Chicken biryani

Chicken biryani

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(345 ratings)


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Cooking time

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 30 mins

Skill level



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

Additional info

  • Easily halved
Nutrition info

Nutrition per serving



  • 300g basmati rice
  • 25g butter
  • 1 large onion, finely sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • small cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 4 skinless chicken breasts, cut into large chunks
  • 4 tbsp curry paste (we used Patak's balti paste))
  • 85g raisins
  • 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.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, September 2007

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lseastwood's picture
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Delicious and so easy to make with store cupboard ingredients, this one has Ben added to my regular repertoire

oliver house's picture
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Absolutely delicious dinner! Very easy to make and tastes amazing.

We skipped the raisins, coriander, almonds and chicken stock. We also cooked rice and chicken separately and then served the curry on top of the lovely fluffy mound of rice. The level of spiciness was just right, with my wife who is quite sensitive to spiciness finding it hot but pleasant, and me, as a spice lover, finding it mild but equally pleasant.

Considering how easy it was to prepare this and how yummy it turned out we'll definitely be making it again.

amp1043's picture
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Very good recipe! It's perfect for making a day or two ahead and simply serving cold. I use less rice and stock - 250g of rice and 750ml of stock.

mmmichaela's picture

Fab! Very easy to make and tastes great.

gemmaeyre's picture

This is a great dish, really yummy! Very easy to make we had it when friends were over, went down a storm! Everyone loved it

mademoiselleoliver's picture
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This is very yummy and well worth making. I used leftover roast chicken in mine and added green beans and mushrooms too. Really quick but with a really authentic flavor and no messing about.

foodguru77's picture

This is a good recipe for a Chicken Biryani but is missing two key ingredients and that is saffron and crispy fried onions. The most authentic indian biryani comes in layers of saffron rice and is fairly moist. If you add the 2 ingredients it makes a big difference to this dish. In London the best biryani is got to be Kadiri's restaurant in Willesden which is truly out of this world!

Sabyasachi's picture

Wow !! This looks so delicious. My head hurts from watching this delicious item and not being able to taste it ..

skt13_devon's picture

This dish went down a storm in my house. I followed the recipe but washed rather than soaked the rice. I used Pataks Madras paste for a bit of a kick.

Hubby said it was the best home made curry he had ever eaten! Will definitely be making it again.

ashlie's picture
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Have rated this recipe a couple of years ago, but recently cooked this again for my boyfriend who claimed he "hated biryani". Needless to say he absolutely loved it! Will be cooking this again soon! :)

gemmaeyre's picture

Will be making this again. Made it for friends and they all loved it

jadelucywatson's picture

This was really lovely and very simple to make. Like many people I used 500ml of stock and it turned out perfectly. Only thing I would recommend is to make sure you use a heavy based pan. Unfortunately we only had a little saucepan to hand and I very nearly ruined it! Would definitely cook this again :)

shafiqkhan's picture

I make biryani all the time, I never add the stock to the rice (that is the method used for pilau or pilau biryani)... The chicken curry part of the dish is supposed to be cooked separately from the rice, which should be cooked in plenty of water and drained. The two are then layered , starting with some of the curry, followed by rice and then repeated.

triple_el's picture

This is delicious! However, I only used approximately 500ml of chicken stock and the rice came out fluffy! 850ml is far too much!

audreymcahill's picture

Delicious! After reading reviews I didn't soak the rice and I gradually added the stock to ensure it wasn't to stodgy! It turned out perfect but it took a little longer to cook (as I didn't soak the rice!) Couldn't improve this recipe at all, everyone who had some loved it!

rebeccafoxley's picture
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Loved this recipe, I used everyday rice as it was all I had and added the water gradually, stuck with the same amount of water though and it turned out fine. Used 3 tbsp of madras paste and added peas. Will definitely make again.

spicemeister's picture

Cooked this tonight and was delicious. The quantities listed are entirely right. To perfect, don't rinse the rice and allow the stock to boil and roll for at least 10 mins with the lid off the pan. Add the rice, dont stir, put the lid on the pan and simmer gently for 20 mins. Dont be tempted to lift the lid. When the time's up, turn the heat off and leave for at least 5-10 mins. Add the coriander and serve with tbsp of fresh yogurt (not Greek).

xsam84x's picture

Made this last night, the measurements didn't seem quite right & after reading other comments I washed the rice until the water was clear but didn't leave to soak, used 500mls stock left out raisins and almonds and it was delish definitely recommended and will cook again.

Annie17's picture

Oh dear, complete disaster! Didn't look great and tasted worse. I won't be trying this one again!

laonie's picture

Maybe our rice is different in Australia....I'm a fairly competent cook and this recipe looked odd to me. Ordinarily, 850ml of stock/300g of rice would be too much liquid if you want the grains to separate well. Sure enough, I made the recipe twice and each time I ended up with a gluggy (albeit tasty) mass that bore no resemblance to the biryani's we’ve eaten in India. The first time I blamed myself because I used a little extra rice and a 1 litre carton of stock, but I measured everything meticulously the second time with identical results. This recipe gets such good reviews I’m determined to master it, but next time I'll cut the liquid back closer to the 'correct' proportions for cooking Basmati rice by absorption and see how I go.