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Spicy Street Style Chicken Biryani/ Chatpatti Chicken Biryani

Course Main Course
Cuisine Pakistani
Keyword Chicken, Cooking, Pakistani, Rice, Traditional
Servings 4 Servings


  • pounds bone-in chicken pieces, skin removed
  • 3 medium onions, sliced thin, divided
  • ½ cup neutral flavored oil
  • 2 medium tomatoes, sliced
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • ¼ cup chopped mint
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons ginger garlic paste
  • ¼ teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 black cardamoms
  • 2 green cardamoms
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 green chili (serrano or jalapeño)
  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder
  • ¾ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder
  • Salt, to taste
  • 3 medium potatoes, peeled and halved
  • cups parboiled/sela basmati rice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground mace
  • Pinch of powdered yellow or orange food color, optional


  1. Rinse rice in cold water, and soak in cold water for at least 2 hours (can soak for up to 4 hours).

Prepare Biryani Masala

  1. In a small bowl, combine one sliced onion, tomatoes, cilantro, mint, and lemon juice. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a large vessel over medium-high heat. Add remaining two sliced onions and sauté until golden brown, 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Transfer half of the browned onions to a paper towel lined plate and set aside. These will be used when the biryani is being layered.
  4. Returning to the cooking onions, add ginger garlic paste, black peppercorns, cloves, black cardamoms, green cardamoms, cinnamon, bay leaf, and green chili. Saute for a few minutes, adding splashes of water as necessary to prevent the mixture from burning.
  5. Add coriander powder, paprika, turmeric, garam masala, red chili powder, and salt, and cook for 2 minutes.

  6. Add the prepared tomato and onion mixture and cook until the tomatoes have softened and the oil begins to separate from the gravy, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add splashes of water as necessary to prevent the mixture from burning.
  7. Add chicken and potatoes, mix well, cover, and reduce heat to medium and cook until the chicken no longer looks raw, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  8. Remove lid and increase heat to medium high, and cook until the oil begins to separate from the gravy, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Prepare Rice

  1. Heat water (enough to boil rice in) and salt in a large vessel over medium-high heat. Once it comes to a boil, add soaked rice (drain before adding), and cook until about 75% cooked through. Drain and set aside.


  1. In a large vessel, spread out half of the boiled rice, followed by the chicken and potato mixture (masala). Cover with remaining rice. Sprinkle mace and nutmeg over the top, followed by a pinch of food color, if desired. Sprinkle prepared fried onions. Cover and seal the vessel with a cotton tea towel or aluminum foil, followed by the lid. Cook over low heat until the rice has finished cooking, about 45 to 60 minutes.

Recipe Notes

Measurements are in actual measuring spoons/cups and not eating utensils.
The chillies I use are very spicy. Feel free to increase the red chili powder or green chilies if your chilies are more mild.