Bohri biryani is one of the various delicious biryani of Pakistan made by Dawoodi bohra community. What makes bohra biryani different is that it is comparatively less spicy than Hyderabadi biryani or Sindhi biryani. Instead of red chillies and grounded garam masala, it uses green chilies for heat and whole garam masala (mixed spices) for aroma. This is a juicy biryani recipe. Senior adults and kids would love this bohra biryani for it has all the flavors and heat of biryani with health-friendly and kids friendly spices. Serve this biryani with green chutney or raita and kachumbar salad.

How to make Chicken Biryani (bohra style):

Author: Mariam Huzaifa

Recipe time: 1 hour 30 min|Prep time: 15 min|Cooking time: 1 hour 15 min|Recipe type: Main course, gluten-free|Cusine: Bohra food recipe


  • 1 kg chicken pieces, 1 full chicken
  • 0.75 kg basmati rice
  • 0.75 kg sliced onions, (6 medium)
  • 0.5 kg chopped tomato, (5 medium)
  • 0.5 kg potato, (4 medium),peeled and cut in large chunks
  • 8-12 small green chilies paste
  • 2 inch piece ginger paste
  • 6 garlic cloves paste
  • 3-4 medium green chilies
  • 2 tbs chopped fresh coriander
  • 4 black cloves (laung)
  • 10 black pepper corns (sabut kali mirch)
  • 1 tbs cumin (sabut zeera)
  • 2-3 green cardamom (choti elaichi)
  • 1 black cardamom (bari elaichi)
  • 1 big bay leaf (teej patta)
  • 2 inch stick cinnamon (dal cheeni)
  • 2 tbsp coriander powder (dhanya powder)
  • 1 tsp turmeric (haldi powder)
  • 3-4 dried plum (aloo bukhara)
  • 1/2 cup yogurt (dahi)
  • a pinch of saffron, dissolved in 2 tbs water.
  • 1.5 cup oil
  • salt to taste

Whole spices for rice

  • 1 tsp cumin (sabut zeera)
  • 6-8 black pepper (sabut kali mirch)
  • salt to taste (see notes)


  1. Wash and soak rice for 20 minutes.
  2. In a skillet take oil, fry onions till golden brown, dish out on kitchen towel and crush them with hands or mixer.
  3. While onion are frying make green paste of chili, garlic and ginger called green masala.
  4. In the same skillet using same oil of onions, fry potatoes till golden. Dish out and set aside.
  5. Take out extra oil from skillet leaving only 3 tbs. (this extra oil will be used later)
  6. In this oil on low flame, add dry whole spices (green cardamom, black cardamom, cumin, bay leaf, cinnamon, pepper and clove), fry lightly to release flavors.
  7. Now, add powdered spices (coriander and turmeric ), stir a little and add green masala and salt, fry for 1 minute.
  8. Add chicken and fry till the color of chicken changes, add chopped or pureed tomatoes, cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  9. Add fried, crushed onions, cover and cook for 20 minutes till chicken is tender.
  10. Add yogurt and plum, let simmer to reduce water. The gravy will be thick but not fully dried.
  11. Add  fried potatoes, chilies and coriander.
  12. On step 9, while chicken is cooking, fill a large vessel in which we will make biryani ( 12 inch diameter measuring from inside) more than half with water, add whole spices and salt.(check notes for tip). Bring water to boil.
  13. Once the water is boiled add soaked rice and cook for 7-10 mins, we will not fully cook but use half cooked rice(80% cooked, 1 kanni left ) that will soak the gravy of chicken.(see notes)
  14. Strain the water from rice. Now in the rice pot add 2 tbsp of extra oil  that we had saved and smear it on the base, add 3/4 of rice in the pot. Add layer of chicken gravy, spreading chicken and potatoes evenly. Add a layer of remaining rice.
  15. On top add dissolved saffron and remaining extra oil of onion. (Cover tightly to keep steam entrapped, put it for dum for 15 minutes.
  16. Biryani is ready to serve.

Step by Step  bohra/bohri biryani recipe


Soak rice for 20 minutes.


Heat oil in a skillet and fry onions on medium  flame.


We will fry till all strands of onions separate and turn crispy golden in color.


Crush fried onions with hands. You can also use grinder if onions are soft.


In the same oil fry potatoes till cooked, sprinkle salt too. Flip sides so all sides are golden.


Remove extra oil, leaving only 2-3 tbs in skillet. Fry whole spices. make sure flame is low and oil is not very hot or the spices will burn. Fry for 1 minute.


Add dry powdered spices, give a stir. Then add green chili, garlic and ginger paste.(hara masala). Fry for 1 minute.


Add chicken,and fry so the color of chicken changes. Add tomatoes. We don’t like skin of tomato so I removed skins and pureed it. You can simply use chopped tomatoes. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.


Add fry onion give it a stir for 5 min, add whipped yogurt. Cover and cook for 15-20 mins or till chicken is tender.


Simmer till you have thick gravy, add whole chiles and chopped coriander.


Fill 3/4 of a large and thick based skillet, add rice spices and salt. Bring it to boil and add soaked rice. Keep checking the rice, we need 1 kanni rice that are semi cooked to 80%.


Strain the rice, and in the same skillet add the extra onion oil that was saved. Smear it on the base and add a layer of rice. We will put less than 3/4 of rice in the bottom layer and leave rest to cover on the top layer.


Add layer of chicken gravy.  Make sure to distribute chicken pieces and potatoes evenly. Add remaining rice to top of chicken gravy in a layer to cover it. Add food color dissolved in water. Keep the biryani for dum for 10-15 minutes. Steam should be visible in the pot when lid is removed.Give a standing time of 5-7 minutes and then serve with achar , chutney, salad and zeera raita.

Notes and tips:

  • Rice measurement, 
  1. For rice measurement simple rule is to take equal quantity of meat and rice by weight. That’s what I did in this recipe.
  2. If you are meat lover use this measurement. Take 3 part of meat and 2 part of rice. i.e for 750 g meat you’ll take 500 gm rice. 
  3. And 500 gm rice biryani is enough for 8 people, if it’s a three course meal, 1 dessert, 1 savory dish with roti and 1 rice main course.
  •  Rice is main ingredient so quality of rice is very important, use basmati or other good quality rice.
  • Add more spices if you like spicy biryani or you may also add 1/2 tsp or more of red chili powder to make it more spicy.
  • To know whether the salt is enough in rice water, taste the water, it should have a soupy salt level.
  • You can also put rice skillet on griddle/tawa if your skillet has thin base or to save rice burning from bottom. Keep the griddle/tawa under the skillet for reheating biryani too.
  • Every grain of rice should be separate make sure rice are semi cooked, and add 1/4 cup water on top after adding saffron if your rice are still very hard or the gravy is too dry.
  • You can make gravy a few hour ahead or even a day ahead. In that case the fried onions will puff up and soak water so add 1/4 water or more if gravy is too dry.
  •  Fresh biryani right after dum tastes best.

For making bohra mutton biryani

  1. First of all in a skillet put meat, dry spices and hara masala with salt and oil. Cover the meat and cook till tender. 
  2. Sautee tomato in a pan and add crushes onions.
  3. Cook ( bhunna) tomato and onions till oil is seperated. Add cooked meat and cook for 10 more minutes. 
  4. Follow rest of the step as it is.

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