Shahi Saffron Roast Biryani

The Indo-Persian centers of the Mughal Empires, created cosmic ripples in the South Asian gastromomical world. It was as if, the Persians and Mughals came together to concoct a cuisine spiced & flavoured with everything extravagant, romantic, splendour & luxury dining using enchanting ingredients like cardamom, saffron, dry fruits, dried flowers, exotic herbs & intriguing spice blends combined with fruits. I can surely say, the Indo-Persian Mughal influences have really changed the game of the culinary world.

This Saffron Roast Biryani, is everything you call magnifique. It is feastly & it presents itself in all its glitz royalty. This sure is a head turner on the table.

The chicken is marinated in an almond & cashew paste spiced with green chillies & saffron. The chicken is then baked in the oven covered in foil and basted with Butter to keep the exterior perfectly roasted.

The jewelled rice, is not just any rice, it’s Mughal’s jewelled rice adorned with pomegrenate seeds, pistachios and sultana’s. They are flavoured with the exotic saffron which makes them scrumptiously granduer.

This is not your usual biryani, it is something that will give your taste buds a tickle of the Mughal Kitchen where spice was mild and the fruity, nutty & flowery taste of the dish was enhanced. The spice level in the dish really depends on your choice.

I added a little Shan Biryani Masala to it to give it a little kick and let me tell you, it really gave the dish an Umph. The flavour wasn’t biryani at all but a very preplexed yet attractive taste that will make you go back for seconds.

In all its grandeur & magnificence, this Mughal delicacy is sure to impress.


Roast Marination

1 whole/cut in Half chicken (skinless)

1/2 cup Yogurt

4 Tbsp Fresh Cream

2 Green Chillies

3 Tbsp Cashew, Almond, Ginger Paste

3/4 tsp Salt

1 tsp Red Chilli Powder

1/2 tsp Garam Masala Powder

1/4 tsp Saffron Dissolved in water

2 Tbsp Butter/Ghee

Mughal Jewelled Rice

Biryani Masala

1/2 cup Oil

1/4 cup Butter

1 Onion (large)

3 Tomatoes (Large)

1/2 cup Yogurt

1/2 cup Cream

1/2 tsp Saffron Dissolved in Water

1/2 tsp Salt

1/2 tsp Red chilli powder

1/2 tsp Garam Masala

1 tsp Biryani Masala

Biryani Rice

2 Cups Basmati Rice

1 stick Cinnamon

1 tsp Cumin Seeds

3-4 Green Cardamom

Mint Leaves Handful

1 tsp Ginger Garlic Paste

4-5 Cloves

6-7 Black peppercorns

1/2 tsp Saffron Dissolved in Water

4 Tbsp Orange Food Colour


Handful Pistachios

Handful Sultanas

1 whole Pomegrenate seeds

Let’s Cook

  • Blanch the almonds by putting them in warm water and removing their skin.
  • In a blender, blend together almonds, cashews, ginger and green chillies.
  • Add Yogurt and cream and blend a little more.
  • Make cuts on the chicken.
  • Add the marination & the spices.
  • In warm water, add saffron and crush in water to release the flavour and colour. Add to the chicken and mix everything.
  • Flip the chicken upside down so that the breasts are dipped in the marination sauce to absorb maximum flavour & leave to marinate over night.
  • Wrap the chicken in foil and bake at 210*C for 1 hour 20 minutes. In the last 15 minutes, open the foil and baste the chicken with its own juices. Let it bake open until golden and crisp. Cover and leave to rest.

Rice Masala

  • Heat oil with butter and add the chopped onions. Fry until light golden and add the chopped tomatoes.
  • Add chilli powder and salt. Saute the tomatoes until they become soft and are cooked. Add water if it starts to get dry.
  • Once the tomatoes are cooked, add a little water and yogurt. Add salt, garam masala, biryani masala and 4 green chillies.
  • Cook for 2 minutes, add saffron and cream and let it cook on high heat for 5 minutes. Lower the heat and let it cook further on low-flame until the oil separates from the sauce.


  • Boil the rice with all the spices, cinnamon, cardamom, cumin seeds, salt and mint until 95% cooked. Drain the water.
  • In a cooking vessel, heat oil and fry ginger garlic paste, cloves and black peppercorns. Add the rice and mix. Take half of it out.
  • Pour the Biryani Sauce (masala) prepared on top of the rice in the pot and add the rest of the rice on top.
  • Add Saffron dissolved in water ontop of the rice along with yellow food colouring. Close the lid and let it steam for 10-15 minutes.


  • In a small fry pan, add 2 tbsp oil and fry pistachios and sultanas. Once the sultanas puff take off the flame.
  • Deseed the pomegrenate.
  • Pour the garnishing on top of the rice when serving.

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