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Handi Biryani


Handi Biryani

Handi Biryani



Recipe Servings


Recipe Cook Time


Rice cooked on a low flame with layers of vegetables, a variety of masalas and chicken. A beautiful rice recipe that will win many hearts at the dinner table.


  • For the rice:

    4 cups water, boiling

    1 1/2 cups rice, washed

    2 Tbsp oil

    2 bay leaves

    2 green cardamom

    1 black cardamom

    2-3 laung

    1 Tbsp cumin seeds

    For the vegetable layer:

    2 Tbsp oil

    1 tsp cumin seeds

    2 onions, sliced

    1 capsicum, sliced

    2 boiled potatoes, diced


    For the chicken layer:

    2 Tbsp oil

    1 tsp cumin seeds

    2 bedki red chillies

    1 onion, sliced

    2 Tbsp ginger garlic paste

    1 tsp turmeric powder

    1 tsp red chilli powder

    1 tsp zeera powder

    1 tsp corainder powder

    1 green chilli, chopped

    1/2 kg chicken (Seasoned with some salt)

    2 tsp sugar

    2 tomatoes, sliced

    3-4 Tbsp curd

    For the milk layer:

    1 cup milk

    3-4 strands saffron

    2-3 Tbsp butter


For the rice:

Boil 4 cups of water in a pan.

In a saucepan, heat oil and add bay leaf, green cardamom, brown cardamom, cloves and cumin. Stir for 3 to 5 minutes.

Wash and soak rice in the saucepan and toast the rice before cooking it.

Add the hot water and bring it to a boil.

Drain the rice in a large colander, spread in a big plate, cool.

For the vegetable layer:

In a pan, add 2 tablespoon of oil, few cumin seeds, chopped julienned onions and stir for 2 minutes.

Add chopped capsicum and toss for 2 minutes.

Add oil in the same pan and fry chopped boil potatoes.

Add salt for seasoning. Stir 2 minutes and keep it aside.

For the chicken layer:

In another pan, heat oil.  Add 3 - 5 bedaki chillies, cumin seeds, ginger garlic paste, turmeric powder, red chilly powder, cumin, coriander powder.

Add a couple of drops of oil and stir for 2 minutes. Season it with sea salt.

Add the chicken and stir for 2 minutes.

Add sugar and tomatoes. Cook for 10 minutes.

For the milk layer:

In a pan heat milk and add saffron and clarified butter. Stir for 2 mins. 

To fill the handi:

In a handi, pour some chicken gravy.

Take half the rice and spread at the bottom, over the gravy.

Top with layer of chicken and a bit of the gravy.

Add most of the rice over this layer.

Top with layer of vegetables and spread over rice.

Sprinkle saffron infused milk and some lime juice.

With a spoon, draw lines across the layers.

Cover with lid and seal edges with dough.

Cook on a low flame for 30 minutes.


A handi is a round pot like vessel, with the neck narrower than the base.

It may be made of metal or earthenware. It must be heatproof though. If not available use a deep, heavy saucepan.

For a biryani with a stronger flavor, mix in some powdered mace, nutmeg into the rice before transferring to  the handi.

To save time, prepare handi a few hours ahead, and bake just before serving,

Key Ingredients: rice, salt, vegetable oil, bay leaf, green cardamom, black cardamom, cloves, cumin seeds, onion, capsicum, potatoes, red chilli, turmeric powder, green chillies, chicken, tomato, butter, saffron, condensed milk, yogurt, sugar, coriander powder, t