Konkani Chicken Biryani

IMG_0143               As the popular saying goes, making biryani is an art! It tests culinary skills & patience of the cook. This biryani has played major part in turning me into biryani-holic. My cousin’s konkani neighbor – Farzana had cooked this on my nephew’s birthday many years ago. She taught me as well; Since then, every time I try it, I keep learning, failing, improvising it even more.

                 This is not a quick biryani. It’s going to test your patience & desire to create something wonderful for your loved ones.

Bon appetit !!


Chicken-1 kg

Onions -6 (Sliced)

Ginger-Garlic Paste – 2 tsp

Chopped ginger


Mint Leaves



Red Chili Powder

Turmeric Powder

Garam Masala

Milk – 1 small bowl

Sour yogurt – 150 grams



Whole Spices

Caraway Seeds


Cloves            12-14

Bay leaves 4

Green cardamoms -12

Black cardamom – 2

Black Peppers



Smoke giving & Marination 1

  1. Rub cleaned chicken with red chili powder & juice of 1 lemon.
  2. Heat charcoal on the open flame till it turns red.
  3. Place a small dry bowl in the pot where chicken pieces have been kept.
  4. Put hot charcoal in this bowl; pour a small spoon of oil on it. Smoke will start coming out.
  5. Cover the chicken pot immediately with lid to seal the smoke within. Place some heavy object on the lid so that, smoke will not come out. Let the chicken infuse smoke for ½ hour.

Marination 2

  1. Caramelize slices of 4 onions by frying them on high flame with little salt & generous amount of oil. (Stir continuously to ensure even caramelizing. Once they become golden, turn off the flame, take them out & spread evenly on paper towel. Onions will self-cook to desired color & crispness quickly with retained heat). Add half of these onions to the 1st marinade along with beaten sour yogurt, ginger-garlic paste , finely cut green chilies, coriander, mint leaves, oil (from fried onions), garam masala powder, turmeric powder, coriander seeds  powder, cumin powder & salt. Let it marinate for at least 3 hours.

Making Biryani

  1. Meanwhile, wash & soak 1 kg basmati rice in water for around 45 minutes. It will remove the excess starch from rice.
  2. Boil water (twice the amount of rice) in a large vessel. Add half of the the whole spices to the water & let it boil nicely as it absorbs flavors of the spices.
  3. Add soaked rice & salt to it. Mix well, cover the vessel with lid & let the rice cook till 80% done.
  4. Strain the rice & spread in the plate. Let it cool at room temperature. (If rice gets overcooked, trick here is- to refrigerate the rice plates for around 45 minutes. Rice grains will get separated easily). Remove pieces of cooed whole spices from the rice.
  5. Make 3 parts of rice, Boil saffron in milk, and mix it with 1 part of rice. This will give it nice color & fragrance. Mix kevra water & rose water with other parts respectively to make the rice pleasantly aromatic.
  6. Now Place another vessel on the flame, Heat oil and add remaining whole spices. Once they begin to splutter, add remaining raw sliced onions and fry till soft pink. Add marinated chicken to it. Keep stirring on high flame for 10 minutes. Chicken will start releasing juices. Let it simmer for 20 minutes with lid. Mix occasionally. Pour water on the lid to avoid burning of gravy.
  7. Cook the chicken till aroma starts to come out. Remove the lid and cook openly till it’s reduced to thick gravy. Adjust the salt.


  1. Grease inner surface of the thick bottomed vessel with ghee.
  2. Thumb rule of layering any biryani is that, it’s top & bottom layer should be rice. Add kevra flavored rice to the bottom, put 1/3rd of the chicken over it. Garnish it with caramelized onions, chopped coriander, mint leaves, ginger & green chilies.
  3. Repeat the process. Now cover the chicken with rose flavored rice.
  4. Repeat the process again with saffron flavored rice. Now, Make deep holes in the layered rice by using long end of spatula. Heat ghee in the pan and add Caraway Seeds. Once it starts to splutter, pour it in the holes; so that, It will be absorbed in whole biryani.
  5. Immediately put the lid on and cook the biryani on the low flame for 15-20 minutes.

Konkani Chicken Biryani is Ready 🙂

Now comes the final part –

Serving Biryani

You have to be delicate while mixing the biryani so that, rice grains will not break. Make sure to serve all the three flavors of rice with right proportion of chicken pieces. Garnish it with the left fried onions… Enjoy !!!


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