Lukhnowi chicken biriyani (with potatoes)

Biriyani is a one pot meal which dates back to the era of is a Royal dish brought to India by the Nawabs and we still enjoy this rich delicacies in the various parts of the country .Among all the biriyanis the Hyderabadi and the Lukhnowi biriyani are the  most popular.
While Hyderabad in the Deccan region of India is popular for its “Kacchi biriyani” where raw meat is cooked with the spices and the rice,the Lukhnowi biriyani is more aromatic and flavored with herbs to impart a heavenly taste to the final dish.
When I first tasted the dish on the streets of Lucknow ,I found it rich but unforgettable.
I got its recipe from one of my Muslim friends who is originally from Lucknow. 
I am born and brought up in the city of Calcutta which is also very popular for its biriyani.The biriyani here has an interesting history as it is said that Nawab Wajid Ali Shah had become poor and had asked his cooks to add potatoes into the biriyani  along with the meat to cut down cost and thus adding potatoes is popular in this region .I could not resist adding potatoes as well as it does give a rich taste and I grew up with this taste..


  1. 500 gm Chicken
  2. Salt(as per taste)
  3. 1 Tbsp red Chili Powder
  4. 1/2 Tsp Turmeric
  5. 1 Tbsp Coriander Powder
  6. 1 Tbsp Cumin Powder
  7. Mace crushed (2 to 3)
  8. Nutmeg (a small part broken powdered 1/4th tsp)
  9. 3 to 4 Finely chopped Green Chilies
  10. Onions 4 to 5 (Finely Sliced )
  11. 2 Tbsp Freshly grounded Ginger Garlic paste(fresh don’t use paste)
  12. 2 Cups of Curd
  13. 1 Tbsp Coriander leaves
  14. 4 tbsp Mint Leaves(dried or fresh)
  15. Potatoes 3 to 4 (peeled)


All spice powder

  1. Shah Jeera
  2. 2 Bay leaves
  3. 1 cup Tbsp of Oil or Ghee
  4. 1 Stick Cinnamon
  5. 2 Cardamoms
  6. 4 Cloves
  7. 2-3 Black Cordamoms
  8. Shah marich(white pepper)
  1. 4 cups Biryani Rice(serves 5 people)
  2. 6 Tbsp of Salt
  3. 2 Tsp Shahi Jeera
  4. 2 Star Anise
  5. 3 Tbsp Milk mixed with saffron
  6. 2 Tbsp mint leaves
  7. 5 tbsp of fried onions
  8. Saffron(2 tsp)
  1. Marinate the chicken with all the ingredients and 1 cup of curd except onions.   for at least 1/2 an hour. keep remaining 1 cup of curd aside.
  2. grind the ginger and garlic with green chillies.
  3. reserve 1 tbsp of ginger garlic paste for cooking the chicken and the rest use in marination.
  4. Fry the onions golden brown ,add a tsp of sugar during frying(optional) to carmellize the onions.
  5. Soak the Basmati rice in water for around 1/2 hour.
  6. Soak the saffron in milk
  7. Fry the potatoes in oil
Cooking chicken
  1. Into the pan add 1/2 of the caramelized onions ,ginger garlic paste and all spice powder and add the marinated chicken.
  2. Cook till the spices get cooked,water gets dried  and start leaving the sides of the pan.
  3. Add the potatoes.
  4. Add the chicken to the pressure cooker and allow 2 whistles.You will see oil separating and a fabulous color.
  5. Allow to cool little and At this stage add 1 cup thick curd slowly and mix.

Cooking rice

  1. make a small parcel of the whole spices and add into a pot of water  .Allow the water to boil.
  2. Strain the soaked rice and add into the boiling water with a little salt.
  3. Par boil the rice and strain it when half cooked and get transformed to long grains.


  1. Coat the inside of an earthen or metal pot with clarified butter.
  2. Layer with rice alternating with a chicken layer,topped with caramellized onions and mint leaves.
  3. Finish with a rice layer .
  4. Garnish with soaked Saffron in milk and mint leaves.
  5. Seal the container with a flour dough and keep something heavy on the lid.
  6. Cook for 30 to 45 minutes on low flame .
  7. Serve hot with curd dip mixed with cucumber,onions ,salt and green chillies.


Indrani Sen is a teacher,lecturer in Information Technology/Computer Science for the past 12 years. She has authored 4 text books in Information Technology.
She is passionate about cooking and loves to blog about food and travel.This blog is like my baby as I have built it from scratch by myself with little help from colleagues ,friends and of course Google.

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