Traditional dishes are an integral part of any culture, providing a sense of comfort and nostalgia. For many, Vijayawada Chicken Biryani is one such dish. This classic Indian recipe has been served in the Andhra Pradesh region for centuries and continues to be popular today.
It is an aromatic rice dish made with flavorful Indian spices, succulent chicken, and fragrant basmati rice.
I still remember making this dish with mum during our holidays and it was a treat! The whole house was filled with an aroma that you couldn't get enough of!
Trust me - this recipe is easy to make and will be a crowd-pleaser for all your family and friends!
- 2 lb boneless, skinless organic chicken thighs
- 2 cups basmati rice
- 4 large onions, thinly sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon ginger paste
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 0.5 teaspoon red chili powder (or to taste)
- 1 teaspoon garam masala powder
- 2 tablespoons ghee or clarified butter (optional)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or coconut oil
- Salt to taste
Phase 1: Preparing the rice
We first soak the rice in enough water for 30 minutes. Drain the water and set the rice aside. In a large pot or Dutch oven, we heat ghee/butter over medium heat. Add cloves, cardamom, cinnamon stick, and bay leaf. Fry for a few seconds until fragrant.
Phase 2: Frying!
We then add onions and fry until golden brown. Add ginger-garlic paste and fry for a minute. We would add chicken pieces here and fry until slightly browned.
Phase 3: Mixing the masala
Next we would add curd/yogurt and add Hyderabadi biryani masala and all the spice powders (turmeric powder, red chili powder, garam masala powder). Mix well and cook for 2 minutes. Add rice and mix well so that all the ingredients are evenly mixed. Add 2 cups of water and salt to taste.
Phase 4: Mixing it all up!
Mix well and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook covered for 10 minutes or until the rice is fully cooked.
Once done, fluff up the rice with a fork. To make the saffron milk, take milk in a small bowl and add saffron strands to it. Mix well and set aside. Take lemon juice in another small bowl.
Grease an oven-safe dish with ghee melted. Spread half of the cooked rice evenly in the bottom of the dish. Now spread all of the fried onions, mint leaves, coriander leaves, and lemon juice mixture over it.
Then spread the remaining cooked rice over it.
Phase 5: We are done!
I would then pour prepared saffron milk over it. Bake in preheated oven at 375 degrees F for 10-12 minutes or till heated through.
Serve immediately with raita & papadums. Enjoy!
Raita always pairs well with any biryani, but we are aware not everyone is a fan of it.
Our favourites (other than a raita pair up) are:
This popular Greek sauce has many similarities to raita. My mum's recipe is the best - made from strained yogurt, cucumbers, garlic, herbs (usually mint), lemon juice or vinegar, and olive oil.
The addition of olive oil adds a delightful creaminess to the dish that makes it an excellent accompaniment to various kinds of main dishes.
The flavor profile is milder than traditional raita so you may need to add additional herbs or spices if desired.
We love our Hummus, don't we! This delicious Middle Eastern condiment made from mashed chickpeas blended with tahini (sesame seed paste), garlic, lemon juice and olive oil is just heavenly!
Who needs Raita when we've got Hummus!
I love Mint chutney! A classic Indian condiment made from fresh mint leaves blended with green chillies and various spices like cumin powder and coriander powder.
This chutney has an invigorating flavor that can help balance out the heat of spicier dishes like curries or samosas.
It’s easy to make at home by blending fresh mint leaves with garlic cloves and adding additional seasonings according to taste preferences.
Chettinad Chicken Biryani
This yummy (2nd favourite!) variation adds an extra flavor punch to traditional Vijayawada biryani with the addition of chettinad masala.
Remember, this is a spicier blend which includes cumin seeds, cinnamon stick, cloves, cardamom pods, black pepper, coriander seeds, and bay leaves.
These flavors combine to provide the perfect balance between savory and sweet for a truly mouth-watering experience.
Kacchi Style Biryani
We make Kacchi Style Biryani with raw marinated chicken, cooked directly on top of the rice.
The chicken absorbs all the amazing flavors from the spices while it cooks for an intensely flavorful experience.
To add even more flavor to this variant, you can also add curd or egg yolk into the mix for an even richer taste.
This variant incorporates saffron threads as one of its main ingredients for an aromatic flavor profile that will tantalize your senses.
Hyderabadi biryani also uses clarified butter (ghee) instead of oil which adds a unique flavor and aroma to this version that you won’t find in any other type of biryani.
Equipment We Used
A Good Spice Grinder
The most important part of creating a great biryani is finding the perfect balance of spices. Get a good spice grinder - preferably one with multiple settings for a better grind!
If you don’t have access to an electric spice grinder - that's fine, mortar and pestles work just as well.
Manually grinding spices can be time-consuming!
A Sturdy Mixing Bowl
You will also need a large mixing bowl in which to combine all your ingredients before adding them to your pot or pressure cooker. A high quality stainless steel bowl works best as they are durable and heat resistant.
