Bengali Chicken Biryani

If there’s one dish I would consider nostalgia inducing it would be this one! Growing up my mom would always make this Bengali chicken biryani whenever there was a special occasion-like birthdays or graduations. She would make a huuuuuge pot and then invite friends and family and we’d all sit on the living room floor and eat together-often helping ourselves to heaping second and third servings.

This dish is so delicious! It’s rich without being heavy and is very different from typical biryani recipes.

The trick is to keep it simple and let the ingredients sing

Bengali Chicken Biryani with Tomato Salad
Bengali Chicken Biryani


  • 1 whole chicken, cut
  • 1/4 cup of ghee or butter
  • 4 onions, sliced
  • 1 whole head of garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste
  • salt to taste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3-4 cardamoms
  • 2 cups of basmati rice, washed and soaked in water for an hour
  • 4 cups of water
  • 5-6 thai green chilis


  1. Melt ghee in a large heavy bottom pot, then add in your onions and aromatics (bay leaf, cinnamon, cardamoms) and cook on medium heat until onions are golden brown
  2. Add salt, garlic, and ginger paste. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes until garlic is fragrant
  3. Then add in your chicken. Cover and cook on medium low for 15-20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through
  4. Add in your washed, soaked, and drained rice and mix in with your chicken
  5. Pour over 4 cups of water and the chilies. Then let it come to a boil on high heat. Then turn heat down to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes (don’t peak!)
  6. After 20 minutes, turn off the heat and let the rice finish steaming for 10 minutes
  7. Serve with a chopped tomato salad and enjoy!

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