Biryani Chicken… Nothing authentic about it.

Last week my cat Johnny had to share the bed with my husband during his afternoon siesta as well (usually he tolerates people on the bed with him just at night… it was torturous for him). Amar was down with a nasty flu and was tucked in the sheets for four days. I came home one of the days to a very grumpy cat (obviously he wanted his own private space), and to a very sick and very hungry husband. I went straight to the kitchen with the thought of making a light comforting stew or soup for the poor lad, when he called out in a croaky, muffled voice demanding some spicy, VERY spicy chicken for dinner. He wanted so much spice that it opens up all his senses and he can discover his taste buds again. ‘Yes sir, that’s what you’ll get,’ I retorted as I went exploring (head in first) into the refrigerator.

I gathered my basic curry ingredients hoping to find few more green chillies to make it the most fiery curry ever! And then I stumbled upon a packet of ‘biryani masala’, which gave me a brain wave. I opened the packet and with one whiff I knew that there will be some very interesting flavours in this chicken curry. Just by fluke I created one of the best chicken curries that I have cooked on my own ( I usually end up with over done onions or some chicken swimming in a water pot). It was simple this time, full of love, spice and everything nice. ;-P Amar took two big helpings and had some for lunch the next day, and seemed quite content each time. So I thought of sharing my recipe with you all, it may come in handy when you want some spicy comfort food to share with your family.IMG_20150406_154138

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 40 minutes


1kg Cut Chicken (with bone), cleaned and washed

2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced

2 Large Onions, finely chopped

1 Cup pureed tomatoes

5-6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 inch piece of finely chopped ginger

4 small green chillies, finely chopped

2 Tbsp Mustard oil (or any cooking oil you prefer)

1 tsp Cumin seeds

2 Bay leaves

1 stick Cinnamon

4 Cloves

1 Cardamom

4-5 whole Black Peppercorns

1 tsp Coriander powder

1 tsp red chilli powder

1/2 packet Biryani Mix/ Masala (readily available in the market, you can use any brand or if you prefer to make authentic homemade biryani spices please do share the recipe with me 🙂 )

A knob of butter

Salt to taste

Fresh Coriander for garnishing


2 Tbsp Yogurt

1 tsp mustard oil

1 tsp salt

1/2 packet Biryani mix/ masala


  1. Marinate the chicken and keep aside for half an hour.
  2. Heat the oil in a deep pan or wok and add cumin seeds, bay leaves, cinnamon stick, cloves, black peppercorns, and cardamom. Let the spices crackle.
  3. Add the chopped ginger, garlic and onions. Stir fry till the onions are golden brown.
  4. Add the potatoes and stir fry for 5 mins.
  5. Add the green chillies and pureed tomatoes and cook on medium heat for about 2 minutes.
  6. Add coriander powder, chilli powder, biryani mix and salt.
  7. Now add the marinated chicken and mix well. Add the butter, cover and let it cook for 7-10 minutes on medium flame.
  8. Add 500 ml of water, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  9. The chicken is now ready to go straight on to your plates, garnish with fresh coriander and serve with steaming rice.

Amar devoured it with gusto, he went at it with all his fingers, then the entire palm and for 15 minutes we didn’t speak a word. That was followed by a second helping and a satisfied smile. Aah! the joys of cooking for a gourmand husband 🙂


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