Life. Love. Food

Chicken Biryani

One of my closest friends while I was growing up was a beautiful girl called Sakina. We were very close and played at each other’s homes all the time. Our parents too were very close because ours was a relatively close knit neighborhood. Like nearly every African country, one home’s celebration is the entire neighborhood’s celebration. So whenever there was a party or celebration at Sakina’s place, it was the entire neighborhood’s celebration. I absolutely loved to go to their place because Sakina’s mum always whipped up the most decadent and exotic meals I would have in a long time. Served in generous portions, she made sure that all guests had their tummies full. The parties at Sakina’s home were not to be missed. Period! The very first time I had biryani was at their home, and it really blew my breath away. Today, I relived those fantastic memories and made this unforgettable chicken biryani. This recipe is so fantastic, it will make people want to move in with you.


There are numerous variations to the biryani recipe, I actually believe everyone has their own. After researching, I came up with my own too, with little twists, but still playing up the exotic flavors of this dish.

For the biryani

biryani ingredients
3 cups of basmati rice
2 chicken breast
3 finelly chopped bell pepper
2 grated tomatoes
1 chopped onion
Fresh ginger
Fresh garlic
½ teaspoon of Turmeric powder
1 heaped teaspoon of Garam masala
1 heaped teaspoon of Cardamom spice
1 heaped teaspoon of Ground cumin
1 heaped teaspoon of Ground coriander
1 heaped teaspoon of Black pepper

For the chicken marinade:

marinade ingredients
Two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
Two tablespoons of dark mushroom soy sauce
6 cloves of crushed garlic
Fresh (or dried) rosemary
Roughly chopped coriander

Put your chicken in a bowl, then add your crushed garlic, rosemary leaves and roughly chopped coriander. Then, add your two table spoons of soy sauce and apple cider vinegar and mix. Cover with cling film and allow it to marinate for 4 hours or more, but preferably overnight.

marinating chicken breasts
We talked about the benefits of marination here, and why it makes a huge difference in your meat dishes. Lets now make a deal. Lets agree to always serve beautifully marinated meat, and never serve it in its plain state. Because it is the little things that will always make a difference in your cooking.
After you are done marinating, cut your chicken into small pieces. I prefer to cut mine into strips. Always cut your chicken breast against the grain.

How to cut chicken breast

The first picture shows how you would cut the chicken along the grain. This makes the chicken tough and chewy. But in the second picture, you are cutting against the grain, shortening the protein strands in each bite hence making each piece tender.

slicing chicken breast
Then, put some oil in your pan and fry the chicken. After they are done set them aside.

stir fry chicken
In a sufuria, put your vegetable oil, add your red onions, the crushed ginger and garlic,half of the red and yellow peppers. Let them sauté until they are soft.

frying bell peppers
Then add your grated tomatoes and let them stay on the heat for about 5 minutes. Thereafter, add your boiled rice and the rest of the peppers then mix everything.

rice dish-biryani
After everything is mixed, add all your spices and mix once again until the entire dish is evenly colored.

Biryani-almost ready
It is very important to make sure your rice is singular. For that reason, I chose basmati rice because not only is it aromatic, but its long grains ensure that when it is cooked, the grains remain separate, light and fluffy. And this is key to achieving the perfect biryani.

basmati rice fo biryani
Add your stir fried chicken, still on medium heat, for about 5 minutes then serve.I garnished mine with coriander, but you can also garnish with cashew nuts, raisins or mint.

chicken biryani
Doesn’t this look mouth watering.

chicken biryani with garlic

This is one dish that is guaranteed to make even grown men weep from sheer delight. This mouthwatering dish goes particularly well with gravy, coleslaw or just on its own.

chicken biryani with ginger
I hope you enjoy this dish as much as I did 🙂
Sending peace your way,

Download the recipe and try it!!


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  1. mark voni

    i’m leaving nothing to chance. so here comes the questions:
    1. After I marinate the chicken does it change colour?
    2. You said after adding the fried chicken I let it stay on medium heat. My question is do you mean all the while I should have been cooking on maximum heat?
    3. You did not say at what point I add the ginger? Is it during marination?
    4. What do you mean by “one heaped teaspoon”?
    5. Does it have to be chicken breasts? can chicken wings work?(though i noticed your chicken has no bones. Is that the reason you went for breasts?)

    • kaluhiskitchen

      Hey Mark,
      Marinating chicken does not change its color unless you use something that will prompt that change. For example, in my case, my chicken became brown because of the dark soy sauce i used.
      Actually, all the time you cook, use medium heat. I like that you noticed. I will make the necessary change to make it clear to everyone.
      Add the ginger and the garlic together with the sauted onions and bell pepper.
      A heaped tea spoon is when you serve something on a spoon such that it looks like a mountain on a spoon, in contrast, a normal teaspoon is where you serve something to the level of the spoon without forming a heap.
      For biryani, I recommend breast or thigh because they not only have more flesh, but they are heavier compared to wings. Wings are very tender, and this quality plays against them when it comes to biryani. I think its also better to have your chicken debonned for this dish. My breasts had no bones when I bought them.

  2. mark voni

    hey? the post you have said i add the garlic during marination but in your reply above you have pointed out that i add the garlic and ginger
    together with the sauted
    onions and bell pepper.or it makes no difference what time i add in the garlic

    • kaluhiskitchen

      If you read again, you will see that I used garlic both in marinating the chicken and in making the biryani. You use some garlic during marination which happens the day before, and also during cooking the actual biryani. Just relax, and read through again.

  3. Sophie Shesh Sonia

    You are heaven sent,I have always wanted to know how to make chicken biryani.I am on it during the weekend

    • Kaluhi's_Kitchen

      Asante Sophie! and you wil enjoy this without doubt. Working on another biryani recipe set for next month. You will like that one too.

  4. Mitchelle

    Love this recipe
    Keep on the good work Kaluhi

    • kaluhiskitchen


  5. Jessica

    How many people is this dish supposed to serve?

    • kaluhiskitchen


      • Collins

        Haha… or one special case like me.😜

        • Kaluhi


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