Chicken Biryani
Biryani’s are very versatile and delicious dishes. This delightful chicken biryani uses lighter spices than my lamb biryani to create a fresh and complex flavours with a spicy end-note.


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  Serves:  6       Print   


  • 600 g (20 oz) chicken, cut into cubes
  • 500 g (1 lb) basmati rice
  • 4 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 125 ml (4 fl oz) plain yoghurt
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 2 tsp ginger paste
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 2 green chillies, sliced
  • ½ cup fresh coriander
  • 2 tbsp dried mint (or ¼ cup fresh mint)
  • Pinch or two of saffron (or yellow food colouring)
  • Sliced lemon and green chillis to serve
Spice mix 1
  • 3 green cardamoms, cracked open
  • 1″ (2 cm) piece of cinnamon, broken
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 black peppercorns
  • 2 cloves
Spice mix 2
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 3 tbsp ghee or vegetable oil
  1. Soak the rice in cold water for 20 minutes, then drain.
  2. Heat 2 tbsp of ghee in a pan and stir-fry the onions over a medium heat until quite brown and sticky (about 15 minutes).
  3. Remove the onions with a slotted spoon and put to one side.
  4. Add another 1 tbsp of ghee to the pan and stir-fry Spice Mix 1 and the ginger & garlic paste for 1 minute.
  5. Add the chicken and Spice Mix 2. Stir-fry for about 5 minutes until the chicken is browned on all sides.
  6. Add in the tomatoes, yoghurt, coriander, mint, chillis, and two-thirds of the fried onions. Simmer until the chicken is tender (about 15 minutes).
  7. Add the rice to a pan of cold water and bring to the boil. Simmer the rice for 1 minute then drain quickly.
  8. In a clean pan, spread one third of the partly cooked rice on the base. Add a layer of half the chicken sauce. Add half the remaining rice on top of the meat. Make a layer of the remaining sauce, then cover with the remaining rice.
  9. Either whisk some saffron in a small amount of hot water, or add a few drops of food colouring to some water. Drizzle the mixture over the top of the rice. This will create rice grains of different colours in the final biryani.
  10. Cover and cook over a very, very low heat for 5 minutes.
  11. Mix the contents of the pan gently and serve. Garnish with the remaining onions and some fresh coriander leaves.
Titli's Tips
For a successful biryani it is important to undercook the rice before adding the meat sauce. During the last stage of cooking the rice will absorb enough moisture to become cooked. The rice hardly sticks together at all in a good biryani. If your rice is cooked too much your biryani will be stodgy.

Serve with a nice raita and some fresh green chillis for a wonderful taste experience.

You can make this dish hotter by adding more chillis and/or chilli powder but you might mask the complexity of the flavours in this dish.

Nutrition Facts
Amount Per Serving       % Daily Value
Calories 588 29%
Calories from Fat 128
Total Fat 14.3g 22%
Saturated Fat 2.7g 13%
Unsaturated Fat 10.6g
Amount Per Serving       % Daily Value
Total Carbohydrate 88.1g 29%
Dietary Fibre 10.8g 43%
Sugars 5.0g
Protein 31.0g 62%
Cholesterol 72.8mgs 24%
Percent Daily Values based on a 2,000 calorie diet.