Kolkata Biryani Recipe By Chef Rohan Malwankar

Preparation Time: 45 minutes

Cooking Time: 120 minutes

Serves: 4 servings


  • 1 Kg Basmati rice or long grain rice
  • 1200 gms chicken
  • 4 medium potatoes
  • 3 medium onions
  • 2 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 1/2 tsp ginger paste
  • 1/2 Lemon (juiced)
  • 1/2 cup tokdoi or curd
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
  • 3 1/2 tsp biryani masala
  • 3 drops rose essence
  • 1 1/3 tsp kewra water
  • 8-9 drops mitha attar
  • A pinch of saffron strand
  • 4 tbsp milk
  • 5 Bay leaves
  • 2-3 inch cinnamon stick
  • 8-10 Cloves
  • 10 Green cardamom or elaichi
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 10-12 tbsp ghee
  • 1/2 cup refined oil
  • Salt (as required)
  • 6-7 Hard-boiled eggs (optional)
  • 50 gms bay leaves (for spreading on the bottom)
  • For Bengali biryani masala:
  • 1 tsp shah jeera
  • 1 tsp white peppercorn
  • 25 green cardamom
  • 1 1/2 Mace or javitri
  • 1 1/2 inch cinnamon stick
  • 1/4 nutmeg
  • 1 tsp kebab chini or all spice
  • 5 Cloves


  1. Prepare Bengali biryani masala:1.First, take a pan with shahi jeera, white peppercorn (shah morich), cardamom (or elaichi or elach), mace (or javitri or joitri), cinnamon stick, nutmeg or Jaifal, kabab china or all spice and cloves. Dry roast on a low flame.2.When the aroma starts to come out from the spices then turn off the heat. Cool it down and then ground all spices by using a grinder to make a powdered form of it. Bengali biryani masala is ready to use in this recipe.
  2. Prepare chicken:1.Now take the chicken pieces (curry cut), first, clean and wash it properly. For making biryani we always choose to keep the pieces little big in size, as It should be 4 to 6 pcs of whole chicken.2.Take a bowl with 1/2 cup of curd or tokdoi, then add 1 tsp of kashmiri chilli powder and and 1/2 tsp of salt. Mix it well together.3.Once the mixing is done then add it to the chicken pieces, then add 2 tsp go garlic paste, 1 1/2 tsp ginger paste and mix it well together.4.Add 1 1/2 tsp of powdered biryani masala(prepared earlier) and mixed it nicely with the chicken.5.Now squeeze 1/2 lemon(medium size) to mix its juice for marinating the chicken pieces.6.Lastly, add a handful of fried onions and mix it together. Now marinate chicken for at least 45 mins to 1 hour.7.After 45 minutes to 1 hour, take the same pan used for frying onion, place it on medium flame, then put the marinated chicken to the pan. Let it cook.8.After 5 mins turn down the pieces and cook it for 10 minutes by covering the pan with a lid.9.Again turn the chicken pieces and cook it for the next 8-10 minutes, but don’t cover it then. I don’t add water to it, but you may add a little if you wish to.10.Turn off the heat when the gravy of this chicken will mostly dry up.
  3. Preparing rice for biryani:1.Take 1 kg basmati or long grain rice, wash it gently for 5-6 times and then soak it up for at least 30 minutes.2.After 30 minutes, take a big vessel with its 3/4 of water, place it on high flame. Add salt, refined oil in it with bay leaves, green cardamoms, cloves, cinnamon sticks(break into 3-4 pieces). Let the water boil.3.When the water starts boiling then strain the soaked rice and add it to the water. Let the rice boil in water.4.While cooking the rice must check it frequently as rice can not be cooked more than 80 percent. Then turn off the heat and immediately drain the starch from the rice.5.Then you may spread the rice in some plates and completely cool it down. This procedure will prevent the rice from overcooking. Once the rice totally cools down then keep it aside.
  4. Prepare saffron milk:1.Take warm milk in a bowl, add a pinch of saffron strands or kesar or zaffran and let it soak for 15-20 minutes.2.After 15 minutes, when saffron strands get soft and almost leave its color in milk, then first use your fingertips to rub the strands to release more color from it. Even you may use a little saffron color if the strands don’t leave a strong strain into the milk.3.Then add kewra or Keora water and 3 drops of rose essence one by one.4.Lastly add, 8-9 drops of mithaattar (not more than that) to the milk, and mix it well. Keep it aside for using it later.
  5. Assemble Kolkata biryani: 1. Take a thick bottom wide mouth vessel. First, make it dry, then first spread the bay leaves in the bottom of the vessel.2.First spread 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch thick layer of rice on the bay leaves.3.Then place two chicken pieces and three pieces of aloo on the first layer of rice. Mainly used leg pieces, though that’s not mandatory, you may use breast pieces too. Then add 3-4 tbsp of chicken gravy on the rice and chicken pieces.4.Now first sprinkle 1/2 tsp biryani masala all over the layer. Then sprinkle 3-4 tsp of essence or flavour added saffron milk all over the layer.5.Next, sprinkle 2-3 tsp of ghee from the top of the layer. Lastly, sprinkle a handful of crispy fried onion on the layer and half tsp of salt. The first layer is complete.6.Then add rice from the top to completely cover. Then again assemble the next layer with the same process described just before. Again cover the second layer with white rice and make the third layer in the same way.7.Lastly, cover the last layer with an ample amount of rice to make sure nothing can be visible from the top.8.Then end up the assembling process by sprinkling 3-4 tsp of ghee, a pinch of biryani masala(not more than that) from the top. Lastly, add salt and the hard-boiled eggs to the top of the rice and close its lid.
  6. Put biryani on Dum: 1. Place the biryani vessel on the lowest heat of the oven. And place another pan on the top of the biryani vessel full of hot water.2.It’ll take a maximum of 30 minutes-45 minutes to be perfectly done. Or when the outer side and the lid of the vessel will be so hot that you cannot touch it also, that indicates your biryani is done.