Tamil Nadu Style Chicken Biryani – Tamil Nadu Biryani Recipe

MIL Chicken Biryani

There are different number of ways to prepare biryani. Some recipes calls for the use of tomatoes while few don’t. Just like any another cuisine, each recipe for a dish is unique to each household. The recipe evolves over a time, new variations made over the years and finally a perfect recipe would have arrived.

That’s what today’s recipe is all about. It has been taught to my mother-in-law which I assume would have been taught to her by her mother-in-law. And today I am following the exact recipe to create a delicious biryani which my husband would love. People back in my native place call it the “Tamil Nadu Style Chicken Biryani”.

So this past week, my MIL and I decided to make chicken biryani for lunch. We decided to make a version with mint-onion paste. It’s a killer recipe and the biryani has beautiful brownish green colour. Anyone will love the exotic tastes of the spices and the chicken paired beautifully with the basmati rice. Further the addition of mint and cilantro made it taste so fresh and summery.

It was scrumptious and we couldn’t stop eating it. My MIL generally uses a pressure cooker for preparing the biryani. Since most of my readers have mailed me for a fool-proof recipe and for those who don’t own a pressure cooker, I have a much easy solution. It is similar to dum biryani technique. I recommend using fresh ground spices for your recipes. RawSpiceBar’s freshly ground garam masala and other Indian spices are a great option for this dish.

There are two key factors to follow for a beautiful tamil nadu biryani recipe.

  1. Soaking time: Try to soak the basmati rice for minimum 2 hours. May be 4 hours will do more good.
  2. Cooking technique: Use a large non-stick cooking pan with a fitting lid. Cook the chicken along with the spices until 3/4th done and then mix the rice, add water and cook in the lowest flame for 15 minutes. I use Nirali deep dish non-stick pan. Don’t open the pan right away. Let it rest over the switched off stove for 10-15 minutes. Let the steam do the remaining cooking.

Here is the recipe for the Tamil Nadu style Chicken biryani

MIL Chicken Biryani

Mother-in-law’s Tamil Nadu Style Chicken Biryani Recipe

5 from 6 votes
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Course: lunch
Cuisine: South Indian
Keyword: Chicken Biryani
Prep Time: 6 hours
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 7 hours
Servings: 4
Author: Advika Menon


  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 1 star anise
  • 1-inch cinnamon stick
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cardamom pods crushed
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced (you can use a vegetable chopper)
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tbsp garam masal
  • salt
  • 2 cups basmati white ruce soaked in water for 2-4 hours
  • 1 cup coconut milk or chicken stock
  • 3 cups water/ chicken stock

For Marination

  • 1 lbs chicken cut in small pieces
  • 2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp garam masala powder
  • ½ cup plain yoghurt

For The Paste

  • ½ cup mint leaves
  • ½ coriander leaves
  • 1 small red onion chopped
  • 3 thai green chillies


  • In a big bowl, mix chicken with all the ingredients listed under marination. Let it rest in the refrigerator for for 4-6  hours or overnight. Soak the basmati rice for 2-4 hours. Once done, drain and set aside.
  • Heat ghee / butter in a large cooking pan and cook sliced onion until they are brown in color, about 10-12 minutes. Meanwhile, using a smoothie blender, finely blend the ingredients for the paste. Mix in the mint-cilantro paste and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Sprinkle turmeric, chili, coriander powder and garam masala and saute for 3-5 minutes until the raw smell disappears.
  • Add the chicken pieces and let it cook in its own water for 15 minutes. Cook covered on medium low flame.
  • Once they are 3/4 th done, the chicken looks dried up. You don’t want any water in the base sauce. If you find any excess water, you can spoon them out to a measuring cup. Add coconut milk and water/ chicken stock and make up the volume to 4 cups. Pour the liquid over the chicken and bring it to a boil.
  • Once you see the sauce bubbling, reduce the flame to low. Add the rice (without any extra water in it) and cook covered for 15 minutes. Switch off the flame and let it rest for another 15 minutes.
  • Using a fork, gently fluff out the rice and transfer to a fresh bowl. Gently mix to combine the rice and chicken. Serve hot over raita and chicken kurma.

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  1. 5 stars
    hey Adi…tried the biryani today. It turned out nice. I noticed you had left out a couple of instructions though..when to add cinnamon,anise, cardamom etc. And turmeric you have mentioned in the procedure but not how much to put. I kinda did one eye balling and added it accordingly 🙂
    its truly diff from what we are used to, but we loved it nonetheless. do thank your mil for the same

  2. I do not know what ingredients to put in the smoothie blender
    I am not Indian nationality so I am not sure what ingredients to make paste.

    Meanwhile, using a smoothie blender, finely blend the ingredients for the paste. Mix in the mint-cilantro paste and cook for 5 minutes.

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