Instant Light Chicken Biryani

My earlier version of Chicken Biryani was the traditional kind, but I learnt this version from my Mother in law and is very light and has lesser calories and gets prepared quite quickly when compared to any other type of Chicken Biryani’s. As this Express Cooking Event calls for a meal to get ready in less than 30 minutes, I have used left over cooked plain rice, you guys can always make it fresh if you do not have left over rice. Its a complete meal with Biryani, a dessert, and a juice, and is filling but light on stomach.

My Version of ‘Instant Light Chicken Biryani
Serves – 2


Canola Oil – 1 tbsp
Chicken Breast – 200 gms, washed, and cut into 2 cms cubes
Salt – to taste
Red Chilli powder – 1 tsp
Yogurt – 1 tbsp
Tomato paste – 2 tsp (optional)
Ginger Garlic paste – 1 tsp
Garam Masala – 1 1/2 tsp
Dry roasted Cumin seed/Zeera powder – 1 tsp
Dry Roasted Coriander/Dhaniya seed powder – 1 tsp
Water – 1/2 cup
Lemon Juice – 2 or 3 tbsp ( as you like)
Saffron threads – a pinch, soaked in 1/4 cup warm milk
Cooked Plain White Rice – 3 cups
Crispy Fried Onions – 2 tbsp

Method: ( Target time to prepare the whole meal – 30 minutes )

1. Put a heavy bottom pan on medium heat, and pour oil into it.
2. Add the chicken pieces, salt and red chilli powder, and fry till golden brown on all sides. This takes probably 7 minutes. When the chicken cubes has been browned properly, adjust the heat to medium high add the yogurt, tomato paste (optional) and ginger-garlic paste and the three dry masalas and stir well. This will take about 5 minutes. Now add half cup water and lemon juice. Cover the lid of the pan for 2 minutes until the water dries up.
3. Now arrange the half of the rice in a microwave safe bowl in a layer, add the cooked chicken breast from the pan on top of the rice in a layer, again arrange the remaining rice layer on top. Sprinkle the fried onions on top and pour the milk with saffron threads evenly on top of rice. All this takes about 5 more minutes
5. Cover and microwave for 3 minutes. The Biryani is ready.
6. Serve the Biryani along with and a Juice and Ice Cream for a heartful meal for two ready in about in less than 30 minutes.

Tip: Adding salt to the water in which you cook rice is essential, or else the whole taste of Biryani turns upside down. One tip if you have forgotten to add salt to the water while boiling rice is – stir the required amount of salt in a little quantity of hot water, about half cup or a few tablespoons, and pour this on the biryani evenly. Warm the biryani in microwave and serve immediately.


22 thoughts on “Instant Light Chicken Biryani

  1. Assalamu alaykum Mona,

    Your blog has saved me so many times. I absolutely love your recipes! Thank you so much!

    I have question about this recipe. Do I add salt to the chicken AND the rice, or just one? And how much salt do you typically add?


  2. Dear Mona,

    So salt in the chicken? Did not find it in the ingredient list…


    Aseem, just edited the post. Sorry for the typo.

  3. Dear Mona,

    How much salt would you add while cooking one cup of rice?



    Aseem, 1 tsp salt for 1 cup of rice.

  4. Dear Mona,

    How much rice must I cook to get 3 cups of cooked white rice?

    Can I replace tomato paste by fresh tomatoes? if yes, then by how much and what change will be needed in cooking time?

    When you say chicken breast, is this with bones or deboned?

    Aseem, approx 1 cup raw rice = 3 cups cooked rice. You can use a small sized tomato instead of tomato paste. There wont be much change in the cooking time if you use a fresh tomato instead. You can follow the same recipe as above.

  5. I made this today and I have to say I was afraid it would not taste that great since I’ve never made biryani this way nor saw my mom doing it. However, I was wrong! This was the best biryani I have ever made. Usually my rice is really smushy cuz I cook it too long. But this version really helped make my rice right!! I did add salt to the chicken because I did not put it in my rice. I also added mint and cilantro to the top of the rice. I think the mint really helped add flavor to the dish. This is going to be my new dish I serve when I have company. Thank you!!!

  6. My brother used to be a chef at the Taj for a brief while, and studied to be a chef. And my mother is a very good cook. And so is my mother in law. So I’m a fussy eater, and I must say your recipes turn out amazingly well.

    I run a website on marketing at and one of the pages that a lot of people like is the recipe page.

    It’s got a good Butter Chicken recipe too, you may want to have a look at.

  7. hi mona,
    like you evn i am a foodie freak and i love all your recipes.your blog is simply great,i loved it.well done.i too love to cook.
    tell me with all this cooking do you experience bloopers………….well happens to me most of the time and then i hate cooking for a doy or two.i cook some thing whic comes out great and the next time its a disaster,if it does happen to you how do you cope up…………….
    would love to hear from you.

  8. Hello Mona,

    I came across your website while searching for hyderabadi recipes and am very impressed.

    It’s a lovely website and the authentic hyderabadi recipes like bhendi ka saalan and others you have posted do set it apart.

    This is a very clever recipe for 30-minute biryani. I imagine the recipe will work out better with freshly cooked and strained rice, which would not be difficult to cook simultaneously with the chicken.

    Biryani is a great favourite in our house – I will give this recipe a go soon. Thanks for sharing.


  9. Hi Mona,

    For someone who has just started blogging, you are going great guns…unlike me…sporadic at best. I have just seen your comment on my blog and decided to look up your blog. Looks good and will certainly be back for a more leisurely read.

    All the best,

  10. Mona, Thx for stopping by my blog, u have a great blog ur self….I’m always sold for Biryani’s, Nice recipe Muna!!!

  11. Hey mona, thanks for coming by .. 🙂
    you have a very nice blog here with good recipes that would love to try.
    Love to try this biryani recipe….

  12. hi mona

    The 30 minute chicken biryani is gr8…will make it soon
    my version of biryani takes about 1 1/2 hr, so this must be a breeze:)

  13. Hi Mona,

    Great blog you got here! 30-min. biryani sounds great, Inshallah, I’ll try it.

    I wish I had passion to cook. Cooking is my least fav. thing to do. I always look for EASY & QUICK dishes so I can be done with.

    I hope you don’t display our email address in the comment. BTW, why is e-mail address a ‘required’ field when posting comment on your blog? Many times I visited your site, but didn’t post a comment because of providing email. This time I had to post to say thanks for 30min biryani recipe.

    Take care and best wishes!

  14. Hey Mona, I was not able to access your page as there was no link…just now I happened to see your web address in another blog 🙂 your 30 min meal is quite a luxurious one 🙂 None can say NO to it 🙂

    Welcome aboard and hope you enjoy blogging.


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