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Leftover Chicken Biryani
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Leftover Chicken Biryani

From scratch, quick and easy, and loaded with bursting real biryani like character.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 4
Author: Hina Gujral


  • 250 gm cooked chicken curry see recipe
  • 1 Cup basmati rice
  • 2 large onions sliced
  • 2 - 3 green chili sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 star anise pieces
  • 4 green cardamom crushed
  • 1/4 tsp saffron strands
  • 4 tbsp milk
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
  • 2 tbsp chopped mint leaves
  • 4 tbsp ghee clarified butter
  • Salt to taste


  • Take leftover chicken curry out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature.
  • Rinse and soak basmati rice in enough water. Set aside.
  • Soak saffron in 2 tbsp of warm milk, stir and set aside.
  • Now shred large pieces of chicken into bite-size pieces and combine nicely in the curry. Discard the bones.
  • Fill 6 - 8 Cups of water in a wide pan, bring to boil. Add one star anise, two cardamom pods, cloves and a pinch of salt. When water boils, add rice in water. Stir once.
  • Once rice is 80% cooked turn off the heat. Drain the water from the rice.
  • In a heavy bottomed pan or heavy duty casserole ( buy it here ), heat ghee .
  • Add whole spices (bay leaf, one star anise, 2 cardamom). Fry till the aroma of spices is released.
  • Add the thinly sliced onions and fry till these are deep golden brown in color. Take out half of the onions; we will use them later.
  • Add the chicken curry along with the shredded pieces and green chili. Stir to combine.
  • Season with salt to taste and a teaspoon of garam masala. Remember, the spice level of curry will toned down once combined with rice so it is best to season the curry generously.
  • Let all the masala and chicken curry mix well. Give it 4 - 5 minutes to simmer. Add 1/4 Cup of water if the curry seems too thick.
  • Now to layer rice and chicken. Spread layer of rice over chicken, sprinkle chopped coriander leaves, mint leaves, brown onions and saffron soaked in milk.
  • Cover the vessel with a tight fitting lid or seal the edges of the pan with the chapati dough.
  • Let biryani cook for 10 minutes on low flame. Turn off the heat. Open the lid only once you are ready to serve the Biryani. Gently mix the biryani before serving.
  • Serve Biryani with raita ( see recipe ), salad and if possible curry of leftover chicken.


Recommended Equipment: Heavy Duty Casserole ( buy it here )