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Mauritian Chicken Biryani

Updated: May 22, 2023

Authentic Mauritius-Style Chicken Biryani: A Culinary Delight


Welcome to our culinary journey where we explore the rich flavors and aromas of Mauritius-style Chicken Biryani. At Mauritius Life, we take great pride in presenting you with an authentic recipe that captures the essence of Mauritian cuisine. Our Mauritius-style Chicken Biryani is a delightful blend of fragrant spices, tender chicken, and perfectly cooked rice, resulting in a symphony of flavours that will transport your taste buds to the exotic island of Mauritius.

The Origins of Mauritian Chicken Biryani

Mauritius, a small island nation nestled in the Indian Ocean, is renowned for its vibrant cultural heritage and diverse culinary traditions. The roots of Mauritius-style Chicken Biryani can be traced back to the Indian subcontinent, where it was brought by the indentured laborers during the colonial era. Over the years, the dish has evolved and adapted to the unique Mauritian palate, incorporating local ingredients and culinary techniques, making it a true representation of the island's cultural fusion.


To create an unforgettable Mauritian Chicken Biryani, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 2 cups of Basmati rice

  • 500g of chicken (preferably bone-in for enhanced flavor)

  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped

  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced

  • 1-inch piece of ginger, grated

  • half a tin of tomatoes, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

  • 2 tablespoons of ghee

  • 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds

  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • 6 green cardamom pods

  • 6 cloves

  • 2 bay leaf

  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder

  • 1 teaspoon of chili powder

  • 1 teaspoon of coriander powder

  • 1 teaspoon of garam masala

  • Salt to taste

  • Fresh coriander leaves for garnishing

  • Fried onions for garnishing

Cooking Method

Step 1: Marinating the Chicken

Begin by marinating the chicken to infuse it with aromatic flavors. In a mixing bowl, combine the chicken with ginger, garlic, turmeric powder, chili powder, coriander powder, and salt. Mix well, ensuring the chicken is evenly coated. Allow it to marinate for at least 30 minutes to enhance the taste.

Step 2: Preparing the Rice

While the chicken marinates, let's prepare the Basmati rice. Rinse the rice under cold water until the water runs clear. This step helps remove excess starch and ensures fluffy, separate grains. Soak the rice in water for 30 minutes, then drain.

In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Add a pinch of salt, cinnamon stick, green cardamom pods, cloves, and bay leaf to the water. Carefully add the drained rice and cook until it is 70% cooked. The rice should still have a slight bite to it. Once done, drain the rice and set it aside.

Step 3: Cooking the Chicken

Heat the vegetable oil and ghee in a deep, heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and allow them to splutter. Next, add the chopped onions and sauté until golden brown.

Now, add the marinated chicken and cook until it turns golden brown. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and cook until they soften and release their juices. The tomatoes provide a tangy note that balances the spices.

Step 4: Layering and Dum Cooking

To bring all the flavors together, it's time to layer the rice and chicken. In the same pan with the cooked chicken, spread half of the partially cooked rice evenly over the top. Sprinkle a pinch of garam masala and some fried onions for added flavor. Repeat this layering process with the remaining rice, ensuring each layer is distributed evenly.

Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid or aluminum foil to create a seal. This will help trap the steam and allow the flavors to meld together beautifully. Reduce the heat to low and let the biryani cook on dum (slow heat) for about 20-25 minutes. This slow-cooking method allows the rice to absorb the flavours of the chicken and spices, resulting in a heavenly blend of tastes.

Step 5: Garnishing and Serving

Once the biryani is cooked on dum, remove it from the heat and let it sit, covered, for another 5 minutes to allow the steam to settle. This step ensures the rice is perfectly cooked and fluffy.

Gently fluff the rice with a fork to separate the grains. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and additional fried onions for an enticing presentation. The vibrant colors and enticing aroma will make your mouth water in anticipation.

Serve the Mauritius-style Chicken Biryani hot with raita (a cooling yogurt-based side dish) and enjoy the explosion of flavors on your palate. The tender chicken, fragrant rice, and aromatic spices will transport you to the paradise island of Mauritius with every bite.

Pro Tips:

  • For a vegetarian twist, you can substitute the chicken with an assortment of vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, peas, and bell peppers.

  • Soaking the rice before cooking helps achieve perfectly cooked grains that are neither too soft nor too firm.

  • Experiment with different spices and adjust the heat level to suit your taste preferences. You can add green chilies for a spicier kick or sprinkle saffron-infused milk over the rice for an added touch of luxury.


Indulge in the flavors of Mauritius with our authentic Mauritius-style Chicken Biryani recipe. The combination of aromatic spices, tender chicken, and fragrant rice creates a truly memorable dining experience. Whether you're hosting a special occasion or simply craving a delicious meal, this biryani recipe will satisfy your taste buds and transport you to the exotic island of Mauritius.

AtMauritius Life, we strive to bring you the best of Mauritian cuisine, preserving the cultural heritage and authenticity of traditional recipes. We hope you enjoy this culinary adventure and create lasting memories with our Mauritius-style Chicken Biryani.

Note: The recipe provided is for informational purposes only. We recommend adjusting the quantities and cooking times based on your preferences and requirements.

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