Umair's Chicken Biryani

Umair's Chicken Biryani

Posted by Umair Abbasi on March 28, 2018 in Food

I am open-sourcing my much appreciated and enjoyed Chicken biryani recipe. The feedback has been positive from citizens around the globe. If I had to guess a number, I would say probably individuals from 50 countries across the globe.


  • Yellow Onions (3 to 4)
  • Ginger and Garlic (the real deal. Not powder or paste)
  • Boneless Chicken (mix of thigh and breast. If you had to choose only one go with the breast)
  • Shan Spice Mixes - Malay Chicken Biryani, Pilau Biryani (a box each found in most Indian stores in the West)
  • Tomatoes (3 to 4)
  • Coriander Leaves (real deal. Not powder or paste)
  • Basmati Rice
  • Potatoes (optional. 3 to 4)
  • Cooking oil (not olive)
  • Salt
  • Deep Aluminum cooking tray
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Food coloring (optional)

The Process

  1. In a medium deep cooking pot (or a wok) add the cooking oil. The oil needs to be deep enough that if you dipped your pinky in it the first line from the tip of your pinky to that line is immersed. Please don't actually dip your pinky in the oil!
  2. Chop up the yellow onions anyway you prefer. I like them about small to medium chopped. Add the onions to the hot cooking oil. There should be a sizzle sound. Drop a piece in first and see if it sizzles. If not turn up the heat on the oil. Be careful not to go extreme hot and cook the onions quick.
  3. Once the onions have turned golden brown (medium brown) add the ginger (finely chopped about the length of your pinky 1.5 line down), garlic (finely chopped, 3 to 4 pieces), chicken (bite size chopped with a higher quantity of breast than thigh). Before you add I would turn the heat up higher. Probably to the max. When you add these ingredients especially the chicken you want a nice sizzle sound. Stir, stir, stir. We don't want that chicken burning or sticking to the pan. Stir for about a minute.
  4. Reduce heat to medium. Add salt (1 teaspoon). Add a whole packet of Shan Pilau Biryani mix, and half a packet of Shan Malay Chicken Biryani mix. Stir stir stir for about 2.5 to 3 minutes. Sizzle sizzle.
  5. Turn heat up to max. Add tomatoes (chopped anyway you like), add coriander leaves (chopped anyway you like). Stir stir stir for about 2 to 3 minutes.
  6. Reduce heat to where there is enough heat that cooking is taking place. As in there are some bubbles floating up. Place lid on top and let cook for 15 minutes.
  7. In a separate deep cooking pot you should have about 3 cups of rice (or desired amount related to chicken) soaking in lukewarm water before you even start chopping anything. A minimum 20 minute soak is good.
  8. Rinse rice with fast running water. Put your fingers in the rice and rotate the rice as water is running in. Drain water out. Repeat for upto 4 times.
  9. After you have placed the lid on the chicken pot (see step 6) place your rice pot on the stove at max heat. If 3 cups of rice add 3 cups of hot water using the same cup. Place lid. Let cook. I prefer glass lids. As you see most of the water is getting close to being evaporated turn the heat off on the rice pot. You want some wetness still on the rice. Not fully cooked.
  10. Turn off heat on chicken pot. Stir. Layer a nice generous amount (probably half the chicken curry with the chicken) in the aluminum deep tray. Then layer a nice generous layer of rice on top of the chicken (about half the quantity of the rice). Then layer another chicken curry layer (all of the remaining), and then the remaining rice on top.
  11. Cover with aluminum foil. Two layers of foil. In your oven at 300F (pre-warmed) insert your aluminum tray. 10 mins later lower temp to 250F. 10 mins after that pull out the tray. Mix the rice and curry by bringing in the chicken from the bottom to the top. Repeat till there is a good mix. Enjoy!

I would love to see pictures and comments of your version of Umair's Chicken Biryani. Please share using the comments section below.


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