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How to Make the Best Biryani at Home: The Ultimate Guide

Biryani is a flavorful and aromatic rice dish that originated in the Indian subcontinent. It is a beloved dish known for its rich flavors, tender meat, and fragrant rice. If you’ve ever wondered how to make the best chicken and mutton biryani at home, you’re in the right place. In this ultimate guide to biryani, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of creating a delicious biryani that will impress your family and friends.


Biryani is a dish that combines basmati rice, tender meat, and a blend of aromatic spices. It is a complete meal in itself, with layers of flavors and textures. The process of making biryani involves marinating the chicken/mutton meat, cooking the rice, and then layering and cooking them together. The result is a mouthwatering dish that is loved by people of all ages.

What is Biryani?

Biryani is a rice-based dish that originated in the Indian subcontinent and has since gained popularity worldwide. It is made by cooking meat, such as chicken or mutton, with fragrant long-grain basmati rice and a variety of spices. The slow cooking process allows the flavors to meld together, resulting in a dish that is aromatic, flavorful, and incredibly satisfying.

How to Make the Best Biryani at Home: The Ultimate Guide 1

The Origins of Biryani

Biryani has a rich history that dates back several centuries. It is believed to have originated in the Indian subcontinent, with influences from Persian and Mughlai cuisines. The dish was introduced by the Mughals and quickly gained popularity among the royalty and nobility. Over time, biryani evolved and adapted to the regional tastes and preferences, giving rise to various regional variations of the dish.

Types of Biryani: Chicken Biryani/Mutton Biryani

Biryani comes in different regional variations, each with its unique flavors and cooking techniques. Some popular types of biryani include:

  • Hyderabadi Biryani: Known for its rich and spicy flavors, Hyderabadi biryani is made with basmati rice, meat, and a blend of aromatic spices.
  • Lucknowi Biryani: This biryani is known for its delicate flavors and the use of fragrant spices like saffron and rose water.
  • Kolkata Biryani: Kolkata biryani is characterized by its use of potatoes and boiled eggs along with meat, giving it a unique twist.
  • Malabar Biryani: Hailing from the Malabar region of Kerala, this biryani is influenced by the flavors of the coastal region and is often made with fragrant ghee.
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Ingredients Required

To make the best chicken or mutton biryani at home, you will need the following main ingredients:

  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 500 grams chicken, cut into pieces or 500 grams mutton, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 4-5 green chilies, slit
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon biryani masala
  • Fresh coriander leaves, chopped
  • Fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • Saffron strands (optional)
  • Ghee or oil for cooking
  • Salt to taste

Preparing the Chicken or Mutton Marinade

In separate bowls, combine the yogurt, ginger-garlic paste, turmeric powder, red chili powder, garam masala, biryani masala, and salt. Mix well to form a smooth marinade. Add the chicken pieces to one bowl and the mutton pieces to another. Ensure that the meat is well coated with the marinade. Cover the bowls and let the chicken and mutton marinate for at least 1 hour, preferably in the refrigerator.

How to Make the Best Biryani at Home: The Ultimate Guide 3
Chicken Biryani

Cooking the Rice

Wash the basmati rice thoroughly and soak it in water for about 30 minutes. In a large pot, bring water to a boil and add salt. Drain the soaked rice and add it to the boiling water. Cook the rice until it is 70-80% cooked. The grains should still have a slight bite to them. Once cooked, drain the rice and set it aside.

Layering the Biryani

In a deep, heavy-bottomed pan, heat ghee or oil. Add the sliced onions and green chilies and sauté until the onions turn golden brown. Remove half of the fried onions from the pan and set them aside for garnishing. Add the marinated chicken and mutton to the pan and cook until they are partially cooked and tender. Layer the partially cooked meat with half of the cooked rice. Repeat the layers, ending with a layer of rice on top.

Dum Cooking Technique

Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid to create a seal. Cook the biryani on low heat for about 20-25 minutes. This slow cooking process, known as dum, allows the flavors to infuse into the rice and the meat.

Garnishing and Serving

Once the biryani is cooked, remove it from the heat and let it sit for a few minutes. Garnish with the reserved fried onions, chopped coriander leaves, and mint leaves. If desired, sprinkle saffron strands soaked in milk over the top for added aroma and color. Serve the chicken and mutton biryani hot with raita or a side salad.

Tips for a Perfect Chicken and Mutton Biryani

  • Use good quality basmati rice for the best results. Soaking the rice before cooking helps in achieving long and fluffy grains.
  • Adjust the spice levels according to your taste preferences. You can increase or decrease the amount of red chili powder and green chilies accordingly.
  • For added flavor, you can also add whole spices like cinnamon sticks, cloves, and cardamom pods to the cooking process.
  • Allow the biryani to rest for a few minutes after cooking. This helps in enhancing the flavors and ensures that the rice and meat are well infused.
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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the best type of rice for biryani?

    Basmati rice is the preferred choice for biryani due to its long grains and fragrant aroma. It adds a distinct flavor and texture to the dish.

  2. Can I use boneless chicken and mutton for biryani?

    Yes, you can use boneless chicken and mutton for biryani. However, bone-in pieces add more flavor to the dish.

  3. How long does it take to cook chicken and mutton biryani?

    The cooking time for chicken and mutton biryani can vary, but on average, it takes about 1.5 to 2 hours, including the marination time and the dum cooking process.

  4. Can I make vegetarian biryani?

    Absolutely! You can substitute the chicken and mutton with vegetables like carrots, peas, and potatoes to make a delicious vegetarian Tehri. It will not be Biryani but Tehri(which is another dish) as carrots, potatoes are nothing like chicken or mutton.

  5. How can I adjust the spice level in biryani?

    To adjust the spice level, you can increase or decrease the amount of red chili powder, green chilies, or biryani masala according to your preference.


Making the best chicken and mutton biryani at home is a rewarding experience that brings together the flavors of aromatic spices, tender meat, and fragrant rice. By following the step-by-step guide provided in this article, you can create a biryani that is bursting with flavor and sure to impress your family and friends. So, gather your ingredients, unleash your culinary skills, and enjoy the delight of a homemade chicken and mutton biryani.

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