Chicken biryani

Biryani with chicken

The recipe for this dish was generously given to me by a (lady) chef who works for an NGO here in Beirut; biryanis (various versions of the original Indian biryanis) are popular in Iraq and in the Gulf countries where they are considered an important part of the local cuisine. The richness in spices in these dishes is a far cry from traditional Lebanese rice dishes which tend to be subdued where spices are concerned.

make chicken stock

Recipe from Mrs. F. Hassan

  • 1 whole chicken, cut-up or 1 dozen chicken pieces (half for the stock, half to cook the chicken)
  • 2 large yellow onions (chop one and keep the other whole)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled, chopped and mashed in a mortar with a teaspoon of salt
  • 2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
  • 4 tomatoes, chopped small
  • 1 potato, peeled, cut into dice
  • 3 cups Basmati or long-grain rice
  • 1 cup green peas
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • 1cup tomato sauce
  • 3 carrots, peeled and shredded
  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • Spices: 1 stick cinnamon, 4 cardamom pods, 1/8 tsp. saffron, 1 tsp. turmeric, 1 tbsp. Biryani spice mix, salt to taste
  • Vegetable oil as needed 


Make the chicken stock:

Place the neck and wings in a pot with the onion studded with 2 cloves; add a stick of cinnamon and a bay leaf; add 6 cups of water, cover and bring to a simmer; let the stock simmer for 45 minutes. Strain the stock into a large bowl.

Place the saffron and raisins in a small bowl, add ½ cup of hot water and set aside.

Heat ¼ cup of oil in a large pot and fry the onion a few minutes; add the mashed garlic, ginger and chicken pieces, browning them slightly for 10 minutes, flipping them from time to time; add the tomatoes and coconut milk and simmer the mixture covered for 10 minutes.

Add the spices, saffron and raisins with their water, rice and tomato sauce to the pot, along with the drained chicken stock; cover and let the rice cook for 20 minutes. Fry the potatoes and drain; add the shredded carrots, peas and potatoes five minutes before the rice is fully cooked. Serve the rice warm.

simmer biryani 10 minutes

add rice to the biryani

close-up biryani


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  1. Posted April 4, 2013 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    Scrumptious! Such rice dishes (biryani, pilafs, pulao, etc…) are always tasty and ever so comforting.



  2. Posted April 4, 2013 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    This is so delicious and comforting. Love all the flavours you have incorporated into this tasty rice dish.

  3. Richelle de Wit
    Posted April 4, 2013 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    What spices would you find in the Biryani spice mix. Don´t think I can buy a ready-made spice mix here in Spain!!

  4. Posted April 4, 2013 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    Lovely recipe! I like byriani very much, but have never made it myself. This one looks delicious!

  5. Posted April 4, 2013 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    What a coincidence! I am making lamb biryani tomorrow for an article I am writing. It is always nice to get a recommended recipe. I did not realize that biryanis were so popular around the world.

  6. Posted April 4, 2013 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    This is my kind of rice dish!!

  7. Talin
    Posted April 4, 2013 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

    This is one of our favorite dishes I make, my family just loves it.
    It is so fragrant, warm……on your palette it leaves memories of distant lands rich in taste and culture. I will definately try this recipe, thank you for sharing.

  8. Posted April 5, 2013 at 3:27 am | Permalink

    That dish looks sooooo tasty. Hope you have a good week end.

  9. Posted April 5, 2013 at 4:52 am | Permalink

    How funny, I always think of biryani as an Indian dish and never imagined it was also done in other countries. How silly of me. Lovely dish and easy to make.

  10. Posted April 5, 2013 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    UN classique indien que j’adore …

  11. Posted April 5, 2013 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    Ahhh…with this recipe at hand, I’ll never make another boring rice dish again.

  12. Posted April 6, 2013 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    My daughter’s mother-in-law who is from Kerala, India, make these but I have always been scared to try them. Now I’ll make your recipe – it sounds delicious and easy. Est-ce que tu as une recette pour les feuilles de vigne farcies?

  13. Joumana
    Posted April 6, 2013 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    @Vagabonde: oui j’en ai plusieurs; tu veux les farcir a la viande ou vegan?(riz et herbes)

  14. Posted April 9, 2013 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    I can imagine how wonderful the aroma is while this is cooking! It sounds delicious and who doesn’t love a one pot meal?

  15. Posted April 18, 2013 at 1:16 am | Permalink

    Tendrement goûtu ce poulet avec son superbe riz….

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