Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in April 2021 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
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What is Biryani? Biryani is a mixed rice dish prepared with aromatic spices and meat either chicken, mutton or fish that originated among the muslims of the Indian subcontinent as rightly explained by Wikipedia. This dish is usually a part of a lavish spread on occasions or functions. There are many variations to it, however in this blog post I will share with you my father’s recipe of making Chicken Biryani with Shan Masala which is not only easy to make but also super delicious to the taste buds.
Chicken Biryani used to be our “Sunday staple food” back in India. It used to be my father’s favourite dish. Hence every Sunday he insisted my mother to make home cooked biryani.
Being a foodie and a critique, he would love to see it being served in 3 layers (masala being the bottom layer with white plain basmati rice in the mid-layer topped by biryani coloured rice) with the grains being long and non sticky, he paid close attention to detail. The first thing he did when opening the vessel was taking a good sniff of the biryani. He was an amazing chef himself and a self-made man who had been through alot of hardships in his life. My mother learned to cook from him. As she didn’t know anything about cooking when she got married. This is his home made biryani recipe which was passed onto my mother and then to me.
There are several recipes on how to make biryani available each one different in its own way. Many of them even call for using fried onions called “Brista”. However this home cooked biryani recipe doesn’t need fried onions as an ingredient hence it makes it much simpler and quicker to make.
Incase you are wondering what Brista or crispy fried onions are then do refer to my recipe card on Easy Chicken Curry.
Shan Masala – Chicken Biryani Recipe
In this home cooked biryani recipe I have used Shan Sindhi Biryani Masala however you could also use Shan Bombay Biryani Masala if you wish to however I haven’t tried the latter one as yet.
Usually my dad’s recipe calls for no extra packed masalas to be used however this variation using Shan Masala was introduced to me by my cousin sister.
It gives a nice flavour to the biryani. But incase you do not find these masalas in your local grocery store then you need not worry as you can definitely make this recipe wihtout it. As in the past we have been preparing it that way this variation is something that my cousin has introducted lately.
Another saving grace made by humans whom I couldn’t thank enough for is this hand held chopper.
As this recipe requires a lot of onions to be chopped, I usually use this handheld chopper to fasten things up and let me tell you it’s a blessing as it can even chop a mix of onion, tomatoes and chillies. And it has proven to be a time saver a million of times.
And there is no denying the fact that the chicken biryani making process can be a little overwhelming but if you follow the recipe thoroughly it can be quite easy and this home cooked chicken biryani recipe with Shan masala can prove to be a crowd-pleasing meal irrespective of the gathering being big or small hence it is worth the effort.
What to serve with Chicken Biryani Recipe with Shan Masala
If you would like to complete the lavish spread for a family get together or a party then the following appetizers and dessert would pair up well with this home cooked biryani.
If you have tried out this recipe or anything else from our blog then we would love to hear your feedback. Please give it a rating and leave a comment in the section below or tag a photo @onelifeseveralstories #onelifeseveralstories on Instagram. Thank you!
