Chicken biryani in a big round serving dish

Chicken biryani

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(630 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 a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 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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Daniel P
4th Jul, 2020
Followed the recipe and found it very enjoyable. Made a side of Sag Aloo complimented the dish, will definitely make again.
Leila Krupic's picture
Leila Krupic
2nd Jul, 2020
Amazing although I made quite a few alterations! I also put in three cloves, 1 teaspoon of extra spices - Garam masala, ginger, cumin, coriander, paprika. Added peas as well, an extra tablespoon of Balti paste and only 500 ml chicken stock as it already kind of made water Balti paste when I was cooking the chicken. Left it to cook for 15 min. Loved it!!
Rida in The Kitchen's picture
Rida in The Kitchen
21st Jun, 2020
Rida in The Kitchen's picture
Rida in The Kitchen
21st Jun, 2020
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31st May, 2020
Mine was spot on! Used a jalfrezi spiced paste
24th Apr, 2020
Too much stock, rice was very sticky.
24th Apr, 2020
Is this really a 5 star recipe? Like many people, I have time on my hands at the moment. Time to read through the many pages of comments. It seems that many people have made fairly substantial changes to the recipe, and then scored it at 5 stars. I’m guessing that the reason many have made changes is because the original recipe perhaps isn’t quite “5 stars”?
22nd Apr, 2020
Great recipe but Pataks no longer make this paste. I used mild curry paste and was just as good.
28th Apr, 2020
Pataks do still make balti curry paste
19th Jun, 2020
Yes! I was going to make the same comment - that Patak's DO still make the Balti paste.


26th Mar, 2020
Recipes made to help collegen
28th Jan, 2020
Will the rice cook enough in that time given it’s only actually on the heat for 5 minutes?
CassieBest's picture
29th Jan, 2020
Hi FeeFiFoFood, Yes, the rice will cook in the residual heat once the pan is off the heat. Just make sure you leave the lid on for the full 10 mins. Cassie (Senior Food Editor, BBC Good Food)
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!
Sophiehendo's picture
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?


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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