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Pakistani-Style Chicken Biryani

8 to 10 Servings

2½ hours 1½ hours active

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In Lahore, Pakistan, we learned different ways to make biryani, a multi-layered dish of rice and meat, all boldly seasoned with spices and aromatics. Based on lessons we learned from street vendor Mohammed Muzmil and chefs Muneeze Khalid and Gulnaz Siddique, we developed a streamlined version that still delivers the depth and richness of a classic biryani. Tradition calls for parboiling the rice, but we found that simply soaking it in salted water for 30 minutes worked just as well to produce the fluffy, tender grains we wanted. Inspired by Muzmil’s matka-style biryani—which prepares the entire dish in a single clay pot—we created a dish that works wonderfully in a Dutch oven. It starts on the stovetop, then is finished in the oven, where steady heat ensures even, hands-off cooking. If you wish to add a fresh hit of chili heat, sprinkle on some thinly sliced serrano chilies just before serving.

8 to 10



Don’t forget to cover the pot while the chicken and potatoes cook. This retains moisture for a succulent, flavor-rich dish. As soon as you remove the pot from the oven, quickly uncover it and lay a towel across the top (do not replace the lid). While the rice finishes steaming off heat, the towel absorbs vapors that otherwise would drip back onto the biryani.

2½ hours

1½ hours active


  • 2

    cups basmati rice

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper


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Valerie P.
March 6, 2024
Fantastic recipe!
I doubled the chicken as someone else suggested but followed the rest of the recipe exactly as written and it was a huge hit! The rice was cooked perfectly and flavors blended together well. I may add a little more spice next time.
Richard L.
February 14, 2024
Easy and delicious
Freeze well too!
Tammy H.
January 3, 2024
Pakastani Chicken Biryani
This recipe was a 5 star! I'm so glad it made enough to have leftovers and some to freezer bag. I really enjoyed the cooking method as well using the one pot and layering the rice at the end. I want to make this recipe over and over. I used cilantro, but next time I'm going to try mint and cilantro. Such a delicious meal and my first time making biryani. I would definitely recommend this recipe! MILK STREET RULES!!! Tammy
Julie G.
December 31, 2023
Lots of Flavor
Really enjoyed this recipe. I might add a bit more chicken than what's called for but the spices are perfect. Curious if it would be wrong to add additional veggies??
Michael M.
December 29, 2023
Easy to prepare...I forgot to portion out the caramelized onions and layer them in on top of the rice. But the flavor is amazing. Highly recommend to use the saffron. It adds a complex of flavors!!! Somehow my rice was time I'll soak the rice for an hour and cook it a little over the recommended 30 minutes.