Karachi Style Chicken Biryani

Karachi Style Chicken Biryani

  • Servings: 5-6
  • Total Time:


Biryani Masala

  • 1.5 lb bone-in chicken
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 medium onions, thinly sliced (Reserve 1/3 of fried onions for layering)
  • 4 medium Roma tomatoes, peeled and pureed
  • 1 cup plain yogurt, whipped
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut in large cubes
  • 1.5 tbsp fresh ginger garlic paste
  • 2-3 green chillies, slit
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 black cardamom
  • 3-4 black peppercorns
  • 3-4 cloves
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1.5 tsp red chili powder
  • 0.5 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 0.5 tsp garam masala powder
  • 4 dried plums (aaloo bukhara)


For the Rice

  • 3 cups Royal Chef’s Secret Extra Long Grain Basmati Rice
  • 1 tsp black cumin seeds
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 bay leaf



  • 1 cup fresh coriander, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • Pinch of orange food color (optional)
  • Pinch of saffron (3-4 threads)
  • 1/4 cup milk, warmed
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • Remaining fried onions
  • 1.5 tbsp ghee or butter


  1. Rinse rice gently and thoroughly and soak for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat oil in a pot. Add all the whole garam masalas and sauté until fragrant (1 minute).
  3. Add sliced onions and fry on medium-high heat until golden brown. Set 1/3 of the fried onions aside.
  4.  Add chicken pieces and sauté until the chicken changes color.
  5. Add ginger garlic paste and powdered spices. Sauté for 2-3 minutes and add a splash of water if needed. The spices should coat the chicken well.
  6. Add puréed tomatoes. Mix, then cover and cook on medium heat until the oil separates from the gravy (approx 12-15 minutes).
  7. In a separate pan, heat a tablespoon of oil. Add cubed potatoes and fry until they are golden brown.
  8. Add yogurt to the biryani masala and cook until the masala is thick and the oil separates from the gravy.
  9. Add the fried potatoes and mix. Add slit green chillies and 2 tablespoons of coriander leaves. Simmer for 3-4 minutes, and turn off stove.
  10. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  11. generously with salt and add black cumin seeds, star anise, and bay leaf.
  12. Add the soaked and drained rice and cook till the rice is 70% done.
  13. Drain the rice. In the same pot, add oil, and half the biryani masala, rice, and top with coriander, mint, fried onions, and a few slices of lemon.
  14. Repeat the layer of biryani masala, and rice.
  15. Top the rice with remaining mint leaves, coriander, green chillies, lemon slices, fried onions. Spread ghee over the top, add saffron milk and (optional) orange food color in the middle.
  16. Seal the pot well and simmer the biryani for 15 minutes until steam releases from the pot and the rice is cooked through.
  17. Mix and serve hot with raita, sliced onions, and achar.