Cooking Chicken Biryani | LEBANESE RECIPES

Cooking Chicken Biryani

Chicken Biryani is a delicious savory rice dish that is loaded with spicy marinated chicken, caramelized onions, and flavorful saffron rice. For my Biryani, I simplify the order of operations, while retaining the traditional layered approach to assembling it.


Half a cup of vegetable oil

Four onions (400 grams), cut into half-moon slices

One tbsp (20 grams) each of grated garlic and ginger

Hot peppers (to taste), chopped

Two cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods, cloves, bay leaves, and star anise

One whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces

One tsp each of cumin powder, coriander powder, curry powder, chili powder or paprika, salt

Half a tsp each of black pepper and turmeric powder

Three tomatoes (350 grams), diced

Half a cup of yogurt (120 grams)

One cup of hot water

Fresh coriander and mint leaves

Saffron strands or saffron color

Two tbsps of butter (30 grams)


1. Heat half a cup of vegetable oil in a wok or pot.

2. Fry the sliced onions until they caramelize, then set aside one-third of them for later.

3. Stir in the grated garlic, ginger, hot peppers, and the whole spices (cinnamon sticks, cardamom, cloves, bay leaves, and star anise).

4. Add the chicken pieces and the dry spices (cumin, coriander, curry, chili powder, salt, black pepper, and turmeric). Mix well.

5. Add the diced tomatoes, cover, and let them soften over medium heat for 5 minutes.

6. Stir in the yogurt and hot water. Cook everything over medium heat for 30 minutes.

For the Rice:

1. Boil water in a pot.

2. Add cinnamon sticks, cardamom, cloves, cumin seeds, salt, and vegetable oil.

3. Stir in the washed and soaked long-grain basmati rice.

4. Cook the rice over medium heat for 10 minutes.

Return to the Chicken:

1. Add fresh coriander and mint leaves, some of the fried onions, and the cooked rice.

2. Pour soaked saffron or saffron color on top.

3. Add more chopped coriander, mint, and the fried onions.

4. Finally, add 2 tablespoons of butter. Cook everything over low heat for 25 minutes.

For the Cucumber Salad:

1. In a small mixing bowl, mix yogurt, grated cucumber, fresh mint, a pinch of cumin, and salt. Refrigerate until serving.

2. Serve the Chicken Biryani with the yogurt cucumber salad.

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