Chicken biryani in a big round serving dish

Chicken biryani

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(542 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 pods
  • small cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp turmeric



    Turmeric is a fragrant, bright golden-yellow root that is most commonly seen and used dried and…

  • 4 skinless chicken breasts, cut into large chunks
  • 4 tbsp curry paste (we used Patak's balti paste)
  • 85g raisins
  • 850ml chicken stock
  • 30g coriander, ½ chopped, ½ leaves picked and 2 tbsp toasted flaked almonds, to serve


  1. Soak 300g basmati rice in warm water, then wash in cold until the water runs clear.

  2. Heat 25g butter in a saucepan and cook 1 finely sliced large onion with 1 bay leaf, 3 cardamom pods and 1 small cinnamon stick for 10 mins.

  3. Sprinkle in 1 tsp turmeric, then add 4 chicken breasts, cut into large chunks, and 4 tbsp curry paste. Cook until aromatic.

  4. Stir the rice into the pan with 85g raisins, then pour over 850ml chicken stock.

  5. 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.

  6. Turn off the heat and leave for 10 mins. Stir well, mixing through 15g chopped coriander. To serve, scatter over the leaves of the remaining 15g coriander and 2 tbsp toasted almonds. 

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Comments, questions and tips

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14th Oct, 2019
I have used this recipe many times but I agree with some others' comments that it's a bit bland and there is too much rice. Even reducing the rice by 50g still leaves too much. Will continue to tweak...
Caroline S's picture
Caroline S
26th Aug, 2019
Delicious! Second time of cooking it I used quality basmati rice rather than own brand which was significantly better as less starchy and less sticking. I also stirred it after adding the rice until it came to the boil to avoid it sticking and burning to base of pan, which it had done the first time round. Also, I only use 650mls of stock.
30th Jun, 2019
Too much stock. End product is fairly watery. Also somewhat bland even after using 50% more paste.
Anna Kelley's picture
Anna Kelley
11th Jun, 2019
This recipe is fabulous but I don’t rate the hob method. Personally I bung it in the oven at 190 C after the hard boil for 20-30 minutes, well until the liquid has been soaked up by the rice. I make my own curry paste with 3-4 tablespoons of medium curry powder mixed with water, 1 heaped tablespoon tomato purée and a couple teaspoons of ginger/garlic paste. I also sautée diced pepper and sliced mushroom with the onion.
26th May, 2019
This was quite an acceptable take on the traditional chicken biryani recipe my family uses, but I'm puzzled by the Patak's balti paste. Wouldn't Patak's biryani paste be more appropriate?
Suresh Eminent's picture
Suresh Eminent
2nd May, 2019
Hi, I am masterani, I don’t have a heavy bottomed pan. Is it possible to bake it after assembly? How long and what temperature do you recommend? Thank you!
1st Apr, 2019
Easy and tasty. Probably not that close to even an anglicised version of this dish but will definitely do it again
21st Feb, 2019
COOked for the first time and I would say it’s too bland.... more of all spices needed... the beginnings of a biryani are there but it’s not flavourful with given amounts of spices/paste. I would make it again, but increase everything except stock, chicken and water. 5/10
27th Jan, 2019
Very authentic & fragrant! my husband told me we could have been in a restaurant & he wouldn't know the difference! Try it, you won't regret it!
Emma Williams's picture
Emma Williams
13th Dec, 2018
Cooking this for dinner tonight. I'm finding the quantity of stock is quite a lot, it seems quite wet? Not sure the rice is going to soak it all up and leave my with a usual biryani texture? Anyone else found that?


YasminQQ's picture
8th Jun, 2019
Could you do this with lamb do you think?
goodfoodteam's picture
10th Jun, 2019
Thanks for your question. If you'd like a lamb biryani we'd suggest trying this fantastic five-star rated recipe from Tom Kerridge:
Caitlin Cuff
7th Mar, 2019
Would this with the Quorn chicken style pieces?
goodfoodteam's picture
11th Mar, 2019
Thanks for your question. We haven't tested this with Quorn but can't see why it wouldn't work. Let us know how you get on!
24th Sep, 2018
Novice cook questions: 'Cook until aromatic' - how long is that (it smelled great right from the beginning!)? About five mins? Also I presume you fish about to take the bay leaf, pods and cinnamon stick out at the end?! Thanks!
goodfoodteam's picture
3rd Oct, 2018
Thanks for your questions - a few minutes will be sufficient. You can take the spices out at the end or leave them in and warn your guests.
29th Aug, 2016
Hey! Won't the chicken turn rubbery when it cooks for that amount of time? Any tip to avoid this?
goodfoodteam's picture
8th Sep, 2016
Hi there,Thanks for your question. We triple test all of our recipes to ensure you get best results - no rubbery chicken in sight! The recipe suggests cutting the chicken breasts into large chunks, this will ensure you get nice tender chicken as it'll take the designated amount of time to cook through. Enjoy :-)
10th Oct, 2014
How long do you soak the rice for ?.
5th Apr, 2015
I soaked it for an hour or so.


Jen Saxton's picture
Jen Saxton
1st Jun, 2019
Very yummy! Added extra spices as others have suggested, and cauliflower at the same time as the rice.
25th Jun, 2017
I used 200g of rice and 600 ml of stock for two people and cooked for 40 mins @ 180 degrees in the oven once it had boiled. I reduced the time as I was using Uncle Bens Quick brown rice that boils in 10 mins. I also added peppers and used curry powder instead of paste.Oh and used Frylight to make it Slimming World friendly!
14th Mar, 2016
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.
6th Jan, 2015
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.
26th Oct, 2013
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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