Chicken biryani

Chicken biryani

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(386 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 30 mins


Serves 4
A great one-pot rice dish that can still be served up a few days later, perfect for leftovers

Nutrition and extra info

  • Easily halved

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal617
  • fat12g
  • saturates4g
  • carbs83g
  • sugars19g
  • fibre2g
  • protein49g
  • salt2.01g
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  • 300g basmati rice
  • 25g butter



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 1 large onion, finely sliced



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cardamom pod
  • small cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 4 skinless chicken breast, cut into large chunks
  • 4 tbsp curry paste (we used Patak's balti paste))
  • 85g raisin
  • 850ml chicken stock
  • chopped coriander and toasted flaked almonds to serve

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  1. Soak the rice in warm water, then wash in cold until the water runs clear. Heat butter in a saucepan and cook the onions with the bay leaf and other whole spices for 10 mins. Sprinkle in the turmeric, then add chicken and curry paste and cook until aromatic.

  2. Stir the rice into the pan with the raisins, then pour over the stock. Place a tight-fitting lid on the pan and bring to a hard boil, then lower the heat to a minimum and cook the rice for another 5 mins. Turn off the heat and leave for 10 mins. Stir well, mixing through half the coriander. To serve, scatter over the rest of the coriander and the almonds.

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Comments (417)

samfoodie's picture

Don't really understand what the fuss is about this dish? Made it last night, stuck to the recipe, used Patak's Rogan Josh paste but thought it was lacking something, maybe it needs garlic and ginger...don't think I'll bother making it again.

sjcauser1's picture

Great recipe for my first biryani. Some adjustments next time round - for two people, 7ozs of rice to go with 2 chicken breasts, less stock 600mls or more time on the heat. Would add peas and double up the cardamoms for more fragrance. All in all - very tasty results.

sjcauser1's picture

My first biryani and I am very happy with the results. I usually make pilafs so I am used to cooking rice by this method. For two, I would reduce the rice to 7ozs to match my 2 chicken breasts and decrease the stock to 600mls. Also, I would add peas for sweetness and texture. I love the balance of heat and spice, for more fragrance, next time, I would throw in 2/3 more cardamoms on top of the 3 stated. I think the overall texture should be a bit drier than it was so if the reduced stock doesn't do the trick then I will put it in the heat for a bit longer. Drawing off the liquid by applying heat creates a really nice crusty bottom which has a superb flavour similar to a paella.

sivito's picture

Really good I marinated chicken thighs in the balti paste along with a ginger and garlic paste for 4 hours, added peas at the same time as the rice and slightly less stock (600ml) turned out better than my local curry house.

katrineh's picture

Yum! My 4 and 7 year olds devoured this. I made it with leftover turkey breast and added green pepper. Served with a cucumber, mint and yoghurt side and tomato,onion and coriander salad.

Joesyjo's picture

Easy to make and lovely flavours. Will probably make again, but prefer a curry with more sauce.

trolleytom's picture

Made this for tea tonight. It is remarkable easy to make. It's the first home made curry I have ever cooked and it turned out brilliantly. I followed the recipe exactly. Not too spicy, just the right heat and flavour. Overall, absolutely lovely.

belwood72's picture

Like previous post... Recipe followed to a T and it turned out smashing. Great consistency. The rice cooks and thickens out the recipe just as a biryani should. Not overly hot using the Balti but nice blend of spices and the Coriander, Raisins and Almonds really finish it off.

Neonfrank's picture

I was getting a bit worried about this recipe after reading reviews here, as so many people say to change the stock measurements. I decided to follow the recipe exactly and the rice turned it perfectly, glad I didn't alter it!

Betty Mc's picture

2nd time making it. Loved it. Excellent flavor. I followed the directions exactly but from first time, added a lot more raisins and cut the chicken in smaller pieces. I added a little more stock, being in the USA my chicken stock was in 2 quarts...a little more than the recipe and the rice was perfect when I timed it and cooked in a dutch oven. This is a keeper.

ricaroo's picture

Made this in slow cooker, liquid soon dried up despite placing grease proof paper on top. More liquid added including some Passata. Rice was mushy but it tasted very nice. Will try again but not in the slow cooker.

nandavies's picture

Loved this. Stuck to the recipe fairly well but used left over cooked chicken instead of fresh. Added cauliflower I place of half the chicken. Still great. Will make again.

nandavies's picture

Oh yes. This was delicious. We're not big meat eaters so I substituted cauliflower for half the chicken. I often substitute vegetables for half the meat in many recipes. Will definitely make this again. Five stars.

Cimmerick's picture

Excellent recipe! I changed a few things since I didnt have all the ingredients but still worked out amazing.

*no cardoman pods, turmeric, raisins or almonds
*substituted chicken stock with one beef and one vegetable stock
*added ground coriander and cumin seeds
*added creme fraiche to thicken it up
*used 2 Bay leaves
*added 3 celery sticks
*half a lemon juice

nandavies's picture

Oh yes. This was excellent. Only used half the amount of chicken as we are not great meat eaters, but made up the difference with cauliflower. Will definitely be making this one again.

heybear's picture

Simple, quick and delicious. This recipe is a winner.

jiggler69's picture

An outstanding recipe. With regard the amount of 'liquid' I did not follow the recipe in this regard, I just added an amount I always do when cooking rice. I suggest everyone else just does the same.

vix_007's picture

Love this recipe and make it regularly, as others have commented it doesn't need all the liquid, I use 650ml stock

Vixx's picture

I made this yesterday evening and it was lovely. My OH loved it too and he's not mad on curries. I read the comments regarding the amount of liquid and I didn't add the full amount, but next time I will as I felt mine needed it.

MrsB4613's picture

This recipe worked beautifully. Adapted it slightly by using ghee instead of butter, added some cubed carrot and celery to the onion and added green beans at the same time as chicken. Delicious, and can easily adapted to use up any left over veggies in the fridge!


Questions (5)

traceyachapman's picture

How long do you soak the rice for ?.

jwiddowson's picture

I soaked it for an hour or so.

goodfoodteam's picture
Hi there, thanks for your question. You just need to soak for a few minutes.
980478's picture

I am a very new trying cook. Please can someone narrow down chicken stock for me? Do I dilute liquid stock into 850ml water?

laonie's picture

Hi, essentially, yes. Either use a carton or pouch of ready-made liquid stock (it doesn't need to be diluted) or use concentrated stock paste/powder and make it up according to the directions on the packet. Most concentrated stocks will give you directions for making up 1 litre, so perhaps just follow that and then measure out 850mls.

Tips (3)

sivito's picture

marinate the chicken in pataks balti paste and a ginger & garlic paste for 4 hours. The addition of fresh peas when you add the rice makes this dish superb.

Pelga's picture

Don't put all the water at once, keep some warm water aside and add gradually as the rice cooks, helps keep the grains separate from each other.

kupoqueen's picture

I made this as a biryani bake the second time and personally, I think it's so much better like that. Great recipe either way, though.

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