Best Chicken Tikka Biryani Recipe

Imagine yourself sitting down to a plate of steaming hot chicken tikka biryani. You can’t resist the temptation as the delicious aroma of spices and tender chicken wafts up from the plate making your mouth water in anticipation. As you scoop up a spoonful of the biryani, exotic flavors and textures immediately transport you to another world. The tantalizing blend of spices infuses the perfectly cooked basmati rice. The succulent chicken tikka pieces burst with smoky, tangy goodness, their juices tantalizing your taste buds.

As you savor each bite, you can feel the different textures dancing across your tongue from the soft rice to the crunchy chicken tikka. Every mouthful is a revelation with new layers of flavors unfolding with every bite. Despite the intense flavors and textures, the biryani is surprisingly light and refreshing making it a perfect meal for any occasion. With each spoonful you find yourself falling deeper and deeper in love with this culinary masterpiece, savoring every moment and never wanting it to end.

Chicken Tikka Biryani

Chicken Tikka Biryani is a mouth-watering and fragrant dish that is popular in South Asian cuisine. It is a delectable combination of rice, aromatic spices, and succulent chicken pieces that are marinated and grilled before being added to the rice. This dish is a perfect blend of flavors and textures and is sure to tantalize your taste buds. In this article, we will explore the history of Chicken Tikka Biryani, its health benefits and a recipe for making it at home.

Historical Glimpse

The origins of Chicken Tikka Biryani can be traced back to the Mughal era in India. The Mughals were known for their love of food and their intricate cooking techniques. Biryani was a favorite dish of the Mughal emperors and they would often invite their friends and guests to feast on this royal dish. The dish was originally made with lamb or mutton but over time, chicken became a popular variation.

Biryani is a dish that has evolved over time and has been influenced by different cultures and cuisines. The dish has been adapted to suit different tastes and preferences and today there are many different versions of Biryani that are enjoyed all over the world. Gongura Biryani recipe and Ulavacharu Biryani recipe are two delicious and intriguing biryani recipes that are definitely worth trying out in the comfort of your own home. Both of these biryanis offer unique flavor profiles and are sure to please any food lover looking for something new and exciting.

Health Benefits

Chicken Tikka Biryani is a dish that is packed with flavor and nutrition. The chicken is marinated in yogurt and spices which makes it tender and flavorful. Yogurt is a rich source of probiotics which are beneficial bacteria that promote good gut health. The spices used in the marinade are also rich in antioxidants which help to reduce inflammation and boost immunity.

The rice used in Biryani is a good source of carbohydrates which provide energy to the body. The spices used in Biryani such as cumin, coriander and turmeric have anti-inflammatory properties and are good for digestion. Biryani is also a great source of protein which is important for building and repairing muscles.

close up shot of chicken tikka biryani served in plate

Chicken Tikka Biryani Recipe

Chicken tikka biryani is a popular Indian/ Pakistani dish. It combines tender pieces of marinated chicken tikka with fragrant basmati rice and a medley of aromatic spices. The chicken is first marinated in a blend of yogurt and spices. Afterwards, it is roasted to perfection creating smoky, flavorful chunks which are later added to the biryani. Meanwhile, the rice are cooked separately with aromatic spices like cumin, coriander, turmeric and garam masala to prepare it for layering with the chicken and garnish. The result is a dish that is bursting with complex flavors and textures making it a true feast for the senses.

brown ceramic bowl with biryani rice

Ingredients for Chicken Tikka and Biryani Rice

  • For Chicken Tikka
    • 500g boneless chicken, cut into cubes or 2 whole chicken leg quarters
    • 1/2 cup (120 grams) yogurt
    • 2 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
    • 1 tsp cumin powder
    • 1 tsp coriander powder
    • 1 tsp turmeric powder
    • 1 tsp red chilli powder
    • 1 tsp garam masala powder
    • 1 tbsp lemon juice
    • Salt, to taste

If you’re looking for a store-bought biryani masala for chicken tikka biryani, one option that I highly recommend is Shan Tikka Masala. It’s my personal favorite because it helps me create mouth-watering, flavorsome and juicy charbroiled chicken that satisfies my barbeque cravings. What’s great about this masala mix is that it’s free from unnecessary preservatives and artificial food coloring, making it a healthier option for those who want to enjoy the authentic flavors of tikka chicken without compromising on quality. With Shan Tikka Masala, I can easily create restaurant-worthy chicken tikka at home.

