Chicken is marinated with spices, ginger and garlic paste, yogurt, some fried onions. This is then simmered in it’s own marinade and finished off with Kewra water and a paste made from Pumpkin seeds & Cashew nuts and more yogurt. It’s then, layered with fragrant rice and topped with crispy onions and steam cooked.

And here we have it! Another Biriyani recipe! This version of this beloved recipe can be made with either Chicken or Meat. The spices are more mellow and anything that can give it an intense color like chilli powder, turmeric, saffron and food coloring is avoided to keep the color as light as possible. I’ve also used lots of light fried onions and a cream paste made with melon seeds and cashew nuts.

White Biriyani

3.31 from 75 votes


Fried Onions

  • 4 cups sliced Onions

Chicken & Marinade

  • 3 lbs bone in whole Chicken
  • Juice of 1/2 Lime
  • 1 tsp crushed White Peppercorns
  • 1 tsp Cumin powder
  • 1 tsp Coriander powder
  • 3 tbsps Ginger & Garlic paste
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 cup Yogurt
  • 1/2 cup of the fried Onions


  • 1 cup Oil
  • 2 inches Cinnamon
  • 4 Star Anise
  • 1 tsp Shah Jeera
  • 1 tsp black Peppercorns
  • 4 – 5 green Cardamoms
  • 1 cup diced Onion
  • 3 Green Chillies
  • 1 tsp Kewra water
  • 1/2 cup Melon seeds
  • 1/2 cup Cashew nuts
  • 1 cup Yogurt
  • Additional Coriander & Mint leaves for garnish


  • 2 cups of Basmati rice
  • 4 cups of Water
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup fried Onions
  • 1/4 cup Mint leaves


  • Soak the rice for 30 mins, rinse a few times and drain
  • Fry the onions in batches till golden brown
  • Marinate the Chicken with the lime juice, white pepper, cumin, coriander, ginger and garlic paste, salt, yogurt and fried onions preferably overnight if possible
  • To make the gravy use the same oil the onions were fried in, add the onion and chilli and add the chicken and all the remaining marinade and Kewra water in and cook for 10 – 15 mins covered
  • Uncover and keep stirring
  • Make a paste by grinding the melon seeds and cashew nuts together with some water and add it in
  • Add the yogurt and keep aside
  • Boil the water and add in the salt, fried onions and mint leaves for flavour
  • Add the rice and cook it till it’s 60 percent done
  • Remove and drain
  • In an oven proof dish add the gravy at the bottom and layer with the rice and top with the rest of the fried onions
  • Cook in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 20 – 30 mins
  • Add extra coriander and mint leaves before serving