Day 60 : Biryani (The last day!)

Today is the last day of the Lockdown Chef. 60 days of cooking has been a long yet rewarding journey. I have decided to end my series of lockdown recipes as the reason why I wanted to start this blog has been fulfilled – lockdown rules are easing and Dad has become quite a proficient cook. This however does not mean that the blog is closing – I want to keep the possibility of posting sometime again in the future open!

When I started out with this blog, I wasn’t too sure what to expect. I had a fairly simple objective which was to help my dad learn how to cook and possibly others who were in the same situation as him. Never did I imagine the scale that this blog would reach with over 23,000 views or the amazing connections I would make with people across the world from over 60 countries. It has been really encouraging and uplifting to read your messages and comments, all of which gave me an extra push to stay dedicated. Cooking has helped keep me engaged under lockdown and I have learnt so many new things, not only from my mom, sister and Nani but also from the community of followers.

I hope that this blog has helped you in some way and that you have enjoyed these recipes as much as I have loved making them. I would greatly appreciate if you would let me know your thoughts in the comments below (scroll till the end)


1. 3 cups half cooked rice

2. 500g chicken breast boneless

3. 5 medium onions – chopped

4. 2 medium tomatoes – chopped

5. 1 tbsp fresh ginger garlic paste

6. 1 tbsp chopped garlic

7. 1 tbsp chopped ginger

8. 2 tsp coriander powder

9. 1 tsp haldi/turmeric

10. 1 tsp chilli powder

11. 2 tsp biryani masala

12. 1 tsp salt

13. 1/2 tsp garam masala

14. 1/3 tsp sauf

15. 3 tbsp oil

16. 3 tsp ghee

17. 1/2 chopped fresh coriander

18. 3-4 green chilli’s

19. 2/3 cup fried onions

20. 2 tbsp cranberries

21. 2 bay leaves

22. 1 tbsp whole jeera (cumin)

23. 1 stick cinnamon

24. 3-4 cloves

25. 3-4 whole black peppers

26. 1 black cardamom

27. 3 green cardamom

28. 2 tbsp lemon juice

29. 3-4 strands of kesar soaked in 3 tbsp of warm milk


1. Wash, drain and cut chicken into 1.5” pieces. Marinate it in 1 tbsp oil, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp chilli powder, ginger garlic paste and 1 tbsp lemon juice. Keep overnight in the fridge.

2. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large wok. Add cumin/jeera, bay leaves, both cardamoms, cinnamon, black pepper and cloves and stir for one minute.

Then add the ginger garlic paste and stir for another minute before adding the chopped onions. Stir for about 10 minutes.

Now add the dry masalas (8-14) before adding the chopped tomatoes. Stir for 15 minutes or so. This is the masala paste Switch off gas.

3. Take a wok and put it on high heat. Add 1 tsp of ghee and then add the marinated chicken. Stir for about 3-5 minutes and then add the masala paste made earlier. Stir well till the chicken is well coated and absorbs some of the flavour. Add the cranberries and green chilli’s and stir.

4. Take half of the rice and mix the kesar milk in it so that it gets the yellowish – orange tint to it. Keep the other half aside (remains white)

For layering.

Put 1 tsp of ghee at the bottom of a heavy based pot. Spread half of the white rice and then add the chicken masala.

Add some chopped coriander and fried onion.

Now layer with kesar soaked rice.and repeat the process till the last layer on top is the kesar rice. Garnish with fresh coriander and fried onions. Put one tsp of ghee on the sides. This gives a lovely aroma along with the kesar.

Seal the lid of the pot with atta. This way the rice will get fully cooked while absorbing the flavours of all the ingredients. The pot should not be placed on direct heat. Put it on a pan and keep the heat at low.

Switch off gas after 20-30 minutes and crack open the atta only when you’re ready to eat. Garnish finally with the leftover fried onions and some lemon juice.

68 thoughts on “Day 60 : Biryani (The last day!)

  1. Thank you for your all impressive delicious recipes!! I really like this Biryani, Celery and Cumin Soup and Katsu curry!! I love curry but I usually use Japanese curry sauce mix…I learned a lot from your recipe! Thank you again!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The biryani looks delicious! I’m sad that you won’t be putting up recipes anymore but I’m very glad you achieved your goal! All the very best with your future!!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Hi Saira,

    This looks amazing! All of the recipes (or should I say photos of the process and end product) look so good! I particularly like the ones with chicken and those with potatoes. And any veggies. I can almost smell the spices and other flavorings from the pictures!

    You should be so proud of yourself for taking on this venture. 16, living and studying away from home during the pandemic, and trying to help your dad learn to cook by learning yourself and teaching him. That’s awesome! I love that your whole family seems to be involved as well.

    It’s been great fun, and informative, to follow as you experiment and learn.

    The best to you. Stay safe and healthy.
    Keep cooking!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love the idea of your blog!
    Your honesty is charming, how you write about your family – it shows that you care about them a lot. I think you shouldn’t stop, and continue adding recipes. Especially that I can see you have a lot of viewers!
    I like that you add step by step photos (which sometimes are very helpful) and your dishes are full of colours. You use a lot of veggies I like, and I would like to try some of your recipes. So don’t stop and keep posting 🙂

    And thanks again for so many compliments!

    Take care!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh, Saira…I don’t know how I missed your message but I did and have just come across it…the biryani looks and sounds absolutely wonderful so much so I am saving for my future reference…I do hope you come back with more wonderful recipes…I also wish you well and much happiness for any future ventures…Be well 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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