Chicken Biryani Recipe with Shan Masala
- 1 Wide Cooking Pot
- 1 Chopper
- 2 Big Bowls
- 1 Simmer Mat
- 1 kg Chicken pieces with bones washed and cleaned
- 6 medium Onion finely chopped
- 6 medium Tomatoes finely chopped
- 5 medium Potatoes peeled and cut into halves
- 4 Black pepper balls
- 1 Bay leaf
- 4 Cloves
- 3 Green Cardamom
- 1 inch Cinnamon stick
- ¼ tsp Turmeric powder
- 6 tbsp Yoghurt beaten
- 8 Cashew
- ¼ cup Coriander leaves chopped
- ¼ cup Mint leaves chopped
- 3 tbsp Ghee (clarified butter) To be used in Chicken Masala
- 3 tbsp Ghee
- 3 tbsp Oil
- 3 tbsp Shan Sindhi Biryani Masala If available in your country. If not, you can do without it
- Salt as required
Masala Paste (Grind the following into a thick paste using little water)
- 1 ½ inch Ginger
- 1 pod Garlic
- ¼ tsp Shah Zeera
- 3 tsp Red chilly powder
- 3 tsp Coriander powder
- 1 inch Cinnamon Stick
- 5 Cloves
- 4 Green Cardamom
- ¼ piece Nutmeg
- 4 Green chillies
- 1 Bay leaf
- 1 Javitri whole mace
- 3 Cloves
- 2 Green Cardamom
- 1 inch Cinnamon stick
- 1 Star anise
- 4 ½ cup Basmati rice
- Salt as required
- 1 tsp Red food colour liquid form
- 1 tsp Orange food colour liquid form
- Firstly before you start preparing the masala for the biryani, wash the rice in water and rinse, repeat this 4 to 5 times until the water comes out clear. This process discards the extra starch. Soak the rice in clean water for 45 mins or so this will make the cooked rice long and non sticky. Set it aside.4 ½ cup Basmati rice
- In a large cooking pot on a medium flame put ghee with oil. When oil is heated add whole garam masala listed in ingredients of Chicken masala4 Black pepper balls, 1 Bay leaf, 4 Cloves, 3 Green Cardamom, 3 tbsp Ghee (clarified butter), 3 tbsp Oil, 1 inch Cinnamon stick
- Once an aroma is released, add onions and fry them until light brown, then turn the flame to low and add turmeric powder and keep frying for 2 mins (this process reduces the onion smell)6 medium Onion, ¼ tsp Turmeric powder
- Add the potatoes and the “Masala Paste” that you ground earlier and fry by adding little water at intervals5 medium Potatoes
- Add the Shan Sindhi biryani masala3 tbsp Shan Sindhi Biryani Masala
- Keep frying for a few minutes until the oil separates from the masala
- Add the chicken pieces and cook on high flame stirring occasionally until the water from the chicken dries up1 kg Chicken pieces with bones
- Add the tomatoes and cook on high flame until the water from the tomatoes dries up and it gets mushy6 medium Tomatoes
- Make the flame on low and then add yoghurt. Stir well to combine. Cover and cook until the chicken is done.6 tbsp Yoghurt
- When the oil comes up check the chicken and potato they should be cooked thoroughly. Once done add cashews, coriander leaves and mint leaves (set a little leaves aside for garnishing). In case the potato or chicken is not cooked yet then continue to cover and cook. Add a little water if need be.8 Cashew, ¼ cup Coriander leaves
- Tip: In case the potatoes have been cooked before the chicken then you can take them out in a plate and set aside. You can add them back to the masala before you start layering the rice.
- The chicken masala should be thick and not the consistency of gravy. There should be little water in it as you will be layering the rice and then will be covering and cooking it again.
- Keep the water to boil on high flame, add the whole garam masala listed under boiling rice1 Bay leaf, 3 Green Cardamom, 1 inch Cinnamon stick, 1 Javitri, 3 Cloves, 1 Star anise
- Once it’s boiling hot and bubbling add salt and then add the rice (discard the water that it was soaking in before adding it to the hot water to boil).Salt as required, 4 ½ cup Basmati rice
- Cook it until its 3/4th done. Turn off the flame and strain the rice.
- Divide the rice into 2 bowls. In 1 bowl of rice mix a little food colour and stir it around with a fork.1 tsp Red food colour, 1 tsp Orange food colour
- Now it’s time to layer the rice on the chicken masala.
- First, put in all the white rice which you had kept separately, spread it around nicely over the chicken masala. Over it sprinkle a little of salt, ghee, coriander and mint leaves. Just so that when we simmer the entire dish every component of the dish comes together well.
- Over this now, add the entire batch of coloured rice and sprinkle some salt, ghee, coriander and mint leaves.
- Cover the vessel with a lid and make the flame extremely low.
- Place a simmer mat at this stage below the vessel so that the masala doesn’t stick and burn.
- Cover and cook for at least 20 mins until you see all steam collected on the glass lid. If your glass lid has a whole for steam to escape then cover it with a piece of foil.
- After 20 mins you can switch of the flame and the biryani is ready to be served.
- You can serve it with raita, papad and pickle.
- If you need help with any Herb or Spice listed in this recipe then refer to the guide: List of Herbs and Spices
- You can even boil 3 eggs, slice them evenly and place them on the top before serving.
- Can substitute ginger garlic mentioned in “Masala Paste” to 2 tbsp ginger garlic paste