cups oil
  • 2 Medium sized Onion
  • 3 1/2 -4 cups rice washed and soaked in water just an hour before cooking
  • Saffron
  • 1/4 Cup milk
  • 1 tsp yellow food coloring (optional)
  • 2 Lemon's juice
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick
  • 2-3 cardamom pods
  • 2-3 cloves
  • pinch kala zeera
  1. Wash the chicken well and drain well.
  2. In the blender make the hara masala (add green chillies,coriander,mint,
    salt 2 Tbsp,ginger garlic paste, 1/4 oil , yogurt and garm masala).
  3. Add this to the chicken and leave to marinate for 1-2 hours.
  4. Cut 2-4 green chillies in half, squeeze lemon juice , cut some coriander and mint and leave it aside.
  5. Cut onions in thin slices ,fry in 1 1/4 cups oil ,and leave them aside too, also save the oil as well for later.
  6. Now add water in a pan/pot, to that add black zeera, mint leave,2 Tbsp salt,cardamom,cloves,Cinnamon stick.
  7. When it starts to boil drain the soaked rice and add to the water. Just about 3 Min's later, when it starts to boil with the rice be as alert as you can. Take a grain of rice in your hand and place it on your finger and press it with your thumb this will break into small pieces this should ideally break into max 3 pieces, not more. See the Picture below to get a better idea.
  8. Once it reaches this stage very quickly drain the rice in a colander empty all the rice from the pan.
  9. In the same pan add the oil used for frying the onions about 1/2 cup.
  10. Then add the marinated chicken, to the pot.
  11. Sprinkle fried onions, 1/2 of cut green chillies, some min and coriander leaves.
  12. Now add all the rice to the pot and sprinkle the rest of the green chillies,fried onions,mint and coriander leaves.
  13. To the 1/4 cup milk add saffron, and warm it up a bit before spreading it over the rice.
  14. Add food coloring to the 1/4 cup water and add that all over the rice too.
  15. Then with the help of a wooden spoon make holes. ( from the handle side)
  16. Now pour over 2 Tbsp of oil and the lemon juice.
  17. Cover the pot and cook over high heat for 5-8 Min's or till you start to hear a sizzling sound. then leave to cook on low heat for just about an hour.
Don't get too afraid to make it seeing all the steps its really easy to make...I made this biryani for the first time at the age of 14 and since then I've been making it and loving it been over 20 years now. Every time I make it I feel like I've made it for the fist time. the only step difficult is the boiling of rice and knowing when to take it off boiling just a helpful hint/tip in case you've boiled your rice a little longer don't panic just wash it under cold water and it won't be as bad as you think. I make it this recipe in memory of my mum you mumma and miss you too always....:)


  1. Maria I can vividly re-call the time you made this while I was over at your place. Forgot the name of the maid before Noora, she was there at the time :)

    I must say this one's a killer people!! You absolutley MUST MUST try this before anything else!!!

  2. appo i made this was yummy alhamdullilah...we all (ammi, baba, erqem, umamah)enjoyed was a great biryani recipe, and the ingredients were very accurate!

  3. Thannnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnk you khaula....i'm so very glad everyone liked know you could try vegetarian version with only potatoes and it comes out well too ...but i'm happy thank you thank and lots of thank yous...:)

  4. Maria,

    just one word:



  5. Hullo. Mummyjaan sent me this link.

    I was taught to make biriyani this way by a friend and I can vouch for the awesome taste. Thanks for the great pics though.

  6. hi sue thanks for liking my efforts..i'm hounoured ..dp try making it and leave a comment that will help me write the recipes in a better way..., cheers...keep commeneting any chance do i know you or you mummy jan...???

  7. I made this yesterday and it turned out really good. Thanks for the recipe..can't wait to try all the other ones you've been posting. I just wanted to know whether I can use regular yogurt next time I make it instead of greek yogurt?

