Chicken biryani

Chicken Biryani

Course Chicken, Curry, Dinner
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 4 -6
Author Alida Ryder


for the biryani

  • 3 cups cooked and cooled Basmati rice cooked with 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 kg boneless chicken thighs cubed
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves thinly sliced
  • 3 cm piece fresh ginger grated
  • 2 cardamom pods crushed
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon hot masala spice
  • 1.5 cups chicken stock reserve 1/2 cup of stock
  • 1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • salt to taste
  • 3 large potatoes cubed
  • oil for frying
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon chilli flakes

for the crispy onions

  • 2 onions finely sliced
  • enough oil to deep fry the onions

for the herbed yoghurt sauce

  • 2 cups Greek yoghurt
  • 2 tablespoons coriander finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons parsley finely chopped
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • salt to taste


  • Pre-heat the oven to 180°c.
  • Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a large pot.
  • Fry the chicken in the oil until they start to brown. Remove and set aside.
  • Fry the onions, garlic and ginger for 2 minutes before adding the spices. Allow to fry for another minute and add the chicken back into the pot.
  • Stir to coat the chicken in all the spices and add the tomatoes, sugar and chicken stock.
  • Lower the heat and allow to simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Heat 1/2 cup of oil in a large frying pan and fry the potatoes, cumin seeds and chilli flakes until golden and crisp. Season with salt and set aside.
  • To assemble the dish, layer a 1/3 of the rice at the bottom of a greased oven-proof dish. Next, cover the rice with the chicken curry but reserve some of the sauce. Follow with the rest of the rice and spoon over the remaining sauce. Finally, cover the rice with the fried potatoes. Pour over the reserved chicken stock and cover with foil (or a lid if your oven-dish has one).
  • Place in the oven for 25-30 minutes.
  • To make the crispy onions, heat the oil in a small saucepan then fry the onions until they are brown and crisp. Remove from the oven and drain on kitchen paper before seasoning with salt.
  • To make the yoghurt sauce, combine all the ingredients then set aside.
  • Remove the biryani from the oven and top with the crispy onions.
  • Serve with a generous dollop of the yoghurt sauce.