Lucknow Style Chicken Biryani

Made with lesser ingredients, yet at the end the biryani comes out so flavorful, that is the specialty of our special ‘Lucknow style Chicken Biryani’. Lets see the steps to prepare it in our home.


  1.     Basmati Rice – 500 grams
  2.     Chicken – 500 grams
  3.     Onion – 250 grams
  4.     Salt – 1 tablespoon
  5.     Black Cardamom – 1
  6.     Cardamom – 4
  7.     Cinnamon – 1
  8.     Javitri – 1
  9.     Clove – 4
  10.     Nutmeg – ½
  11.     Milk – 200 ml
  12.     Curd – 150 ml
  13.     Saffron – 1 pinch
  14.     Rose water – 2 tablespoon (or Kewra water – 2 tablespoon)
  15.     Chilli powder – 3/4 tablespoon
  16.     Ginger garlic paste – 2 tablespoons


For boiling rice:

  1.     Cardamom – 3
  2.     Clove – 3
  3.     Cinnamon – 2
  4.     Green Chilli – 3
  5.     Lemon – 1/4
  6.     Salt – 1 and a 1/4 tablespoon

Things to be done before we start cooking

  • Rinse 500 grams of basmati rice in clean water – wash the rice and drain the water – repeat the same to clean the rice well. Drain the water and keep it aside in a bowl.
  • Wash the chicken pieces in water and let them drain. Keep it aside.
  • Peel the skin of 250 grams of onion, chop them into thin slices.
  • Ginger-Garlic Paste: Peel the skin of 100 grams of ginger and garlic – then grind them together to get the required ‘ginger-garlic’ paste.

Steps to Prepare

1.   Place a pan (3 litres capacity or more) on the stove, turn on the flame to medium mode.

2.     Put 250 grams of chopped onions into the pan. Pour refined oil – 150 ml. Start stirring the onions till they turn light brown.

3.     Once, onions turn brown, put in 1 tablespoon of salt. Stir a little for 5 or 10 seconds.

4.     Then put in 500 grams of chicken pieces into pan and start stirring for next 30 to 40 seconds. We just need the flavour of onion on the chicken pieces.

5.    Then let’s add – Kashmiri chilli powder – 3/4 tablespoon. Start stirring for 15 to 20 seconds. Now, we need to add 2 tablespoons of “Ginger-garlic” paste (that we have prepared). Stir for 60 to 75 seconds.

6.     Let’s add the below –

  • Cardamom – 4
  • Cinnamon – 1 (break into smaller pieces and add)
  • Javitri – 1
  • Clove – 4
  • Black cardamom – 1
  • Nutmeg – ½ (take 1 nutmeg, crush it with a stone – break it – take just half)

Stir well for 10 seconds. Then pour “Curd – 150 ml” and stir for another 10 to 20 seconds.

7.     Now let’s add saffron – 1 pinch. Then pour rose water – 2 tablespoons. (or) we can pour Kewra water – 2 tablespoons. Stir for 15 to 20 seconds.

8.     Close the pan with a lid. Turn the flame to LOW mode. Let the chicken get cooked in low flame for next 10 minutes.

(In this 10-minute interval, chicken pieces get cooked up to 75%)

9.     After 10 minutes, remove the lid, turn off the flame. Use a tong to pick the chicken pieces alone and place them in a bowl. Keep the bowl with chicken pieces aside.

10.     Now, take another bowl, place a steel strainer on it. Then pour the masala content from pan into the bowl. The onion and spices will stay on the strainer. Use a spoon to press them well so that the liquid alone pours into the bowl. 

Put away the onion and spice that stayed back in the strainer.

11.     There will be little oil floating on the masala liquid collected in the bowl. Use a spoon and just take the oil that is floating on the top and pour it into a small bowl and keep it aside to be used in the last process of preparation. (Take 4 or 5 spoons).

12.     Pour 200 ml of milk into the bowl containing masala liquid. Then keep this bowl aside for now.

13.      Place another big pan on the stove, turn on the flame to high mode. Pour in 1.5 litres of water. Then add the below to it –

  • Cardamom – 3
  • Cloves – 3
  • Cinnamon – 2 pieces
  • Green chilli – 2 (cut and add)
  • Lemon – ¼ (add it as a piece – no need to take juice and pour it)

Close the pan with a lid. Let the water boil for another 6 to 7 minutes.


  • After 7 minutes of boiling, remove the lid and add ‘1 + ¼’ tablespoon of salt.
  • Put in the basmati rice (500 grams, washed and cleaned)

Stir gently for 10 seconds so that rice doesn’t break.

  • Use a spoon and remove the spices and green chilli and lemon piece floating in water. Remove all of these and put them in another small bowl.

15.     Let the water boil and rice get cooked to 75%. We can see that rice strands get longer and when we press, we can feel it is little raw. Remove the pan from stove and place it aside for now.

16.     Place another pan (use the pan used to cook chicken in previous steps) on burner, keep it to LOW flame mode. Then add the below to the pan –

  • Chicken pieces
  • Masala liquid + milk – mixture

Let the masala gravy boil in medium flame.

17.     Use a steel strainer and drain water from rice. Rice be left in the strainer for some time so that water can be drained off.

18.     Once the chicken and masala gravy start to boil, put in the rice. Level the rice evenly all over the pan. Then, pour the oil that we have collected from gravy (in step 14, last point).

In addition to this, we can take 1 pinch of ‘yellow coloring agent’ and mix it with 2 tablespoons of water and then pour it over the rice top to attain even more color. We can avoid this step if we don’t prefer artificial colors.

19.     Close the pan with a lid, keep the flame to HIGH mode for just 1 minute (60 seconds). Then immediately turn the flame to LOW mode and let the contents get cooked for another 7 to 10 minutes. This is called the ‘Dum Process’.

20.     After 10 minutes, turn off the flame, but don’t remove the lid. Let the contents stay in the heat for another 15 minutes for even more dum process to happen.

21.     Remove the lid, stir from bottom, be very gentle so that rice strands don’t break.

Serve it with onion raitha as an accompaniment.


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