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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,

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