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Low-calorie Chicken Biriyani

Updated: Nov 23, 2022

Everyone loves a good biriyani. But biriyanis can get extra spicy and calorie-dense. For those who have a sensitive gut, this can be an issue. And if some of you are on your fat loss journey, a plate of Biriyani can easily cause you to overshoot your daily calorie limits.

I used Ranveer Brar's Chicken Biriyani recipe and modified it to make it low-calorie and macro-friendly. It provides a whopping 45.3g of protein per serving and is only 593 calories. And you are still going to be full and satisfied :)


For Rice
  1. 350g Biriyani Basmati Rice

  2. 2 green cardamom pods, whole

  3. 1/2 inch cinnamon

  4. 2 cloves

  5. 1/4tsp ghee

  6. Salt to taste

For Marinade
  1. 1 kg chicken with bone, cleaned and washed

  2. 3 medium onions, sliced

  3. 2 tbsp fried onions, optional (Check my air-fried fried onions recipe for a low-calorie addition)

  4. 1/2 cup curd

  5. 1 tsp coriander powder

  6. 1 tbsp chilli powder

  7. 1/2 tsp green chilli paste

  8. 3-4 green chillies, slit

  9. 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste

  10. Salt to taste

Other ingredients
  1. 3 tsp vegetable oil

  2. 1/4 cup milk

  3. 1/2 cup coriander leaves

  4. A drop of kewra essence or kewra water

  5. A drop of biriyani essence


  1. Mix all ingredients under marinade and let the chicken rest for an hour or overnight. If you are short on time like I was, 30 minutes should do.

  2. Wash the rice and drain the water. Let it soak for 20 minutes.

  3. Heat water in a pot, and add ghee and salt.

  4. Add in cloves, cardamom and cinnamon.

  5. Add rice and let it come to a boil.

  6. Immediately lower the flame and let the rice cook till it is 80% done.

  7. Add 3 tsp oil to a pan and add the marinated chicken.

  8. Cook for 7-8 minutes on medium flame. Stir occasionally.

  9. Once the chicken is slightly cooked, it is time to assemble the biriyani.

  10. Remove the chicken pieces from the pan. In the remaining liquid add the milk, salt(adjust according to taste) and the coriander leaves and heat it for 1-2 minutes. This gravy will go on top of the biriyani.

  11. In a heavy-bottomed pot, layer the rice at the bottom, add chicken and then cover with rice. At the top add the gravy from Step 10.

  12. Add 1 tbsp of fried onions (optional).

  13. Add the biriyani essence and kewra essence.

  14. This will now cook in dum. If you don't have an airtight lid for it, cover the pot with aluminium foil sealing the edges. Place a lid and something heavy on top of it.

  15. Cook for 15-20 minutes on a low flame.

  16. Once done, remove it from the stovetop and open the lid.

  17. Serve with some side salad and raita.

This is the macro breakdown for the recipe above. Adding fried onions will add 68 calories per serving :)

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