Tandoori Chicken Biriyani


Ingredients (Serves 6)

1. Chicken thighs, bone-in or 8 drumsticks – 1.5 kg (I used 4 leg


Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp

Kashmiri chilly powder) – 1.5 – 2 tbsp

Coriander powder – 1 tsp

Cumin powder – 1 tsp

Ginger-garlic paste – 2 tbsp

Lemon juice – 2 tbsp

Pepper powder – 1/4 tsp

Salt – To taste

2. Oil –  1/2 cup (for frying)

3. Onion – 2.5 cups, thinly sliced

4. Ginger and garlic paste – 1.5 – 2 tbsp

5. Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp

Chilly powder or good quality kashmiri chilly powder –  1tbsp

Coriander powder – 1 tbsp

Cumin powder – 1/2 tsp

6. Tomato – 2.5 small, chopped

7. Garam masala powder – 1 – 2 tsp

8. Chopped cilantro – 2 – 3 tbsp

Mint leaves – 2 tbsp, chopped

Lemon juice – 1 – 2 tsp

For the rice

4. Basmati rice – 3 cups, soaked in enough water for at least 30 minutes and then drained

Whole spices – bay leaf – 2, cloves – 6, green cardamom – 3, black cardamom – 1, cinnamon stick – 1 inch broken, kala jeera – 1/4 tsp

Ghee – 2 – 3 tsp

Salt – To taste

To layer

5. Fried onion – 1/4 cup

Lemon slices – 3 – 4

Saffron – 1 pinch soaked in 2 tbsp hot water to which 1 tsp kewra water is also added

Red / orange color – 1 pinch (Optional)


1. Mix all the ingredients under marinade except the chicken drumsticks. Keep aside.

2. Clean the chicken pieces.  Pat dry with a paper towel. Make 2 – 3 deep slits on the fleshy part of the chicken so that the marinade can penetrate inside the flesh. Rub the marinade all over the chicken drumsticks one by one. Remember to rub the marinade inside the slits.  Put them in the refrigerator for at least 3 hrs or overnight in the refrigerator.

3. Preheat oven to its maximum setting. The maximum temperature that I can set in my oven is 500 F so I baked them at that temperature. Line a cookie pan with aluminum foil. Lightly grease the foil with oil. Arrange the chicken drumsticks on the foil.  Brush the chicken with oil or pour little oil on them ( this step is optional). Place the tray in the center rack of the oven. Bake it for about 12 – 15 minutes. Take out the tray carefully using your oven mitts. Turn them over and  brush/pour a little oil on the chicken pieces (this is optional). Return the tray to the oven. Bake for another 10 – 15 minutes. Broil for the last 2 – 3 minutes. Take out the tray. Set aside until it cools down a bit. Cut into smaller pieces if you want.

4. Heat 1/2 cup oil in  a large pan. Add 1/2 cup onion and fry till golden brown. Remove to a plate lined with paper towel. To the remaining oil, add onion, little salt and saute until golden brown. Add ginger-garlic paste and cook for 2 minutes. Bring down the heat to low. Add turmeric powder, chilly powder, little cumin powder, coriander powder and cook for a minute until their raw smell disappears. Add chopped tomatoes and cook for 6 – 8 minutes until completely mashed up and oil separates. Add garam masala powder and mix well. Now add 1/4 cup hot water to loosen the gravy a little bit. Add chicken pieces. Mix well and cook for a few minutes over low heat.

5.  While the chicken is in the oven, boil water in a large vessel adding the remaining ingredients numbered 4. Taste-check for salt. The water should be slightly salty. Add drained rice and cook until the rice is  90 % cooked. Drain well.


6. In a heavy-bottomed vessel or oven-proof vessel (you can use the one in which you cooked chicken, if it is oven-proof), smear 2 tsp ghee and spread half of the chicken at the bottom. Top it with half of the hot cooked rice. Sprinkle fried onion and chopped mint and cilantro. Spread the remaining chicken on top followed by the remaining rice. Top with fried onion, chopped mint and cilantro, few lemon slices and saffron water. Cover tightly with an aluminium foil. Bake at 400 F for 15 minutes. OR Heat a wide tawa over high heat for a few minutes. Once hot, bring down the heat to low. Place the biriyani pot and cook for 10 – 15 minutes. Switch off. Let it rest unopened for another 10 – 15 minutes in the biriyani pot. Yummy tandoori chicken biriyani is ready to enjoy! Serve hot with  green chutney / kachumber salad/  pickle etc.

Garam masala powder recipe

  1. Cumin seeds – 2 tbsp
  2. Black pepper – 1 tsp
  3. Cloves – 8 – 10
  4. Black cardamom – 1
  5. Green cardamom – 4 – 5
  6. Cinnamon stick –  1/2 inch
  7. Javithri / mace – A tiny piece
  8. Nutmeg – 1/8th of one nutmeg

Grind the above ingredients to a fine powder. You need only 1.5 – 2 tsp for this recipe. Store the remaining in an air-tight container to use later.

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Maya Akhil

Wife, Mother, Blogger and above all, an ardent lover of good food. I cook, serve, and eat with almost the same passion. The divine aroma that fills the kitchen when I cook or bake is simply what keeps me going!

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About Maya

Maya Akhil

Wife, Mother, Blogger and above all, an ardent lover of good food. I cook, serve, and eat with almost the same passion. The divine aroma that fills the kitchen when I cook or bake is simply what keeps me going!

Every Recipe Since 2010