Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Chettinad Chicken Biryani | Restaurant Chicken Biryani

Chettinad Chicken Biryani, a delicious & spicy chicken biryani with wonderful aroma. Chettinad cuisine is known for its flavor and unique spices in their cooking. 

Traditional chettinad recipes are mostly vegetarian and non vegetarian recipes are included in their cuisine very lately in the 18th century only. But now days, through the non veg dishes only, most people knew the chettinad cuisine, mainly because of the influence of chained chettinad restaurant like anjappar and so on. 
In our home, we are all fond of mutton biryani mainly because of its flavor and especially to me, Biryani means "Mutton Biryani" only, nothing beats the flavor of mutton biryani. Comes to mutton biryani, mutton gives great flavor to the rice and it doesn't need much flavor from other ingredients to make it so aromatic and delicious.

However, i felt that chicken biryani lacks that flavor until when i had tried this recipe. Seriously, i'm not exaggerating here, truly the flavor is amazing and all my chicken biryani recipe back off with this one :-) 

Coming to the recipe, a year back Amma told me about this chettinad chicken biryani recipe that tastes so similar to restaurant(anjappar) biryani which she had heard it from my periamma(her elder sister), seriously i do admire Amma and her sisters eagerness to try new recipes and voluntarily sharing the recipe with anyone if it turned out delicious.

After taking all the key notes from Amma, i tried the recipe in the next few days, it turned out ok and was not quite satisfied with the outcome. The main reason was that i had skipped a few key ingredients from the original recipe, one of them was "Mutton masala powder" from Sakti/aachi brand for the amazing flavor. 

Guess what ? Here in Canada, those brands are not available, so asked to take picture of ingredient list from the masala packet and watsapp it to me, Appa did promptly on the next day. After knowing all the ingredients that goes into masala, i was in the process of  creating my own recipe to replicate the flavor. 

In the first attempt, grounded all those spices and used it in the biryani, the flavor was way more intense than what i had expected, may be because of the freshness of the spices. It was quite over powering for me, so in the next time onwards, i have used them for tempering and it's perfect for my preference.  If you have mutton masala powder, use it a couple of tsp and reduce the whole gram masala in the tempering.

Once nailed the flavor of the biryani, the next struggle was how to cook that perfect texture of rice without being mushy or burned at the bottom.For this recipe, the mint and tomato are made into puree for better flavor, since it's puree, the chance of sticking to the bottom and get burnt is high. OMG, the struggle was REAL. 

It took me really a long time to figure that out, whatever Amma suggested didn't work for me because of the different stove top here and i wasn't cooking in the direct flame, so i had to figure out myself with trial and error. 

And finally after zillionth trial, it worked !!! Check out the notes section for all tips that i have learned in this process of making perfect chettinad biryani in pressure cooker. For the past three or four months, this biryani recipe is on repeat mode in my kitchen, honestly it's not a complaint !!! Do give it a try if you're looking for flavorful restaurant like chicken biryani. Now let's check out the recipe.

Chettinad Chicken Biryani

Preparation Time : 30 mins | Cooking Time : 20 minsServes :
Recipe Category: Biryani | Recipe Cuisine: Indian
Chettinad Chicken Biryani,Chicken Biryani,Restaurant Chicken Biryani,Basmati Rice, Chicken Recipe Chettinad Chicken Biryani, a delicious & spicy chicken biryani with wonderful aroma. Chettinad cuisine is known for its flavor and unique spices in their cooking.
Chicken - 1 lb
Basmati rice - 1 cup
Onion -1 
Tomato - 1 
Green chili - 1
Mint - 1 small bunch
Coriander leaves - a handful
Bay leaf - 1
Cinnamon - 1/2 inch piece
Cloves - 3 
Cardamom - 2
Kalpaasi - a small piece
Star anise - 1/2 
Curry leaves - few
Ghee - 1 tbsp
Oil - 1 tbsp
Water - 1 & 1/2 cups
(see notes for more clarification)
Salt - to taste
To marinate
Curd - 2 to 3 tbsp
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tbsp
Red chili powder - 3/4 tsp
Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
Lemon juice - 1 tsp
Salt - enough for chicken

First wash the chicken with water thrice and add 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder and rub it well and wash once and keep it ready,then add all the ingredients listed under "To marinate" one by one.
Mix it well and cover it with lid and keep aside for minimum 1 hrs.
Soak the basmati rice in water for 30 mins. Cut the onion into thin slices, tomato into small cubes, clean the mint and coriander leaves. Add the tomatoes and mint leaves into mixie jar and grind into smooth puree.
In a pressure cooker, heat the oil, add cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, star anise and kalpaasi and saute it for 30 secs, then add the onions, curry leaves and green chili. Saute til the onions are translucent.
Add the marinated chicken and saute it in the oil for 2 mins, then add the tomato & mint puree into the chicken, give a good mix.
Wash the mixie jar with 1/2 cup of water and add into the chicken and pressure cook for one whistle. 
Let the pressure release from the cooker automatically and then open it, measure the cooked water in the pressure and add the more needed water(see notes for water) & salt(we already added salt in the marination, so here add only for rice). Drain the water from the soaked rice.
Let the water comes to boil and then add the soaked rice, give a gentle mix without breaking the rice.
Bring into vigorous boil and cover the pressure cooker with lid and cook it for 1 whistle and keep it in lowest possible heat for 5 mins and switch off the flame. Let the pressure release from the cooker automatically and then open it.
Transfer the biryani into another pot (to avoid further cooking of the rice ), add the finely chopped coriander leaves and ghee. Mix it gently. 
Tasty and flavorful chicken biryani is ready. Serve it with raitha and chicken curry. We had it with chicken kulambu, Onion raitha & tandoori chicken.

  • Measure the chicken cooked water and then add the needed water. For ex: if the cooked chicken water is 1 cup, then add only 1/2 cup of extra water for 1 cup of rice. Rice and water ratio is 1:1 &1/2
  • Chicken leaves water while pressure cooking and also the curd in the marination increase the liquid content. So there may be chance of more than 1/2 cup of liquid in the cooked chicken than the added 1/2 cup of water.  So make sure to measure the liquid before adding the water.
  • Make sure to soak the rice for minimum 30 mins. 
  • Make sure to keep the biryani in the lowest possible heat after one whistle to avoid burning at the bottom.
  • Still if you're worried about burning at the bottom, place the cooker on the tava  instead on stove directly after one whistle.
  • Once the rice is added into pressure cooker, make sure to bring into vigorous boil and close the lid and put on weight. The first whistle will happen around 3 to 4 mins. Even if not whistle after 5 mins, keep the flame in lowest possible. Further keeping the flame in high leads to burning at the bottom. 
  • After adding the rice, stir the whole mixture till the bottom and make sure that nothing sticks to the bottom.
  • Kalpasi,ghee & mint tomato paste are the major flavor, so don't skip it or reduce the quantity. 
  • You can make this biryani with seeraga samba rice also.
  • For even more flavor, you can grind 1/2 of whole garam masala spice with mint and add the remaining in the tempering.
  •  If you have mutton masala powder in hand, use it a couple of tsp and reduce the whole gram masala in the tempering.


  1. Tried this. Came out Pretty good. Thanks for the recipe.

    1. You're welcome. Thank you for the feedback, glad you liked it.