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Delicious Oven Baked Chicken Biryani

Delicious Oven Baked Chicken Biryani

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I love Biryani and now that I don’t eat lamb it’s often a Vegetable Pilaf  (similar to a biryani) or of course this Delicious Oven Baked Chicken Biryani. I always try to find easy ways to cook especially if I am short on time.

My days have been super busy so I tried to prep this Oven Baked Chicken Biryani the night before and just popped it into the oven the next day. It was sublime.

Delicious Oven Baked Chicken Biryani

Biryanis can become a little complicated but this is a super easy way to cook any Biryani. I find that everything tastes better when cooked in the oven.

Maybe it’s the slow cooking in the oven that does it. I also never open the oven during the cooking process. I think this helps get all those flavours right in.

How to make Oven Baked Chicken Biryani

For this Delicious Oven Baked Chicken Biryani I marinated the chicken overnight. I then popped the chicken, cooked potatoes and half-cooked rice in a pot and into the oven it went.

It took about an hour to cook and you cannot believe how aromatic and delicious this Biryani tasted. It was heavenly.

What Rice can I use?

I used Basmati Rice for this Oven Baked Chicken Biryani but you can also use any long grain rice if you prefer.

The potatoes in the Biryani is optional. Here in South Africa we love adding potatoes to our curries and Biryanis. I think we must eat the most potatoes in the world…..haha!

Biryani also needs a salad or a Raita, that Indian flavoured yogurt just rounds it the meal beautifully.


I always have readers, especially ones not living in SA, querying the difference between garam masala and masala. Let me do a little explaining.

Masala is a spice blend that was created by South Africans. I think everyone in SA that cooks Indian food will have a Masala in their pantry. It is a convenient spice blend.

The base of a masala is chilli powder and other spices are added to it to create an aromatic blend. If you are using Masala there actually shouldn’t be a need to use too many other spices.

However, all masalas are not the same so we always add more spices to suit the individual taste. If you do not have Masala you can use chilli powder, however you can adjust the quantity.

Garam Masala

Garam Masala on the other hand is a warming spice that’s added at the end of the cooking process. It is not the same as masala. The spices used are different and there is no chilli powder in a Garam Masala.

If you don’t have Garam Masala you can leave it out. It will make a difference to the flavor but I don’t think it’s going to be the end of the world. Your dish can still taste great.

You can find a recipe for Garam Masala and a Homemade Masala on my blog.

I hope you are going to give my Baked Chicken Biryani a try. Please feel free to drop me a comment if it was a success or not.

More Chicken Recipes:

Coconut Chicken Curry

One-Pot Spicy Rice and Chicken

Happy Weekend!

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5 from 2 votes

Delicious Oven Baked Chicken Biryani

Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Keyword Baked Biryani, baked chicken biryani, chicken biryani, Easy Biryani, south african biryani
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 4



  • 700 gram chicken thighs and drumsticks
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tbsp ghee melted
  • 1&1/2 tbsp ginger/garlic paste
  • 1 tspn ground cumin
  • 2 tspn ground coriander
  • 1 tspn turmeric
  • 1 tspn ground soomph/fennel
  • 2 tspn garam masala
  • 1/4 tspn ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tspn ground elachie/cardamom
  • 1-2 tbsp masala
  • 1 sprig curry leaf
  • 2 tspn fresh thyme leaves
  • 50 gram tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp chopped mint leaves
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
  • fried onion
  • salt


  • 1&1/2 cup Basmati Rice
  • water
  • 6 cardamom pods
  • 5 cloves
  • 3 bay leaf
  • 2 4cm cinnamon sticks
  • 2 star aniseed
  • 1 black cardamom
  • 2 tspn coarse salt

Crispy Onion

  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 large onion thinly sliced

Fried Potatoes

  • 2 potatoes cut into small cubes
  • salt
  • oil for frying


  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1/2 tspn saffron threads

Final stages of cooking

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp butter ghee melted



  • Add all of the ingredients, except the chicken, coriander and mint, in a large pot. Mix it all together
  • Add the chicken. Refrigerate overnight

Parboiled Rice

  • Bring 2 litres of water to the boil
  • Add rice, salt and whole spices
  • Cook for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside

Crispy Onions

  • Heat oil in a large pan. Cook onion in 2 batches on medium heat until golden brown
  • Drain on a paper towel lined plate


  • Peel the potatoes and cut them into small cubes. Place in a microwavable plate or large bowl. Add 1/4 cup water and cook on high for 5 minutes
  • Season with salt
  • Fry in a little oil until slightly brown and crisp
  • Set aside


  • Mix the saffron threads in 1/4 cup of warm water and set aside

Cooking the Biryani

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius
  • Sprinkle half the crispy onion on top of marinated chicken
  • Add mint and coriander
  • Layer potatoes on top
  • Add the rice and pour a cup of water over the rice
  • Drizzle the saffron water over, then the melted ghee
  • Sprinkle the remaining crispy onion on top
  • Cover and bake in the oven for an hour or until chicken and rice is cooked


  1. You can use some egg yellow food colouring for the yellow colour if you do not have saffron
  2. Potatoes are optional
  3. The amount of masala can be reduced to 1 tablespoon for a milder Biryani
  4. This biryani tastes even better the next day so you can make it ahead and serve the following day
  5. Best served with Raita, made with yogurt
  6. You can replace the chicken with lamb or vegetable. However if using lamb I recommend you cook the lamb on the stovetop first so it is partly tender before further cooking in the oven
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Recipe Rating

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Mahlithy Govender

Friday 1st of October 2021

Hi Dear made the chicken briyani I believe it is too Divinely delicious thank You for sharing such accurate and mouth watering recipes 😋 bless You


Friday 1st of October 2021

Mahlithy you are most welcome. Thank you for trying the recipe:-)


Thursday 23rd of September 2021

Hi! this recipe looks amazing! I was wondering if I could use biryani masala powder? (the ones that come in a box)


Wednesday 29th of September 2021

Hi Maria! I am sorry but I have never used it myself but you can try:-)


Friday 18th of June 2021

Hi I want to try this Tom Can I use 3 cups long grain rice and use the same recipe.


Sunday 20th of June 2021

Sorry for only replying now. I am sure your biryani is made already. You can use 3 cups of rice however you may need to make small adjustments to the recipe. In terms of liquid and maybe add a little more spices.


Monday 15th of March 2021

This is a quick, easy to follow recipe. Marinated the chicken for one and a half hours. The biryani was fragrant and delicious. Highly recommended recipe.


Tuesday 16th of March 2021

Thank you so much Denzil! I'm happy to hear that you loved the recipe:-)


Sunday 22nd of November 2020

You mention Masala but what Masala is that?


Sunday 22nd of November 2020

Hi Jatin! I am not sure which part of the world you're from. However, here in South Africa we use a blend of spices called a "Masala", it's a South African thing. It's found in all our spice shops. If you don't have any you can use a little more chilli powder. I do have a recipe for Masala on my blog.

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