Mughlai Chicken Biryani

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Mughlai Biryani is a treat straight from the kitchen of Mughal Emperors.

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The word “biryani” comes from the Persian word “birian” which means “fried before cooking.” Its origin goes back to Iran or Persia.

The Mughlai dish which is we all love nowadays came with the Mughals a very long time back. They had very fine culinarians who did variations in the dishes according to their likings and that’s when they introduced Biryani to India.

Biryani is a flavourful rice dish which is cooked with aromatic spices along with meats, fish/seafood or vegetables. There are various techniques for making a biryani and the most used and flavorful technique is, Dum Biryani, where meat is marinated with aromatic and flavorful spices and curd. Cooked meat and rice are layered in a clay pot and then dum for an hour or so.


There are various lip-smacking types of Biryani which are sure to make you hungry. Do try out these delicious Biryanis at home and let me know your feedback. ❤ Here are the recipes- Hyderabadi Mutton Dum Biryani, Lucknowi Chicken Biryani, Clay Pot Chicken Biryani, Hariyali Murgh Biryani, Chicken Tikka Biryani, Chettinad Chicken Biryani, Beary Muslim Biryani, Coconut Milk Chicken Biryani, Instant Pot Chicken Biryani

After sharing my other favorite Biryanis, I am sharing one of the highly rich, aromatic, and mouth-watering Biryani, Mughlai Biryani. Straight from the kitchen of Mughal Emperors. Eating Biryani itself is a treat and if it’s Mughlai Biryani, it is a super delicious treat.

Mughlai Biryani is made with succulent chunks of perfectly spiced meat, a lot of hot green chilies, almond paste, basmati rice cooked with whole aromatic spices, garnished with a handful of roasted nuts, mint-coriander leaves, fried onions, and aromatized with kewra water.



Serves 4


For Chicken Marination

  • 2 lbs Chicken, Biryani pieces
  • ½ Cup curd
  • 1 Tbsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 Tbsp biryani masala
  • 1 Tsp coriander powder
  • 1 Tsp garam masala
  • 1 Tsp red chili powder
  • ½ Tsp turmeric powder
  • ¼ Tsp black pepper powder
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • Salt as required

For Rice

  • 2 Cup basmati rice, washed and soaked for 30mins
  • 6-7 Cups water
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 1 Cinnamon stick
  • 2-3 Green cardamoms
  • 2 Cloves
  • 1 Tbsp ghee
  • Required salt

For Biryani

  • 1 Large onion, finely sliced lengthwise
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1 Cinnamon stick
  • ½ Tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 Tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 Green cardamoms
  • 2 Cloves
  • ½ Cup tomato, chopped
  • 6-7 Green chilies, chopped or slit
  • ¼ Cup almond paste
  • Salt as required
  • oil/ghee for cooking

For Garnishing And Layering

  • 2 Tbsp saffron milk (a pinch of saffron soaked in 2tbsp warm milk for 30mins)
  • ¼ Cup almonds and cashews + 1tsp ghee for frying, for garnishing
  • ¼ Cup coriander leaves and mint leaves, chopped, for garnishing
  • A few drops kewra water

Learn Step By Step Recipe With Pictures For Mughlai Chicken Biryani


For Chicken Marination

Step 1- In a large mixing bowl, take all the marination ingredients and mix well. Add chicken pieces and coat well with the mixture. Keep in the refrigerator overnight or at least 4-5hrs

For Cooking Rice

Step 2- Add 6-7cups of water in a deep bottom pot/ stock pot and add all the whole spices, ghee, and required salt to the water. Turn the flame to high, when the water brings to a boil, add the soaked Basmati rice, stir and cook. Cook until the rice grains are 95%cooked. Drain the excess water and gently fluff the rice

For Biryani

Step 3- Meanwhile, while the rice is cooking, heat oil/ghee in a pan/deep pot and cook the onions until caramelized. Transfer ¼ of the caramelized onion to a plate to garnish later

Step 4- In the same pan/deep bottom pot, add bay leaf, cinnamon stick, cloves, green cardamoms, cumin seeds, and fennel seeds.

Let them sizzle a bit and then add the chopped tomato and green chilies. Cook until the tomato turns mushy

Step 5- Turn the flame to medium, add the marinated chicken and cook for 6-7mins with lid covered. Open the lid, stir chicken and add the almond paste. Do not add water. Mix well and cook until the chicken is soft and tender and fall off the bone easily. Open the lid cook for a few more mins until the gravy is thick like a smooth paste

Step 6- Heat ghee in a tadka/tempering pan and roast the nuts until light golden brown. Remove from the heat and keep aside for layering the biryani

Layering The Biryani

Step 7- I never miss a chance to use my clay pot for Dum Biryani. You can Dum the biryani in a heavy bottomed pot.

Place the clay pot on a heat diffuser/ heavy bottomed pot on the stove, Add half of the cooked chicken gravy, and rice. Add a few fried onions, chopped coriander-mint leaves, and roasted nuts. Follow the same for the rest. At last, sprinkle kewra water, saffron milk and cover the biryani with a foil. Close the lid of the clay pot/heavy bottomed pan. Turn the flame to low and let it dum for 20mins

After 20mins leave the pot on the stove for another 10mins. Open the lid and serve Biryani with Salan or raita and vinegarette onion



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