Sanjeev Kapoor, Murgh Noormahal Biryani

In honour of Dubai Food Festival 2015, which kickstarts today, we will be running a series of delicious recipes from famous chefs attending the event. We start with Sanjeev Kapoor – award-winning chef, television host, owner of local restaurant Khana Khazana and author of many indian-style cookbooks. Here he reveals how to cook his renowned biryani dish …

Serves: 8 | Preparation and cooking: 90minutes


  • 750g chicken, cut into 16 pieces on the bone
  • 1/4cup ghee
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds (shahi jeera)
  • 4 cloves
  • 7 crushed green cardamoms
  • 1 inch crushed cinnamon stick
  • 2 medium onions, sliced
  • 5 green chillies, slit
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste
  • 2 tbsp garlic paste
  • salt to taste
  • 21/2 tbsp biryani masala (see below)
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 2 teaspoons Kashmiri red chilli powder
  • 11/4 cups browned onions
  • 3/4 cup yogurt
  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh coriander leaves
  • 2 tbsp screw pine (kewda) water
  • 3 tbsp rose water
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp cream
  • A generous pinch of saffron
  • 2 inch ginger piece, cut into thin sgtrips
  • 1 sprig of fresh mint leaves
  • Whole wheat dough (atta) to seal


For The Rice:

  • 21/2 cups Basmati rice, soaked
  • 4 green cardamoms
  • 2 black cardamoms
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cloves
  • 1/2 tbsp rose water
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice



1) Heat the ghee in a deep non-stick pan, add the caraway seeds, cloves, green cardamoms and cinnamon and sauté till fragrant. Add the onions and sauté for five to seven minutes or until well-browned.

2) Add the green chillies, ginger paste, garlic paste and sauté for two minutes. Add the chicken, salt and biryani masala and cook for five minutes

3) Add the turmeric powder, coriander powder and red chilli powder and cook for two to three minutes.

4) Add half cup browned onions and mix well. Add the yoghurt, half cup mint leaves, lemon juice, coriander leaves, kewda water and two tablespoons rose water and mix well

5) Meanwhile, to cook the rice, boil five cups of water with green cardamoms, black cardamoms, bay leaf and cloves in a deep non-stick pan. Drain and add the rice and let it cook till half done. Add the rose water and lemon juice and mix. Strain the rice and reserve the water.

6) Spread the rice over the chicken evenly.

7) Dissolve saffron in two tablespoons lukewarm water and add butter, cream and three fourth cup of the reserved rice water and mix well. Drizzle this mixture over the rice.

8) Sprinkle half cup mint leaves, half cup browned onions and ginger strips and cover the pan with a well-fitting lid. Seal the edges with douch. Place the pan on a heated tawa and cook on medium heat for 20 minutes.

9) Let stand for five minutes. Open the lid and sprinkle the remaining rose water and browned onions. Garnish with mint sprig and serve hot.


Biryani Masala:

  • 1/2 cup green cardamoms
  • 3 blades mace
  • 10 cloves
  • 2inch cinnamon stick


1) Grind all these ingredients together. This should give you 51/2 teaspoons of biryani masala.


The Dubai Food Festival runs from February 6 – 28, 2015. Chef Sanjeev Kapoor will be participating at the Dubai Food Carnival, Februray 12 – 14, Dubai International Marine Club; Beach Canteen, February 6 – 28, Kite Beach Jumeirah; Dine on The Creek, 18 February, Dubai Creek; Masala! Food Fair, 20 – 21 February, Zabeel Park.