chicken tikka biryani recipe

Chicken Tikka Biryani

Serves - 4-6

Ingredients for Chicken Tikka

  • 1 full chicken - skinless (cut into 8-12 pieces)
  • 1 tbsp tandoori masala (select the tandoori masala based on on spice level) 
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp salt (adjust to taste)
  • 2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1/4 cup yoghurt
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp oil

Ingredients - Gravy

  • 4 onions, sliced finely and fried until golden
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 5 fresh tomatoes, chopped into small pieces
  • 4 peeled, quartered and fried potatoes (optional)
  • 1/4 cup yoghurt, fresh and whipped
  • 1/2 tsp garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp ginger paste
  • 1-2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp red paprika chilli powder
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 cardamom pod
  • 2 cloves
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp sugar to cut the acidity from the tomatoes (optional)
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • pinch of saffron powder
  • salt to taste
  • chopped cilantro for garnishing

Ingredients for Rice

  • 3 cups Basmati rice
  • salt
  • saffron & food coloring
  • oil
  • whole spices (cinnamon, cardamom, cloves)


Chicken Tikka 


Slice 2-3 deep slits on each piece of chicken and apply the marinade generously. Cover and refrigerate the marinated chicken tikka preferably overnight for best results or if short on time do it for 4-6 hours.

Taste the marinade before adding your chicken and adjust for salt and spice level. Best to have a bit salty marinade to begin with since the chicken is without salt. If you prefer a more vibrant colored chicken tikka, add a few drops of food coloring and mix well.

Grilled Chicken

Using low heat, grill the marinated chicken tikka and ensure the chicken is cooked thoroughly. Turn the chicken on the grill occasionally to get the perfect grill marks.


Tikka Masala

Heat vegetable/canola oil in a deep pan.

Add the whole spices (cinnamon, cardamom and cloves) followed by the fresh tomatoes and half the green jalapeno. Let it simmer until the tomatoes are dry and lost their juices. Add half of the remaining fried onions (reserve a handful for later). Add the garlic and ginger pastes, followed by the tomato paste. Sprinkle salt, cumin, paprika, turmeric and coriander powders. Cook together until the oil is released and sticks from the sides. Add the whipped yoghurt and cook until the gravy is thick and cooked thoroughly. Sprinkle the sugar and mix well.

Next, add some water (about half cup…just enough to cover the chicken pieces). Once the water simmers, reduce the heat to low and gently add the grilled chicken. Cover and simmer on low heat to cook the chicken thoroughly. Every once in a while, open the pot and gently swirl everything together or stir gently with a flat spoon so that the gravy coats the chicken and they get turned over and they may cook evenly on all sides. This should take about 10-15 minutes.

Once the chicken pieces are fully cooked, adjust salt, add the remaining chopped green jalapeno, garam masala and chopped cilantro. Add the potatoes if you want to use them in the recipe and stir them in.


Wash and soak 3 cups of Basmati rice in water for about 20-30 mins.

Soak a few saffron strands in some water and set aside.

Bring a big pot of water to boil, add salt, 4 cardamom pods, 2-3 cinnamon sticks and 2-3 cloves plus about 2 tbsp. of oil.

Drain the soaked rice and add it to this water after it starts boiling. Cook until the rice is about 3/4 done, remove and strain out all the water.

Put half the rice back into the pan, add the chicken tikka masala on top of it, sprinkle the handful of reserved fried onions and some chopped fresh cilantro, and add the remainder of the rice to cover the masala. Then drizzle about 2 tbsp. of oil and the saffron water. Add a bit of orange color on one side and mix it up a bit with a spoon and cover the pot tightly. Steam this on low heat for 15 minutes or put in a 180 C preheated oven for about the same time.

Ready to serve. Enjoy!


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