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Kolkata Style Chicken Biryani

by Shyamali Sinha

Calcutta or Kolkata style Chicken Biryani is a mixed rice dish inspired by Awadhi cuisine. Biryani usually cooked with rice, Yogurt, meat and spices.

Chicken Biryani - recipe by Foodie's Hut

Kolkata style Chicken Biryani is much lighter on spices and serving potato with meat is the specialty of Kolkata Biryani. Nutmeg, Mace, Cinnamon, Cardamom, Saffron, rose water and screwpine water ( Meetha Attar) these are the quintessential ingredients for this Biryani.

Biryani Masala - recipe by Foodie's Hut

One can easily get Screwpine water (Kewda Water) or Meetha Attar in Calcutta or West Bengal, but it really hard to get outside the state. So if you don’t get in your locality, you can skip it. But, adding a few drops of Meetha Attar really make the difference.

Chicken Biryani Handi- recipe by Foodie's Hut
Chicken Biryani - recipe by Foodie's Hut

Kolkata style Chicken Biryani

Kolkata Chicken Biryani is a mixed rice dish inspired by Awadhi cuisine. Biryani usually cooked with rice, Yogurt, meat and spices. Non-vegetarian Kolkata Style Chicken Biryani European Print
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )


Biryani Masala:( 40gm)

  • ½ Nutmeg
  • 5 gm or 1 tbsp Mace
  • 12 gm or 1 ½ tbsp  Black cumin (Shahjeera)
  • 13 gm or 1 tbsp White peppercorn
  • 5 gm or 1 tbsp Allspice ( Kababchini)
  • 2 gm ( approximately 12-15 pcs)  cloves
  • 10-12 Green cardamoms
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2-3 small Bay leaves

For Marinade the Chicken:

  • 1 kg  chicken pieces, bone in skin off
  • ½ cup Greek Yogurt
  • 1 tsp red Chili powder
  • 1 ½ tsp Coriander powder
  • ½ tsp Biryani Masala
  • Make a paste with
  • ½  cup  Onion paste
  • 1 ½ tbsp  Ginger paste
  • 2 tbsp garlic paste
  • For tempering,
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 4 Green cardamoms
  • 3-4 cloves
  • 2-3 Cinnamon Bark
  • ½ tsp rose water
  • ½ tsp Kewra water or screw pine water
  • 2-3 drops edible rose oil also known as Rose otto or Meetha attar
  • Salt to taste

Biryani Rice:

  • 3 cups long grain Basmati Rice
  • 4-5 tbsp salt
  • 4-5 Green Cardamoms
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 barks cinnamon 4-5 allspices

Other ingredients:

  • 5-6 hard boiled eggs
  • 4 potatoes cut in half
  • 3-4 sliced onion ( approximately 3 cups)
  • 1 tsp Rose water
  • 1 tsp Kewra water
  • 2 drops Meetha attar
  • 1 fat pinch saffron
  • 1 cup white oil
  • 3 tbsp Ghee
  • Wheat flour dough


Step 1: Prepare Biryani Masala:

  1. Place all whole spices on a preheated Tawa or Pan over medium heat.
  2. Give  a stir for a few seconds and let them warm, remember your spices should be warm, not toasted. This will help to extract the aroma from the spices.
  3. Let them  cool and grind.

Note: You can make 5-6 cups of Biryani with this Masala, you can make this masala 2-3 days before and keep it in an airtight container. Step 2: Marinade the Chicken:

  1. Add  little bit Biryani Masala to the yogurt  and with a help of a fork give a good whisk.
  2. Add onion paste, salt, ginger garlic paste,coriander powder, red chili powder, beaten yogurt.
  3. Give a good mix, cover it with a lid or plastic wrap and keep it in the refrigerator, at least for 2 hours, overnight is always better.

Note: Before  cooking bring the chicken to the room temperature. Step 3: Cook the Chicken:

  1. Wash and soak the rice in water for at least half an hour, then drain the rice.
  2. Fill a pot with water and sprinkle a generous amount of salt.
  3. Add potatoes in it, make sure potatoes are cover with the cold water.
  4. Set the pan over medium-high heat and bring the water to a boil.
  5. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 min, make sure the potatoes are 80% done, then drain the potatoes and let them  cool.
  6. Preheat your Dutch oven and heat  oil, when oil is hot, add sliced onion in batches  and over medium heat cook for about 8-10 minutes to develop the brown color. then remove from oil and repeat the process for rest of  the onion.
  7. Add  boiled potatoes to the remaining oil and over medium high heat cook just for a minute  to crisp the outer skin of the potato,then remove from oil.
  8. Add ghee to the remaining oil, let the ghee melt.
  9. Add whole spices to the hot oil and give a stir and then add in the marinated chicken.
  10. Over high heat cook just for a minute,  and then reduce the heat to medium to medium-low and continue cooking until the chicken is almost 80% done, you need to stir  the chicken a couple of times,just to make sure that  it doesn't stick to the inner bottom of the pan.
  11. In a bowl, add rose water, kewra water, Mithe ator, give a quick stir and keep aside.
  12. When   you see the chicken is almost done, add the potatoes, sprinkle Biriyani Masala and  add essence mix,give a good stir to mix everything well and turn off the heat.

Note: When you see that  your Chicken is halfway cooked through, start to cook the rice. Step 4: Cook the rice:

  1. In the same bowl again take rose water, kewra water, Mithe ator and a  big pinch of Saffron. Give a stir and keep aside.
  2. Take another large pot with lid  and fill the pot with water, sprinkle 4-5 Tbsp of salt, bring the water to  a boil.
  3. Drain the rice and  add half of lemon juice to the rice, give a mix.
  4. Once water start boiling, put  rice in the water  and add a few whole spices  to the  water,  give a stir with a ladle and let it come up to a boil. Then reduce the heat to medium and cook for 2-3 minutes, the rice will be half cooked.
  5. Drain the cooked  rice in a colander, I prefer to drain the rice in two colanders.

Step 5: Final step:

  1. Preheat your tawa over medium-low heat.
  2. Spread some ghee in a heavy duty dutch oven or cooking pot with lid,( I used the same pot that I used to cook the Rice)
  3. Put one portion rice, then transfer the cooked  chicken , sprinkle fried onion, the essence mix, add remaining ghee, Biriyani masala, another layer of rice, Biriyani Masala, remaining fried onion, mixed essence and add hard boiled eggs.
  4. Put the lid on and cover the side of  the lid with the dough, so that steam can not escape, if you wish you can cover the pot with foil but I prefer to follow the good old process.  This will not allow releasing the steam.
  5. Then place the pot on the preheated Tawa, and over low heat let it cook for 20 minutes.
  6. Then remove from heat and give five to 10 minutes standing time before serve.


Enjoy with Raita and Salad.

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