Whatever type of bowl you choose, make sure it has enough room for all your ingredients without spilling over when stirred.
A Pressure Cooker or Dutch Oven
When cooking biryani, there are two main methods you can use: using a pressure cooker or using a dutch oven over low heat.
Both methods will produce delicious results; however if you want to save time while still delivering tasty results then go with the pressure cooker option.
A pressure cooker is easy to use and helps lock in flavors faster than other methods, which means less cooking time for you!
The Origin Story
Most people dont know this but Vijayawada Biryani originated several centuries ago in the year 1522 when Sultan Quli Qutb Shah established his rule over the city of Golkonda (now Hyderabad).
He brought with him a master chef from Persia who was known for his culinary skills.
This chef used local ingredients like ghee, coconut milk, and spices to create a unique dish that was rich in flavor and aroma.
Thus, Biryani was born!
The Name Vijayawada Biryani
When people heard about this amazing new dish, they began asking where it came from.
The Qutb Shah’s answered “Vijayawada” – the sultan had taken the recipe with him on his campaign to conquer Vijayawada in 1555 AD. Thus, the name “Vijayawada biryani” was born!
Raita is a yogurt-based side dish that makes the perfect accompaniment to Vijayawada Biryani.
It helps to cool down the spice in the biryani while adding a creamy texture.
Raitas are usually made with yogurt, cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions, and they can be flavored with herbs or spices like cumin or coriander. mThey are easy to make and can be served chilled or at room temperature.
A simple salad can help balance out the flavors of Vijayawada Biryani.
A green salad is particularly good because it adds a crunchy texture and freshness that pairs nicely with the spicy biryani.
For an added kick, try adding slices of onion or chili peppers to your salad!
Naan bread is a flatbread that is often served alongside Indian dishes like biryani.
It has a slightly crispy exterior and soft interior that complements the crunchy texture of basmati rice in Vijayawada biryani perfectly.
Naan can also be used as a scooping agent when eating biryani—just tear off pieces of naan to pick up bites of rice and vegetables!
Both Vijayawada and Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani are cooked with marinated chicken, basmati rice, yogurt, spices, oil/ghee, and herbs. However, each version has its own unique twist when it comes to ingredients and cooking processes.
For starters, we cook the Vijayawada Chicken Biryani without potatoes or tomatoes while Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani typically contains both ingredients.
Additionally, we use more spices in the Vijayawada Chicken Biryani than Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani; however, the latter version employs a longer cooking time (2-3 hours).
Lastly, while both versions use ghee or oil in their recipes, Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani tends to favor ghee over oil due to its richer flavor profile.
Vijayawada Chicken Biryani
- 2 lbs Boneless, skinless organic chicken thighs
- 2 cups Basmati rice
- 4 large large onions, thinly sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon Ginger paste
- 1 tsp Turmeric powder
- 0.5 teaspoon Red chili powder
- 1 teaspoon garam masala powder
- 2 tbsps ghee or clarified butter (optional)
- 2 tbsps vegetable oil or coconut oil
- Salt to taste
Preparing the rice
- We first soak the rice in enough water for 30 minutes. Drain the water and set the rice aside.
- In a large pot or Dutch oven, we heat ghee/butter over medium heat.
- Add cloves, cardamom, cinnamon stick, and bay leaf. Fry for a few seconds until fragrant.
- We then add onions and fry until golden brown. Add ginger-garlic paste and fry for a minute.
- We would add chicken pieces here and fry until slightly browned.
Mixing the masala
- Next we would add curd/yogurt and add Hyderabadi biryani masala and all the spice powders (turmeric powder, red chili powder, garam masala powder).
- Mix well and cook for 2 minutes
- Add rice and mix well so that all the ingredients are evenly mixed.
- Add 2 cups of water and salt to taste.
Mixing it all up!
- Mix well and bring to a boil
- Reduce heat to low and cook covered for 10 minutes or until the rice is fully cooked.
- Once done, fluff up the rice with a fork. To make the saffron milk, take milk in a small bowl and add saffron strands to it.
- Mix well and set aside. Take lemon juice in another small bowl.
- Grease an oven-safe dish with ghee melted
- Spread half of the cooked rice evenly in the bottom of the dish
- Now spread all of the fried onions, mint leaves, coriander leaves, and lemon juice mixture over it.
- Then spread the remaining cooked rice over it.
We are done!
- I would then pour prepared saffron milk over it. Bake in preheated oven at 375 degrees F for 10-12 minutes or till heated through.
- Serve immediately with raita & papadums. Enjoy!
|Ingredient||Serving Size (g)||Calories||Fat (g)||Carbohydrates (g)||Protein (g)|
|Ginger||1 inch piece||3||0||1||0|
|Spices (cumin, coriander, turmeric, etc.)||1 tsp||5||0||1||0|
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