Prep Time 20 min Cook Time 60 min Total Time 1 hr 20 mins Servings: 8



Chicken Marinade




  1. If you are using Chicken breasts, cut them into medium sized cubes.

  2. Marinate the Chicken with all the Spices, Cardamom, Cumin, Coriander, Turmeric, Garam Masala, Soomph, Chilli powder, Yogurt and the pureed Tomatoes.

  3. Refrigerate overnight or for an hour.


  1. Wash rice, add Cinnamon and Cardamom. Add salt and cook as per package instructions until fully cooked.

  2. Sprinkle a little food coloring over (if you are not using Saffron) together with half the remaining butter. Cover and set aside.


  1. Heat 2 tablespoon butter from half the remaining butter and a few drops oil.

  2. Add the Cinnamon sticks, Bay leaves, Stars aniseed and black Cardamom. Fry until fragrant.

  3. Add the Curry leaves, Thyme and Onion. Sauté until the onion is golden brown.

  4. Add the marinated Chicken. Add salt and cook on high heat for 5 minute.

  5. Add potatoes. Reduce the heat.

  6. Simmer until the potatoes are soft and tender. I did not need to add water to my chicken but if you feel your chicken is too dry add a half cup of water. You do require enough gravy in your chicken.

  7. Rinse the lentils and add to the chicken in the last ten minutes of cooking time.

Onion (Optional)

  1. If you want to add some crispy fried Onion on top of the Biryani.

  2. Heat half a cup of Oil in a pot and fry the onion until brown and crisp. Drain on a paper towel and set aside.


  1. Once the Chicken is cooked add the leftover butter to it.

  2. Fluff up the Rice and spread over the Chicken.

  3. Pour the Saffron over. Sprinkle the fried Onions on top, if using.

  4. Cover the pot and steam for 5 minutes.


  1. Chef Owen Jullies used Basmati Rice but you can easily use long grain rice. It won't be as fragrant but it works perfectly fine.
  2. He used a medium Masala, called Rumbo Russo, purchased from the spice shops in Durban. However, you an increase the amount of Kashmiri chilli powder and use it just like that.
  3. You can totally omit the fried Onion. It does add a lovely flavor to the Biryani but not totally necessary.