Chicken biryani in a big round serving dish

Chicken biryani

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(583 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
Save to My Good Food
Please sign in or register to save recipes.


  • 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. 

You may also like

Comments, questions and tips

Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.
9th Mar, 2020
So disappointed with this recipe. Despite adding double the stated curry paste, turmeric and adding cumin, there's still something missing. It's filling but rather bland.
19th Feb, 2020
Made this tonight and was very impressed. Will definitely make again.
22nd Jan, 2020
Great base recipe. Having read the comments , I wanted to avoid the dreaded blandness so I reduced the chicken stock to 450ml and upped the quantities to 1.5 teaspoons of turmeric and 5 tablespoons of tikka masala curry paste. I only had 1 chicken breast available so added 1 tin of chick peas and some chopped long beans to bulk it out. Good reviews from all!
1st Nov, 2019
It was fabulous, plenty of flavour, a bit of bite, and not wet or dry but spot on! They loved it!
Veronika Sigutova's picture
Veronika Sigutova
29th Oct, 2019
Based on the comments, I adjusted the amount of stock and rice and it came out quite good! Still needs slightly more flavour, I suppose that could be achieved by using more curry paste.
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?


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!
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.
Want to receive regular food and recipe web notifications from us?