Pakistani Chicken Biryani

Pakistani Chicken Biryani

Pakistani Chicken Biryani – An authentic Pakistani Chicken Biryani recipe with simple, easy-to-follow instructions and traditional Pakistani and Indian flavors.  

This Pakistani Chicken Biryani recipe is part of another International Collab, The Foods of Pakistan. #pakistanicuisine   A dozen or so top fight YouTube chefs will be preparing some authentic and traditional Pakistani recipes, #pakistanicuisine. Make sure to check out these other talented YouTube chefs, who are making Pakistani recipes.

Pakistani Chicken Biryani

I streamlined some of the instructions by using dry spices instead of roasting whole spices and then grinding them. I marinated the chicken the night before and cooked the rice before making the biryani. Still, it was full of traditional Pakistani and Indian flavors.  

Pakistan is officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Pakistan is the world’s 5th most populous country, after India, China, the US, and Indonesia. It borders both India and China, so its food has aspects of both countries.

Unlike other Middle East cuisine, Pakistani cooking uses a lot of spices, herbs, and seasonings. Garlic, ginger, turmeric, red chili, and garam masala are used in most dishes.

Pakistani cuisine, as in the food culture of most Muslim nations, is structured around halal principles, which, for example, forbid pork and alcohol consumption in accordance with the Sharia laws of Islam. We will stay true to that way of cooking.

International Collab Pakistani Chicken Biryani

Today we are making Pakistani Chicken Biryani. We will be using a lot of ingredients common in Pakistani cooking, but we take some liberties to shorten the prep and cooking times. So here is my entry in #pakistanicuisine International collab, Pakistani Chicken Biryani.

Pakistani Chicken Biryani

Pakistani Chicken Biryani

An authentic Pakistani Chicken Biryani recipe with simple, easy-to-follow instructions and traditional Pakistani and Indian flavor.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Pakistan
Keyword: Biryani, Chicken
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 591kcal


  • Dutch oven or heavy bottom pan with cover


Chicken Marinade

  • lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 cup plain whole milk yogurt
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2 tbsp biryani masala
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder start
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg powder
  • 1 pinch sugar
  • 2 tsp salt


  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp ground cloves
  • 1.5 tbsp ground cardamoms
  • 1 tbsp ground star anise
  • 2 3-inch cinnamon sticks
  • 3/4 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Parboiled Rice

  • 1 3/4 cups long grain basmati rice
  • 1 1/2 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp lemon juice


  • 1/4 cup neutral oil plus more as needed
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 medium onions chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves crushed
  • 1- tbsp ginger chopped
  • 2 Roma tomatos chopped
  • 1-2 small green chili peppers chopped
  • 5 dried plums (alu bukhara)
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp kewra essence
  • 1 tsp lemon juice


  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves chopped
  • 1-2 tbsp mint leaves chopped
  • 1 tbsp milk, mixed with orange food
  • 1 lemon thinly sliced


Marinate the Chicken

  • In a medium bowl, combine the chicken with the ingredients listed under ‘marinade’.
  • Cover and set aside in the fridge. When ready, allow the chicken to come to room temp.

Prpeare the Rice

  • Place a medium pot over high heat and bring 7 cups of water to a boil.
  • Add salt, oil, and lemon juice and stir.
  • Once the water comes to a boil, add the rice.
  • Boil for 5 minutes, until the rice is just cooked with a bite to it. Drain and set aside.

Prepare the Biryani

  • Heat a large, heavy-bottomed pan over high heat.
  • Add the oil, butter, onions, ginger and garlic and sauté 8-10 minutes.
    Chopped Onions
  • In the pan, add another tbsp of oil
  • Sauté the spices, (bay leaves, ground cloves, ground cardamom, ground star anise, cinnamon sticks, cumin & pepper) garlic, and ginger and sauté for another 2 minutes
    Bay Leaves and Cinnamon Sticks
  • Add the chicken with its marinade and sauté 2-3 minutes
    Marinated Pakistani Chicken Biryani
  • Add tomatoes, green chili, and dried plum and stir to coat.
    Green Chili Pakistani Chicken Biryani
  • Add ½ cup water and bring to a gentle boil.
  • Turn the heat down to simmer covered for 30 minutes
  • Turn off the heat once the chicken has cooked. Uncover the chicken.
  • Add salt, and garam masala
  • Turn off the heat. Add kewra water and lemon juice and stir to combine.
    Keora Water Pakistani Chicken Biryani

Steaming ('Dum')

  • Lightly oil the bottom of a Dutch oven or stock/soup pot.
  • Layer half of the drained rice.
    Rice on bottom of pan
  • Sprinkle 1/4 tsp of the garam masala on top of the rice.
  • Add in all the chicken, and top with the remaining rice.
    Add Chicken to rice
  • Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 tsp of garam masala.
  • Drizzle in the colored milk and oil.
    Orange Food Coloring
  • Sprinkle the cilantro leaves and mint leaves, and arrange the lemon slices on top.
  • Layer the lid with a kitchen cloth (or aluminum foil) and seal tightly.
    Steaming the Pakistani Chicken Biryani
  • Turn on the heat to medium and allow the biryani to develop steam for 4-5 minutes. You’ll be able to feel the steam starting to escape the sides.
  • Then turn down to the lowest heat and allow it to cook in its steam (‘dum’) for 20 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat and allow the biryani to rest with the lid on for 10 minutes. Do not stir or mix.
  • To serve, gently move to a platter with a rice paddle.
    Pakistani Chicken Biryani



Serving: 1cup | Calories: 591kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 82mg | Sodium: 2966mg | Potassium: 562mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 495IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 111mg | Iron: 3mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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If you like this recipe for Pakistani Chicken Biryani, then you should try our recipe for Grilled Garlic Butter Shrimp.

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