  8. thank you amina....i'm glad you liked it. yes you can use any yogurt..but in less quantity otherwise there will be excess water and your rice maybecome too soft....hope alls well...mayaz's

  9. Dear Maria,

    I dont have words to tell you how beautiful site you have created.I go through all the recipes and enjoyed reading them and will ask you to make one by one when we will join you (Insha Allah)
    Keep it up
    Yours Abbu

  10. Hello
    Pls could you advise on step 6 how much water should be added to the pan/pot, when you add black zeera, mint leave,2 Tbsp salt,cardamom,cloves,Cinnamon stick.

  11. hi there ...
    i generally don't measure the water when boiling i fill the pan to just about the top so that the rice is completely dipped in and approx enough when the rice startrs to boil there is space for the rice to boil....i will put up a pic just so you can have a better idea tonight...
    thanks for trying the recipe...
    do leave a comment once you made it it helps me to write a recipe in a better way next time...
    thanks again..

  12. Thank you so much abu ...i'm glad you liked it ..i hope and pray that it keeps getting better with each recipe i add ..Thank you for all your good wishes...

  13. Dear Mayaz,

    My wife wants to try this, could you gimme your phone number so that she can speak with you and clear her doubts, thanks. Zain

  14. hi zain...
    i'm sorry can't give out my number but yes any doubts that your wife has can be cleared if you email me at and i will reply to her ....i'll be glad to help...
    take care
    and thanks for writing in.;)

  15. This comment has been removed by the author.

  16. Hi Maria,
    I tried your biriyani for the first time today. I have no experience with this type of recipe, so it was quite an adventure :)
    Even though it was incredibly tasty, my rice was on the soft side, so I was wondering if I made a mistake using Basmati rice? Also, it wasn't clear to me when to add the Garam Masala, but I assumed it was added to the chicken marinade?

  17. hi there..sorry for the late reply..
    answer to your questions are:-
    1) when you boil your rice if your rice goes soft, wash it with really cold water or when still boiling take one rice grain out and press it between your thumb and first finger it will break in peices the best time to drain rice for biryani is when it breaks in 3 peices but if you are unsure you can even drain it when it breaks in 2 peices than at time of steaming the brinyani add 1/2 cups milk this will make it perfect and give enough liquid to make the steam and alsoif by mistake it burns at the bottom your briyani will not smell of it..
    secondly yes the garam masala is added in the marinade.
    i've made the changes hopefully this will help in next time you make the same biryani.
    thanks so much for writing in...if you have any more problems please feel free to write..
    take care..
    THANKS ..:)

  18. Do you have a recipe for prawn biryani, Maya?

  19. yes i do have one will post it soon..:)

  20. hi maria,
    i made this was really good..but i did not use the raw marinade..instead i first cooked the whole marinade and chicken on high heat till all water of yogurt dried off..I was kinda concerned whether the chicken will cook if i layer it raw with the cooked rice.Let me know about this..also can we make this hara masala biryani with meat or not.
    Ayesha Arif
    Freind of Munazza

  21. hi ayesha,
    i'm glad the biryani turned out can make it both ways by cooking the yakhni as well as raw i find the raw yakhni makes the chicken more juicy. yes you can make this biryani with any kind of meat or seafood you like, with no difference to cooking procedure just that the cooking time would be different according to the meat that you use.this biryani was made by our mom and she even made the lamb one keeping the meat raw and cooking it longer on low flame. but like i said you can make it both ways.
    hope i answered you query well..:)
    thanks again..

  22. i hate mint but im desperate to try this recipe, if i leave it out will it affect the taste drastically also am not a big fan on garam masala. also, does your chicken come out perfectly cooked if it is added to the rice and put to cook...

  23. also, is it ok to leave the meat to marinade overnight rather than a couple of hours and do you add all of the marinade to the rice ??? can't wait for your feedback so i can try your recipe!!

  24. hi there ,
    yes it will have a drastic effect on the taste if you don'nt use mint and garam masala you could perhaps try reducing the quantity of both the ingridients. the chicken does come out very well cooked this way it actually comes out quite juicy instead of being dry which usually happens with the chicken breasts. its ok to leave the meat over night in the masala, i do add all the masala/ marinade to the rice thats helps the rice and the chicken to cook in its water thats released from the yogurt.
    hope i've ansewered all your questions...please do write in if there is anything i can help you with and also if it turned out well for you or not thanks...:)mayazs

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