Kolkata Style Chicken Biriyani

Wishing Happy Diwali to everyone!! For past few years Diwali menu in my home is almost fixed Biriyani, tehari, chciken chaap, mutton kosha etc. And this year is no exception. While every year the style of Biriyani keeps changing from Mutton Tehari, to Hyderabadi Biriyani and sometimes Yakhni Pulao, this year it is Kolkata style Chicken Biriyani. So, enjoy the Kolkata style chicken Biriyani with this recipe at home. Yes, I agree it is lot of work. But believe me, it is completely worth it.

Kolkata Style Chicken Biriyani

Course Main Course
Cuisine Bengali
Keyword chicken Biriyani, kolkatastylebiriyani
Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings 4


For Biriyani Masala

  • 6-7 green cardamom
  • 1-2 black cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon of cloves
  • 1" x 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 floret mace
  • ¼ nutmeg
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 teaspoon of shahi jeera
  • 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of black peppercorn

For Marinade

  • 1 Kg of chicken (with bone)
  • 1 cup of curd
  • ½ tablespoons of ginger paste
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon of Kashmiri red chili powder
  • teaspoon of black pepper powder
  • 1 tablespoon of biryani masala
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ cup of cooking oil/mustard oil or mix of the two

For Biriyani rice

  • 2 cups of Basmati rice
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 3-4 green cardamom
  • 1 black cardamom
  • 4-5 cloves
  • 2” cinnamon stick broken into pieces
  • 1 floret mace
  • ¼ nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon of sahi jeera
  • 1 teaspoon of black peppercorn
  • Salt to taste
  • Ghee or clarified butter

Other ingredients

  • 3-4 potatoes
  • 2 onions thinly sliced
  • 2 hard boiled large eggs
  • Dough to seal the pot of biriyani
  • cup of warm milk
  • 8-10 saffron strands
  • ¼ cup of ghee
  • 2 drops of meetha attar
  • ½ teaspoon of Kewra water
  • 1 teaspoon of rose water


  • Take a cast iron skillet or tava. Dry roast all the ingredients listed under Biriyani masala. Make a powder of all dry roasted spices. The Biriyani masala is now ready.

Preparing the Chicken

  • In a large bowl beat the curd, mix all ingredients listed under chicken marinade (except oil and chicken) to make a smooth paste.
  • Add chicken and keep aside for 4-5 hrs or at least 1 hr.
  • Heat oil in a thick bottomed pot and fry thinly sliced onion till golden brown. This is known as beresta. (See Notes)
  • Remove from oil and keep on paper towels until needed.
  • Fry potatoes and egg separately in the same kadai. Remove from oil and keep them aside.
  • Add chicken into the same pot along with the marinade, about 90% of the fried onions(beresta) and fried potatoes and continue cooking on medium flame until chicken is 80-90% done.
  • Remove chicken from oil and keep separately. Continue cooking the potatoes till they are completely done and oil floats on top of spices.
  • Turn off the flame. Spread the chicken evenly on the surface of the pot. This will be the bottom layer of our biriyani.
  • Sprinkle about 1 teaspoon of the biriyani masala on the chicken. Do not mix. Place the eggs on this layer.
  • The meat layer of biriyani is ready. Keep the pot aside.

Preparing the rice

  • Wash and clean the rice and soak for 30 mins.
  • Soak the saffron strands in warm milk and keep aside.
  • Make a pouch of muslin cloth with all the ingredients of rice except rice, salt, ghee, sahi jeera and bay leaves and dough for sealing.
  • Bring water to boil with bay leaves, salt (see notes), ghee, sahi jeera, 1 tablespoon of oil and spice-bag in a large pot. .
  • Add rice and cook until rice is half done.(See Notes) Turn off the flame. Strain the rice from the pot and immediately transfer it on the layer of the chicken that you had prepared earlier. Also add about 4-5 tablespoons of the rice water to the pot. This rice water provides the moisture for cooking the rice.
  • Sprinkle the remaining beresta on the rice, ¼ cup of ghee, saffron milk, rosewater, kewra water, meetha attar.
  • Cover the edge of the pot with atta dough and seal with the cover. Now, turn on the flame on high heat for 2 minutes.
  • Now, reduce the flame to minimum and continue keeping the biriyani on dum for another 15 minutes.
  • After 15 minutes turn off the flame and keep the biriyani sealed till ready to serve.
  • Enjoy Kolkata style Biriyani with chicken chap.


  1. While frying the onions care should be taken not to over fry them. Overfrying the onions will make your biriyani bitter.
  2. I generally cook the chicken in the same pot, I plan to assemble the biriyani.
  3. The salt in the water for cooking the biriyani rice should be high. The water is anyway discarded and the rice absorbs exactly the amount of salt necessary. 
  4. While making the rice, It is important to be around. If the rice gets slightly more cooked, it will turn mushy when put on dum.

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