Butter Chicken Biryani | Easy Chicken Biryani Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 6 servings
For marinating chicken:
  • Chicken – 1 & ½ kg, bone-in & skinless pieces, cut into 15 pieces approximately
  • Curd/yogurt – 500 gms, preferably hung/thick yogurt
  • Ginger paste – 1 tbsp
  • Garlic paste – 1 tbsp
  • Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
  • Kashmiri red chili powder – 3 tbsp
  • Garam masala – 1 tsp
  • Salt to taste
For butter chicken gravy:
  • Onion – 1, large, grated
  • Ginger – 2-inch piece, grated
  • Garlic – 10-12 cloves, grated
  • Green chili – 2 (or more as per your liking)
  • Mustard oil – 6 to 8 tbsp
  • Butter – 4 tbsp
  • Green cardamom – 6
  • Cloves – 6
  • Black cardamom – 2
  • Cinnamon – 2-inch piece
  • Mace – 1 to 2 pieces
  • Star anise – 2
  • Tomatoes – 6, blanched and pureed (or ½ cup tomato paste)
  • Sugar – 2 tsp
  • Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
  • Coriander powder – 2 tsp
  • Kashmiri chili powder – 3 tsp
  • Garam masala – 1 tsp
  • Kasoori methi – 2 tsp
  • Salt to taste
For biryani rice:
  • Basmati rice – 500 gms, washed and soaked for 15 minutes
  • Bay leaf – 2
  • Whole peppercorn – 1 tsp
  • Salt – 1 tsp
Other ingredients:
  • Onion – 5, large, thinly sliced
  • Mustard oil – 2 tbsp + more for deep frying
  • Unsalted butter – 6 tbsp (about 70 gms)
  • Salted butter – 4 tbsp, cut into 8 to 10 small cubes
  • Fresh cream – ½ cup
  • Fresh mint leaves – 1 cup
  • Fresh coriander leaves – 1 cup, chopped
  • Saffron strands – 1 pinch
  • Milk – 4 tbsp, warm lightly
  • Kesar/orange food color – ½ tsp (optional)
Marinating chicken:
  1. Wash chicken thoroughly and drain out all excess water. Take them in a large bowl and add all ingredients listed under marinate.
  2. Massage all the marinating ingredients well into each piece to coat them thoroughly. Make sure the spices reach deep into the nooks and crannies of the chicken pieces.
  3. Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and let the chicken marinate in refrigerator for at least 4 hours but preferably overnight.
Cooking rice:
  1. Boil a large pot of water and add salt, bay leaves and whole peppercorn to it. When the water starts boiling, add the washed rice to it. Cook the rice until half-cooked which would take about 8 to 9 minutes on high heat.
  2. Drain the water out immediately and spread the rice in a colander to let excess water drip off. Do not rinse the rice in cold water.
Making brown onion:
  1. Heat enough mustard oil in a deep-frying pan to deep fry the sliced onions. I recommend to deep fry the onions in batches instead of adding all sliced onions at one go. If your pan is not big enough, the onions will be steamed in stead of frying leaving you with soggy onion in stead of crispy fried brown onion.
  2. Once the onion slices turn golden brown, take them out and put them on a plate. Keep in mind that onions have carry over cooking effect; so do not wait till they turn completely brown in oil. Take them out before that and they will turn a shade darker while resting due to the carry over cooking effect.
Cooking chicken:
  1. Heat a deep, heavy-bottomed pot and add 2 tablespoons of mustard oil and the unsalted butter to it. Once the butter is melted, add the whole spices to temper it – sahi jeera, green & black cardamoms, cloves, cinnamon, mace and star anise. Sauté them on medium flame until they become fragrant, about a minute or so.
  2. Next add the grated onion and cook it for couple of minutes. Then goes in the grated ginger, grated garlic and green chilies. Keep sautéing them on medium flame until they turn golden brown. This would take about 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. Now add the marinated chicken along with all the marinating liquid. Their may be a lot of liquid but they will get absorbed as you cook the chicken.
  4. Continue cooking the chicken on medium high flame until the oil starts to separate. This will take anywhere between 15 to 20 minutes on medium flame.
  5. Once the oil starts to separate, add tomato puree and sugar to balance the tartness of tomatoes. Also season with salt to taste. Stir to mix everything well and let the tomato puree cook for 10 minutes.
  6. Now add all the powdered spices – turmeric powder, coriander powder, Kashmiri chili powder and garam masala. Splash couple of spoons of water and fry the spices on medium high heat for 2 minutes or until oil starts to separate again from the mixture.
  7. Add kasoori methi to the chicken and stir to mix well. Sauté for couple of minutes more.
  8. Add about a cup of hot water to the chicken and bring it to boil. Then cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until the chicken is completely cooked.
Assembling butter chicken biryani:
  1. First warm up the milk lightly and add the saffron strands to it to let them release their color. Set aside.
  2. Take the pot of chicken off the heat for assembling the biryani in the same pot. Give the chicken a final stir; there should be some gravy left in the pot which will be absorbed by the rice while cooking biryani.
  3. Using a spatula, evenly arrange the chicken at the bottom of the pot. Now drizzle the fresh cream on top covering the chicken. Do not stir.
  4. Sprinkle half of the crispy brown onion, half of the mint leaves and half of the chopped coriander leaves on top. Try to sprinkle them as evenly as possible. Do not stir.
  5. Now add the rice by evenly arranging them on top covering everything below completely so that chicken is not visible from top. Sprinkle remaining fried onion, mint leaves and coriander leaves.
  6. Mix the food color, if using, in the saffron infused warm milk and whisk thoroughly to dissolve the color completely. Now drizzle the colored milk on top distributing evenly all over the rice. The milk will trickle down below and color the lower layers of rice too.
  7. Finally, place the salted butter cubes all over the rice. You can replace this butter with couple of tablespoons of ghee.
  8. Now cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid. I do not seal the lid and still my butter chicken biryani turned out to be super flavorful. If you wish, you can seal the edge of the lid with some dough so that no steam can escape from the pot.
  9. Place a heavy bottomed tawa or skillet on high heat and then place the pot of assembled biryani on the tawa. Let the biryani cook on high heat for 2 minutes. Then reduce the flame to lowest setting and let it cook for 30 minutes.
  10. After 30 minutes, shut the flame off and let the biryani rest for 15 minutes more before serving. After 15 minutes, uncover the pot and serve the most amazing butter chicken biryani, that too homemade, with raita and salaan! Enjoy!
Recipe by Everyday Indian Recipes at https://www.everydayindianrecipes.com/easy-butter-chicken-biryani/