Chicken Biryani -Using Sri Lankan Spices බුරියානි- තුනපහ යොදා සාදපු


Biryani is a very popular dish in Sri Lanka. Whenever we visit Sri Lanka,We always go to this fast food restaurant called “Big Bite” where they only sell biryani and biryani related side dishes. Many like to make this delicious main dish, but stop thinking of making it as they have to buy spices that they may not use again for a long time.

The recipe I am sharing today is from my mom and this is the biryani dish she kept making since I was a kid. For this, I am going to use ingredients that are already available in Sri Lankan kitchens and it is fairly easy to prepare as it is one pot dish.

This Sri Lankan style chicken biryani is a must try. Before I forget, karapincha sambola and a boiled egg go really well with this particular recipe.



  •  850 g of basmati rice
  • 1 large potato- cut in to cubes
  • 1 kg chicken – cut in to small pieces
  • 1 medium size tomato
  • 1 inch cube of ginger root- crushed
  • 4 cloves of garlic- crushed
  • 1 1/2 tsp of Sri Lankan row curry powder
  • 1/4 of turmeric
  • 2 pieces from a pandan leaf
  • 4 cardamom
  • 5 cloves
  • Cooking oil
  • water
  • Salt to taste


On medium heat, in a deep pan, stir fry pandan leaves, crushed ginger, crushed garlic, cardamoms and cloves together. Then, add sliced onions and stir fry until they are light golden brown. Take your tomato pieces and mix them with the stir fried ingredients for 30 seconds. Then add the chicken and mix well. Pour 1 l of water in to the pan. When chicken is partially cooked, add the potato cubes. Mix well. While chicken is cooking, wash your basmati rice grains and keep it a side. When the chicken is almost cooked, but not fully cooked, add that basmati rice to the pan and mix thoroughly. Then, add more water as rice should cook. Cover the pan with a lid and let everything cook well. Don’t forget to mix the rice carefully once in a while. When the rice is fully cooked, turn off the heat.

Enjoy !



  1. I love biryani! And your recipe looks easy compared to others. Can I make this without pandan (plenty in the PH, but not in the UK)? And I haven’t seen Sri Lankan curry powder before–will the ones from India do (e.g., Madras curry powder)?


    • I am not so sure about using madras curry powder as I don’t think it’s the same combination of spices. I will surely share it with you very soon. For the time being, you can google and get the closest recipe to it. Yes, you can make it with out pandan, if you have bay leaf. Use that instead. About two bay leaves… thanks for stopping by.


  2. My husband loves chicken biryani. And I am sure that he will enjoy this Sri Lankan version of Biryani. Lovely share.


  3. Tell me about the deliciousness of biryani. I see it in this biryani. Always my fav and always a pleasure to tuck in as a hearty meal as well.


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