  • For Biryani Rice
    • 2 cups (400 grams) basmati rice
    • 4 cups (960 ml) water
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 2 cinnamon sticks
    • 4 green cardamom pods
    • 4 cloves
    • 1 tsp cumin seeds
    • 1 onion, sliced
    • 2 tomatoes, chopped
    • 2 green chillies, slit lengthwise
    • 1/4 cup mint leaves, chopped
    • 1/4 cup coriander leaves, chopped
    • 2 tbsp ghee or oil
    • Salt, to taste

  • Garnishing
    • Fried onions
    • Raisin and nuts (optional)


  • In a bowl, mix together yogurt, ginger and garlic paste, cumin powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, garam masala powder, lemon juice and salt to make the chicken tikka marinade.
  • Add chicken cubes to the marinade, cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 200°C. Spread the marinated chicken cubes on a baking tray and roast them for 20-25 minutes until they are cooked and slightly charred. (Alternate step: If you don’t want to use an oven, fry the marinated chicken in half cup oil till done. Take it out in a dish and steam with burnt coal for 1 minute).
  • In a large pot, wash and soak the rice for 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  • Heat ghee or oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, green cardamom pods, cloves and cumin seeds. Fry for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
  • Add sliced onions and fry until they turn golden brown.
  • Add chopped tomatoes, green chillies, mint leaves and coriander leaves. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the tomatoes are soft and mushy.
  • Add the roasted/ fried chicken pieces to the pot, stir to combine with the tomato and onion mixture and let it cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the soaked rice and 4 cups of water to the pot. Add salt to taste and give it a gentle stir.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cover the pot with a lid. Let it simmer for 15-20 minutes until the rice is fully cooked and fluffy.
  • Once done, turn off the heat and let the biryani rest for 5 minutes.
  • Garnish the biryani with fried onions. Chopped nuts and raisins are optional.
  • Serve hot with raita and pickle.

Preparation Time

30 minutes

Cooking Time

1 hour 30 minutes

Serving size

2-4 persons

How can I ensure that the chicken is tender in chicken tikka biryani?

To ensure that the chicken in your chicken tikka biryani is tender, marinate it in a mixture of yogurt, spices and lemon juice for at least an hour before grilling or cooking it. This helps to tenderize the chicken and infuse it with flavor. You can also use boneless chicken thighs instead of chicken breast as they are more flavorful and juicy.

Can I skip grilling the chicken in chicken tikka biryani and just cook it in the biryani?

Yes, you can cook the chicken in the biryani without grilling it first. However, grilling the chicken first adds smoky flavor to the chicken and helps to ensure that it is cooked evenly. If you do skip grilling the chicken, make sure to marinate it in yogurt and spices for at least an hour before cooking it in the biryani.

Can I use chicken breast instead of boneless chicken in chicken tikka biryani?

Yes, you can use chicken breast instead of boneless chicken thighs in your chicken tikka biryani. However, boneless chicken thighs are preferred as they are more flavorful and juicy than chicken breast. If you do use chicken breast make sure to marinate it in yogurt and spices for at least an hour before grilling or cooking it.

Can I use brown rice instead of basmati rice in chicken tikka biryani?

While basmati rice is the traditional rice used in biryani, you can use brown rice instead. Keep in mind, however, that brown rice has a different texture and flavor than basmati rice. Brown rice takes longer to cook and has a nuttier flavor than basmati rice.

How can I prevent the rice in chicken tikka biryani from becoming mushy?

To prevent the rice in your chicken tikka biryani from becoming mushy, soak the rice in water for at least 30 minutes before cooking it. This helps to remove excess starch from the rice and prevents it from sticking together. Also, use a 1:2 rice to water ratio when cooking the rice and cook it on low heat to ensure that it cooks evenly without becoming mushy.

Can I use vegetable broth instead of water in chicken tikka biryani?

While traditional chicken tikka biryani is made with water, you can certainly use vegetable broth as a substitute to add some extra flavor and depth to the dish. Vegetable broth can infuse the rice with savory notes and add some complexity to the overall flavor profile. Just be sure to adjust the amount of salt used in the recipe as vegetable broth can be quite salty on its own.


In conclusion, chicken tikka biryani is a delicious and aromatic dish that brings together the best of Indian/ Pakistani cuisine in one dish. With its tender and juicy chicken pieces infused with smoky, tangy flavors and perfectly cooked basmati rice, this biryani is a treat for the senses. The addition of aromatic spices like cumin, coriander, turmeric and garam masala create a complex interplay of flavors that are sure to tantalize your taste buds.

This recipe provides an easy-to-follow guide for preparing this beloved sub-continent classic and with its simple yet flavorful ingredients, you can enjoy restaurant-quality biryani in the comfort of your own home. So why not give it a try and experience the delicious flavors of chicken tikka biryani for yourself?

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