Chicken Biryani-“Seyal Sindhi Style”

IMG_4937Chicken Seyal Biryani- Serves 6

Biryani is a rice-based dish layered with meat and/or vegetables. The rice and meat are cooked separately, and then layered and baked together or cooked on low flame. This allows the aromas from various spices to get fully infused, making biryani delicious and flavorful!

People shy away from making biryani as it can be elaborate and time consuming. However, this particular recipe is not only delicious but also so easy to put together. I often make it with leftover Seyal chicken curry and next day serve it as a completely new dish by layering white basmati rice and chicken together. Serve with a raita made with yogurt, cucumbers, and tomatoes, Papad  and a veggie on the side. Dinner is ready!


  • 2 pounds chicken (approximately), like to use skinless thighs, it is more moist
  • 3 medium sized onions chopped finely
  • 2 big tomatoes grated or pureed
  • 2 -3 green chillies finely chopped (adjust spice levels to taste)
  • 2 tsp ginger paste (simply grate fresh ginger (or garlic) on a zester
  • 1/2  tsp garlic paste
  • 1/2 cup cilantro,  finely chopped
  • 5 leaves of curry leaves (“kadi patha”) (more or less, be casual about it)
  • 3/4 teaspoon turmeric (“haldi”)
  • 2 teaspoons coriander powder (“dhaniya”)
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chilly powder- I use kashmiri degi Mirch
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 3 tablespoons of plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 hot water
  • Salt to taste

Method to prepare chicken: (For a step by step method, click here)

1.Heat oil in a vessel.  Add the onions and brown them to a  a rich caramel color. Add a little salt while browning as this will help them brown faster. This will take 15-20 minutes.

2. Add ginger, garlic paste, green chillies and chopped cilantro.  Saute well for 2 mins.

3.  Then add the tomatoes, while the tomatoes are cooking add the turmeric, red chilly powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder and curry leaves. Cook till the oil separates and the tomatoes are cooked. This will take about 10 minutes.

4. Add the chicken and continue to saute for 5 to 10 mintues.  Add salt according to your taste as this will help season the chicken well.

5. Then add the yogurt and saute for about 10 minutes.

6. Add water, cover and cook. It will take about 15 to 20 minutes for the chicken to cook. IMG_4885

I like the consistency of the gravy to be on the thicker side.


1. Sometimes, I do throw in some whole spices like 4-5 green cardamoms, 2-3 cloves and a 1/2 inch cinnamon stick  to the hot oil before adding the onions for cooking the chicken. It will only enhance the flavor. Just make sure to remove any of the whole spices from the chicken and rice before serving. You don’t want to bite into a green cardamom while enjoying the biryani!


2. I like to transfer the rice to a  Rice Cooker  after it’s been coated with the oil and spices.


  • 2 cups Basmati Rice , washed and rinsed well
  • 4 green cardamoms
  • 3-4 cloves
  • 1 bay leaf ( I forgot to add one)
  • 1/2 inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise (this adds a lot of flavor)!
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • salt to taste

Method for rice:IMG_4866

Wash and rinse the rice well under the tap a couple of times till the water is clear. Soak for 1/2 hour . Drain the water and keep aside.IMG_4870

Heat oil in a vessel. Add the cardamoms, cloves, cinnamon stick, and star anise.IMG_4874

Throw in the rice and salt to taste and mix well. Coat the rice grains well with the oil and spices. Add 4 cups of water and cook the rice in the vessel itself. Or transfer to a rice cooker.


Layering of Biryani:IMG_4885

Chicken on the bottom layer.IMG_4892

Add the cooked rice on top and sprinkle black cumin seeds “Shah Jeera”.IMG_4898

Close the lid or seal it with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 20 – 25 minutes.IMG_4976

Serve hot with papad, boondi raita or Kachumbur and a veggie. Enjoy!







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