Chicken biryani

Chicken biryani

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(420 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 raisin
  • 850ml chicken stock
  • chopped coriander and toasted flaked almonds to serve


  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, questions and tips

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17th Mar, 2012
Glorious! I used Patak's korma instead of balti paste, so I still don't know what it was intended to taste like, but my version was fab. I had been a bit concerned that I'd jeopardised the success by letting the onions brown in the initial frying, but it didn't seem to affect the final outcome (or maybe it did, but it improved it!). The other tweak I made was using skinless thighs and drumsticks instead of the cubed chicken breast, so to make sure they were cooked thoroughly, I put them in at the same time as the curry paste, fried til aromatic, then added the stock and simmered, covered, for a good half an hour before adding the rice, so the meat was falling off the bone. Wonderful, wonderful. I can't help thinking that using chicken on the bone has got to be an improvement on the original, as the meat was so tender and flavoursome, so I'd urge people to try it. Will definitely make it again (and do it my way!).
11th Mar, 2012
Couldn't find the balti paste suggested so used Waitrose's 'spoonful of balti curry paste instead. Was cooking this for two small children (aged 4 and 2) so only used 3 tbsp. Added some frozen peas for the last ten minutes. Really tasty and very easy. Will definitely make again.
9th Mar, 2012
Delicious! I also added a red pepper to increase the veg content. Only slight disappointment was that the chicken pieces ended up a bit dry. I may have cooked them for too long at the "Cook until aromatic" stage - I did about 10 mins. This instruction is a bit too vague - would be helpful if more specific. Any suggestions from anyone else about how long to cook for at this stage before adding the rice?
2nd Mar, 2012
OUTSTANDING!! this was absolutely delicious and super easy. I would like to try it with lamb next time.
26th Feb, 2012
Enjoyed cooking this, taste really good, thumbs up !
23rd Feb, 2012
Used chicken pieces instead of breast to make it more economical. Fried them with the onions at the beginning, substituted Madras paste using the same quantity as we prefer our curry hotter. A really easy, quick, delicious dish, kids loved it too- will be cooking it again.
20th Feb, 2012
Really enjoyed this. Very very easy and the raisins completely made it. My partner isn't too keen on rice dishes but really liked it too.
charlotte1981's picture
13th Feb, 2012
Really nice and easy!! Left out the raisins and almonds though, not a fan :) Making it again tonight xx
2nd Feb, 2012
Fantastic the best homemade recipe
27th Jan, 2012
Sorry, I seem to be a lone voice here but I really did not like this recipe. The taste just did not even get close to the flavours you would get from a proper Chicken Biryani and I do not think that it was wise to cook the rice with everything else! Maybe I did something wrong but I will not be trying this one again.


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