This is a healthy take on the classic biryani, with the basmati rice being replaced with organic barnyard millet. The nutrient-rich barnyard millet, called jhangora in Hindi, is an old super grain with fantastic health benefits. It combines beautifully with the meat in this biryani when cooked on dum, which literally means to breathe in. The spices breathe life into the dish.

  • Serves


  • Cook Time



For The Chicken

  • 320 gm chicken thigh boneless
  • 100 gm fried onions
  • 100 gm yoghurt
  • 50 gm red onion, sliced
  • 20 gm red chilli powder
  • 15 gm ginger paste
  • 15 gm garlic paste
  • 10 gm fresh mint leaves
  • 10 gm salt
  • 5 gm turmeric powder
  • 5 gm cinnamon stick
  • 5 gm green cardamom
  • 5 gm cloves
  • 5 gm green cardamom powder
  • 5 gm mace powder
  • 30 ml refined sunflower oil
  • 10 ml lime juice

For The Millet

  • 150 gm barnyard millet
  • 5 gm cinnamon sticks
  • 5 gm cloves
  • 5 gm green cardamoms
  • 5 gm salt
  • 30 ml refined sunflower oil
  • 10 ml lime juice

For Dum

  • 40 ml saffron-infused milk
  • 35 gm mixed dry nuts
  • 15 gm desi ghee
  • 15 gm refined sunflower oil
  • 15 gm browned onions, for garnishing
  • 5 gm coriander leaves, chopped
  • 5 gm mint leaves, chopped
  • 5 gm green chillies, slit

For The Raita

  • 1 l yoghurt, beaten
  • 50 gm cumin powder
  • 10 gm salt


For Chicken

  1. Heat oil in a pan and toss in the whole spices.
  2. Once the spices start to crackle, add sliced onions and sauté until browned.
  3. Add the ginger and garlic paste, and cook until the rawness dissipates.
  4. Put in the chicken pieces and continue sautéing for 3 to 4 minutes.
  5. Add water, cover the pan, and let it all simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
  6. Stir in the beaten yoghurt and the rest of the powdered spices. Continue cooking on high flame.
  7. Adjust seasoning. Sprinkle the fried onions and mint leaves, and give it a good stir.
  8. Cover the pan and cook until the chicken is tender.
  9. Take the chicken pieces out of the gravy and pass the gravy through a strainer. Transfer the chicken pieces back into the strained gravy.

For Millet

  1. Wash the millet and soak it in water for about 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. In a pot, pour in about 3 to 4 litres of water. Add salt, followed by the whole spices.
  3. Stir in the oil and lime juice. Bring the water to a boil.
  4. Add the soaked millets to the boiling water.
  5. Cook until the millet is 80% done. Strain the millet completely and keep aside to rest.

For Raita

  1. In a bowl, beat the yoghurt until smooth and creamy. Add cumin powder and salt and blend well.

For The Dum

  1. Generously grease a large, deep-bottomed pot (fit for cooking biryani) with ghee.
  2. Spread one-fourth of chicken pieces, along with the gravy, in an even layer at the bottom of the pan.
  3. Tip a quarter of the cooked millets over it and spread it out evenly.
  4. Add the mint leaves, coriander leaves and slit green chillies. Repeat the layers three more times.
  5. On each millet layer, evenly drizzle saffron-infused milk and fried onions.
  6. Drizzle desi ghee and sprinkle little kewra and rose water on the topmost layer.
  7. Place the lid and seal it with dough. Place a heavy weight on the lid.
  8. Switch on the flame. Place a skillet or tawa on the flame.
  9. Place the cooking pot on the tawa. Dum the biryani for about 10 to 15 minutes on high flame.
  10. Reduce the flame to minimum and dum the biryani for about 20 minutes. Switch off the flame.
  11. Serve hot with a garnish of mint leaves, mixed nuts and a drizzle of ghee, with raita on the side.

Note: Dig the biryani up with spatula, moving from the bottom up and starting on the side.

Balpreet Singh Chadda

Balpreet Singh Chadda

Balpreet Singh Chadda started his culinary journey in Puducherry in 2003 and has since cooked in numerous restaurants and hotels in India, UAE, Spain, France, Monaco and the Maldives. He is currently the Executive Sous Chef at Andaz Delhi and spearheads AnnaMaya, an Indian-inspired European Foodhall. His food philosophy can be summarised as ‘Thoughtfully sourced and carefully served’.

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