Roasted Whole Chicken Biriyani

I was just checking my list of posts and was kind of surprised that I have been posting snacks more than proper meals. I guess it has been more to get myself out of my lazy bout more than anything else. Soon, I should be able to be back to blogging on a scheduled basis, hopefully that is!!!

I really don't know why people get intimated of making a biriyani, but I would say that it is a joy to make! Yes, maybe the first three times, you may find it difficult, especially due to the steps, but a little bit of time management and you can finish making a biriyani in flat one hour! Not this one though, as I roasted the chicken instead of frying or cooking it in the pressure cooker, it did take a little bit more time, but still I didn't have to slog a lot in the kitchen. I have already posted quite a bit of biriyanis here and I promise you, that there are many more that will come in time for sure, considering that we make biriyani almost every weekend and I love to try different types of biriyani or pulao during that time. Having people at home who appreciate non-vegeterian rice meals is also an encouragement, to say the least. :)

I know the list looks long and scary, but trust me, it is quite easy. I must say that the inspiration of making biriyani with a full chicken was from here, however the method I used was what I am comfortable with. I guess I have to brag that my umma loves my biriyanis, period! This way, she ensures that she gets to take rest on Friday afternoons from the kitchen by saying that! She once commented, "I've started eating too much biriyani once you started cooking. What should I do?" I take that as a compliment... :)

Roasted Whole Chicken Biriyani
Serves 4-6


For the chicken:
1 kg chicken, whole cleaned well and patted dry
1 tbsp coriander powder
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
3/4 tsp turmeric powder
3/4 tsp garam masala powder
1/2 tp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp pepper powder
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste
Salt to taste
2 tsp vinegar

For masala:
3 tbsp oil
5-6 cloves
5-6 whole peppercorns
3 cardamoms
2 pcs cinnamon
1 bay leaf
3 large onions, sliced thinly
3 green chillies, slit
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp chilli powder
3 tbsp yogurt
Salt to taste
2 tbsp chopped mint and coriander leaves

For rice:
3 cups of basmathi rice, cleaned and drained
5-6 mint leaves with stem
3 bay leaves
1 pc cinnamon
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste
Water to cook

For dum:
1 large onion, thinly sliced
5-6 cashewnuts
7-8 raisins
3 tbsp ghee
A pinch of saffron, soaked in 3 tbsp hot milk
3 tbsp garam masala
4 tbsp chopped coriander and mint leaves


Combine the ingredients for the chicken in a bowl into a paste. Nicely cover the whole chicken well with the masala, inside and outside. Cover with cling film and marinate the chicken at least for an hour. Roast the chicken as per your oven's instructions till well done. The liquid will ooze out from the breast portion when cooked. Normally, a chicken can be baked in a preheated oven at 200 degrees for 30-40 minutes on one side and another 30-40 minutes on the other side.

While the chicken is being roasted, let us proceed with the masala. Heat oil in a large saucepan. Add the whole spice and fry for a couple of minutes till a nice aroma comes. Add in the sliced onions and the green chillies and saute till the onions becomes soft. Add the ginger and garlic paste and cook for around 5 minutes or till the raw smell of the pastes are gone. Finally add the tomatoes in and cook till the tomato gets all mashed up and the masala is well cooked. Add in the masala powders and cook for another five minutes. Finally add in the yogurt, adjust the salt and the coriander-mint leaves and cook till only hot, don't cook further with the yogurt in it. Switch off and reserve.

Side by side, you can prepare the dum ingredients. Heat a frying pan with the ghee in it. Fry the onions, sprinkled with some salt on top till it turns crisp. Drain onto a kitchen towel. Then fry the cashew nuts till brown and the raisins till puffed up. Drain into the fried onions and reserve the ghee in the pan.

To cook the rice, add the rice to lots of hot water and switch on the flame. Add all the ingredients into the water and let it boil. Lower the flame and let the rice cook till 90% done. Immediately drain the rice and reserve. Discard the mint leaves from the rice.

Now that all our preperations are ready, we can go ahead with the dum. One thing is to ensure that everything is warm while preparing the dum, as it will bring out the best taste in the biriyani. As the first step, you can start by heating your chapathi tawa on meduim flame.

In the saucepan that has the masala, carefully place the whole chicken in the middle and drizzle all the stock into the masala. Sprinkle half of the fried dum ingredients, half the garam masala and half the coriander-mint leaves over the chicken. Slowly spread all the rice on top of chicken and level the top. Sprinkle all the remaining dum ingredients on the top of the rice. Drizzle the ghee that was used for the dum frying on top along with the saffron infused milk. Tightly wrap with aluminuim foil, close the lid tight. Keep it on top of the chapathi tawa, lower the flame to bare minimum and leave it on 25-30 minutes. Want to know how to put the dum? Refer to this post!

Serve warm with raita, pickle and maybe some thenga chammanthi and pappadam!!! Slurp!


1. You can very well make this biriyani with roasted cut peices of chicken. I made the same biriyani that way for my colleagues last week, and Alhamdulillah, it was appreciated!
2. The saffron infused milk and the rosewater are optional. But the difference it gives to the taste and smell is enormous.
3. You can just make plain rice, instead of with the whole masalas and turmeric as you require.

Ah... that was an exhaustive post I must say! Cooking a biriyani is much easier than typing out its recipe! ;)

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