Chettinad Chicken Biryani Recipe

When I started drafting the Fish Fry Masala recipe, I was also thinking about the next non-veg. recipe for all you foodies.

Then, I found out that I haven’t shared the Chettinad Chicken Biryani recipe on this blog. It is one of the most loved Biryanis in Tamil Nadu, India. So, I believe this is the right time to share its recipe with everyone.

Talking about Chettinad cuisine, it is a well-preserved cuisine in the history of Indian food. The way these people use their spices in traditional recipes is just impeccable.

Chettinad Chicken Biryani comes under the similar category of dishes in which you should know more about the spices than anything else. All other preparation steps are somewhat familiar to everyone due to various popular Biryanis like Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani and Lucknowi Dum Biryani.

Now, let’s jump over to the preparation of this mouthwatering Biryani.

How to make Chettinad Masala

For this masala, you will need some traditional spices that go into the making of Biryani. Here’s the list of these ingredients –

Ingredients for Chettinad Masala

  • Grated Coconut – 4-5 tablespoon
  • Green Chillies – 3-4 nos., should be mild-hot
  • Coriander Seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • Fennel Seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Bay Leaf – 1, medium sized
  • Green Cardamom – 2 pods
  • Marathi Moggu – 2 nos.
  • Cloves – 2-3 nos.
  • Star Anise – 1
  • Cinnamon Stick – 1, small sized
  • Mace – 1
  • Oil – 2 teaspoon
  • Water as needed


1. Heat oil in a pan on medium flame.

2. When the oil turns hot enough, add all the spices in it. Stir-fry them for a couple of minutes.

Note – Please make sure that you don’t burn these spices, as it’d change the taste of your Biryani later.

3. Add the green chillies and grated coconut into it. Mix them well and stir-fry for another two minutes.

4. Switch off the flame and wait till it cools down.

5. Get a grinder and add this stir-fried mixture into it.

6. Add some water and prepare a fine paste out of it.

Keep this Masala paste aside. You will need it during the Biryani preparation below.

Note – If you don’t want to use grated coconut, you can use coconut milk along with water in your recipe.

Chettinad Chicken Biryani Preparation

Let’s quickly take a look at the ingredients required to make this Biryani.

Ingredients for Biryani 

  • Chettinad Masala
  • Basmati Rice – 300 gm
  • Chicken – 300 gm, cleaned and cut into medium sized pieces
  • Onion – 1, medium sized, sliced into juliennes
  • Tomato – 1, medium sized, chopped into small pieces
  • Yoghurt – 2-3 tablespoon
  • Red Chilli Powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Turmeric Powder – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Mint Leaves – 1 tablespoon, finely chopped
  • Coriander Leaves – 1 tablespoon, finely chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • Ghee/Clarified Butter – 3 tablespoon
  • Water as needed


For Chicken Marination:

1. Get a bowl and add the chicken pieces, Chettinad masala, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, yogurt and oil (1 tablespoon) into it.

2. Mix it well and keep aside for at least half an hour.

For Chicken Biryani:

1. Heat Ghee in a heavy bottom pan on medium flame.

2. Add the ginger-garlic paste and fry it nicely till the raw smell goes away.

3. Add the onion juliennes & salt and fry them until they turn slightly brown.

4. Add the tomato pieces and cook them along with onions.

5. When tomatoes turn mushy, add the marinated chicken into the pan.

6. Cook the chicken on the same flame for 8-10 minutes without adding any water. Don’t forget to stir in between.

7. Meanwhile, cook your rice in the pressure cooker or boil separately in a cooking pot.

8. Check the chicken. If it has turned dry, add some water and mix well.

9. Reduce the flame and cook the chicken for another 15 minutes under the lid.

10. When the chicken is nearly done, add the coriander leaves and mint leaves into it. Mix them together and cook further for 1-2 minutes.

11. Now, place a Tawa on the flame and keep your chicken pan on top of it.

12. Layer the rice and chicken gravy as per your style.

Note – You may also use food colors, fried onions and some chopped coriander leaves for garnishing.

13. Sprinkle a little bit of water and cover it with the lid. Cook for 3-4 minutes on low flame.

Serve it hot with boiled egg and chilled cucumber or onion raita.

Variations for Chettinad Chicken Biryani

For this Chicken Biryani, I’d like to suggest a couple of variations for you. These variations are nothing but the replacements for two main ingredients in this Biryani i.e. Rice and Chicken.

So, do take a look at these variations below. I’m sure you will love to explore them more.

Biryani using Local Rice –

That’s right! If you want to bring more authentic flavors to this biryani, you should try using locally available rice i.e. Seeraga Samba Rice.

Many folks from this region prefer this rice over Basmati rice. When cooked to perfection, it turns fluffy and slightly sticky like most of the traditional Indian rice varieties.

This variety of rice tastes great with spicy preparations such as Biryani and Pulao.

Chettinad Prawns Biryani –

Similarly, you can cook Prawns in the same masala that I’ve talked about earlier in this post.

It also saves your time, as prawns cook much faster than chicken. So, if you wanna impress your guests with quick Biryani, you can surely think of making this variation at home.


Chettinad Chicken Biryani is quite different from most of the mainstream Biryanis in India.

Generally, you don’t get to see the usage of Coconut Milk or Grated Coconut in Biryani dishes. Chettinad masala paste is a unique feature of this dish, which you’d not find in North Indian recipes.

Over to you –

What’s your style of making Chettinad Biryani? Do you use any other secret spices in its preparation?

I’d love to know more about this type of Indian cuisine. So, drop your comment below and share your thoughts.

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