Cultural background

 Biryani is derived from the Farsi word ‘Birian’. Based on the name, and cooking style (Dum), one can conclude that the dish originated in Persia and/or Arabia. It could have come from Persia via Afghanistan to North India. It could have also been brought by the Arab traders via Arabian sea to Calicut.

When the British deposed Nawab Wajid Ali Shah to Kolkata (formerly Calcutta), the Calcutta biryani was created. Nizams governing small territories in Northern India encouraged regional variants like the Hyderabadi biryani and the Arcot Nawab biryani. Biryani recipes of the Mughals can still be found in places where their empire had a foothold. Once a dish for royalty, today the biryani reflects local sensibilities and traditions and is a popular and common dish.

Culinary information

Ingredients for 8 people

  • Oil: a cup
  • Ginger: a piece
  • Garlic: 3 pieces
  • Chicken: 2 kg
  • Onion: 500 gr.
  • Tomatoes: 500 gr.
  • Garam masala (spice mix): 1 tablespoon
  • Biryani masala (spice mix): 2 tbsp
  • Turmeric: 1 tbsp
  • Cumin: 1 tbsp
  • Sale: to taste
  • Black pepper: to taste
  • Chili pepper: to taste
  • Basmati rice: 2 glasses


  1. Cut the onion, garlic, ginger and tomatoes.
  2. Wash the chicken and put it in a bowl.
  3. Heat a little oil in a high pot and add the cumin.
  4. When the oil is hot, add the onion and let it brown a little, then add garlic and ginger.
  5. Put the tomatoes in the pot, add salt and all the other spices (turmeric, garam masala, black pepper, chili pepper, biryani masala) and mix well.
  6. Add the chicken and after about 5 minutes add a glass of water.
  7. Leave to boil over medium heat for about 20 minutes until all the water has been consumed.
  8. Next, take another pot full of water, with rice and a tablespoon of oil, put the pot over the fire and when the rice is a bit soft, drain it.
  9. Put together rice and chicken, leave everything on the fire for about 5 minutes on medium heat and it’s ready to be enjoyed

Other aspects

  • Wash your hands carefully.   
  • Be careful with hot  pans and blenders.   
  • Choose only fresh vegetables and chicken, check date of expiring for spices.