Chicken Kacchi Biryani
Bangladesh Chicken Dinner India Lunch Mid-East/Mediterranean Pakistan

Cooking Easy Chicken Kacchi Biryani at Home

Chicken biryani is a world-renowned dish, and for good reason. Fragrant rice, tasty marinated chicken, and mixed spices come together to create a culinary masterpiece. But within the biryani family, there exists a gem known as chicken kacchi biryani. Today, we’ll be exploring this flavorful variation, delving into its origins, popularity, and why it deserves a special place on your dinner table.

What’s in the Name?

The word “kacchi” translates to “raw” in Hindi and Urdu. This might seem counterintuitive, considering the dish features cooked chicken. But here’s the twist: unlike the traditional “pakki” biryani where the raw meat (chicken in this case) and rice are pre-cooked separately, kacchi biryani marinates the raw chicken and is cooked along with the rice. This unique approach allows the flavors to meld beautifully during the cooking process, resulting in incredibly tender chicken infused with the essence of the biryani spices.

A Culinary Journey Across Borders

Chicken kacchi biryani is particularly popular in the regions of Hyderabad, Deccan, and Lucknow in India making many believe that biryani is an Indian food. It is also a cherished dish in Pakistan and Bangladesh, each region boasting thier own twist on the recipe, with variations in spice blends and additional ingredients. However, the core principle of marinating raw chicken with rice remains the same.

Why You Should Try Chicken Kacchi Biryani

There are several reasons why chicken kacchi biryani should be on your culinary bucket list:

  • Textural Delight: The chicken cooks along with the rice, resulting in incredibly tender and juicy pieces that complement the fluffy rice perfectly.
  • Flavor Explosion: The raw chicken absorbs the marinade more effectively, leading to an unparalleled depth of flavor.
  • Aromatic Heaven: The unique layering of spices during the cooking process creates an intoxicating aroma that will have your mouth watering before the dish is even served.

Chicken kacchi biryani, just like its counterpart beef kacchi biryani, is more than just a dish; it’s an experience. It’s a testament to the ingenuity of South Asian cuisine, where simple techniques combine to create something truly special. So, the next time you’re looking for a flavorful and satisfying meal, consider giving chicken kacchi biryani a try. You won’t be disappointed!

Preparing the ingredients

Marinating the chicken.

Marinating the chicken for biryani can be as short as 30 minutes (which is good enough) to one or two hours, but doing it overnight ensures the taste of the marinate incorporates well into the meat pieces. This way also allows the meat to soften, which will shorten the cooking process. It is a win-win solution.

Chop chicken into desired pieces; I usually cut them into eight pieces.

Chicken pieces for chicken kacchi biryani

Dry roast cumin, fennel, cinnamon, cloves, chili, mace, and cardamon, then grind using a mortar and pestle or mini chopper.

Chicken kacchi biryani spices

Add yogurt, ground spice, ginger and garlic paste, salt, and meat. Mix them making sure that the chicken pieces are all covered up with yogurt and spices. Cover tightly or with a cling film. Refrigerate for at least half an hour. Overnight is best.

Marinating chicken pieces for biryani

Prepping the rice

Prepping rice is also easy. Soak it for 20-30 minutes. Drain. Our chicken and rice are now ready for cooking.

Wait, we need fried onions. These are available in your local supermarkets. If you prefer to make them from fresh onions, here are the steps:

How to fry onions for biryani

  • Slice the onions into equal sizes. This will ensure that they are cooked evenly.
  • Then soak them in milk for about 30 minutes. Drain as much of the milk as you can, then fry the onions gently in oil or ghee until golden brown.
Frying onions for chicken kacchi biryani

We need fried onions to give a distinctive flavor to dishes including biryanis. And in the chicken kacchi biryani, fried onions is part of the layering – which would make the taste of the biryani best!

Layering Chicken Kacchi Biryani

Layering is an essential step in making chicken kacchi biryani as it helps to infuse the flavors of all the ingredients together. Follow these simple steps to achieve a delicious and aromatic biryani:

  1. Begin by spreading a layer of fried onions at the bottom of the pot. The caramelized onions will add a rich and sweet flavor to the biryani.
  2. Next, add a layer of marinated chicken pieces on top of the onions. Make sure to spread them evenly to ensure even cooking.
  3. Add a layer of cooked potatoes over the chicken. The potatoes will not only add volume to the dish but also absorb the flavors of the spices.
  4. Now, it’s time to layer the rice. Spread the soaked and drained rice evenly over the chicken and potatoes. Ensure that the rice layer is thick and covers the entire surface. Another option is to layer half the fried onions, chicken, and rice and then repeat the same once.
  5. Sprinkle saffron water over the rice. This will give the dish a beautiful yellow color.
  6. Finally, pour water into the pot, making sure that it covers the rice completely. The ratio of rice to water should be around 1:1.5 for perfectly cooked biryani.
layering rice for chicken kacchi biryani

Additional Cooking Tips

You may want to add chili powder to the line up of spices if you prefer a bit of heat. As an alternative, add sliced green chillies with the yogurt and spice blend during the prepping the chicken stage.

A dash of lemon juice does not hurt.

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Chicken Kacchi Biryani on a plate

Recipe for Chicken Kacchi Biryani

  • Author: Magida
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: cooking
  • Cuisine: Southeast Asian


Marinated chicken slow-cooked to perfection with aromatic spices, layered with fried onions and rice. n. A feast for the senses, this classic dish from Southeast Asia is sure to impress.



1 tsp ginger paste
2 tsp garlic paste
4 dry red chili
23 inches stick of cinnamon
6 green cardamom
1 tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp cloves
½ tsp mace
¼ tsp nutmeg
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 cup yogurt
½ cup ghee or butter
4 medium potato (quartered)
3 tbsps orange or yellow food color
1 cup onion thinly sliced
4 cups basmati rice
6 cups water
½ cup milk
pinch of saffron

Salt to taste


  1. Wash rice, soak in water for 30 minutes, drain and set aside.
  2. Wash the chicken and dry using a paper towel.
  3. Dry roast cumin, fennel, cinnamon, cloves, chili, mace, and cardamon, then grind using a mortar and pestle or mini chopper.
  4. Add yogurt, ground spice, ginger and garlic paste, salt, and meat. Marinate for at least half an hour (I love leaving it overnight).
  5. Soak sliced onion in ¾ the amount of milk and gently fry in ghee until golden brown.
  6. Rub potato with food color, then fry until half done.
  7. Add the saffron to the remaining milk, and set aside.
  8. In a cooking pot (preferably the one you used to fry onions), layer fried onios, meat, potatoes, followed by the rice. Repeat the layers ensuring that a portion of rice is last and covering the meat.
  9. Add water and saffron milk mixture.
  10. Cook on the stove for 1.5 hours, tightly sealed with foil followed by the biryani pot cover.

Keywords: chicken kacchi biryani

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