Chicken Biryani

Course Chicken, Curry, Dinner
Servings 6 - 8
Author Alida Ryder


  • 2 kg chicken breasts skin removed and deboned
  • 2 onions finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 2 cm piece fresh ginger grated
  • 2 tbsn curry paste I use a mild one - optional
  • 2 tsp each ground coriander ground turmeric and ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp each ground nutmeg and ground cloves
  • 2 tbsn hot garam masala I use the mother-in-law spice you find at most spice shops
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • salt to taste
  • 4 large potatoes peeled and cubed
  • oil for frying


  • 3 cups Jasmine/ Basmati rice cooked (I cook mine in the microwave oven with 1tbsn turmeric and salt)
  • 1 cup chicken stock

For the Buttermilk Raita

  • 1 cup Buttermilk
  • 1 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1 ½ tsp Ground Coriander
  • ½ tsp Turmeric
  • ½ tsp Chilli powder
  • 1 tbsn lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Salt


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 170°C (338°F).
  2. Heat 3tbsn oil in a large pot.
  3. Cut the chicken breasts into large chunks and fry in the oil until they start to brown. Remove and set aside.
  4. Fry the onions, garlic and ginger for 2 minutes before adding the curry paste and spices. Allow to fry for another minute and add the chicken back into the pot.
  5. Stir to coat the chicken in all the spices and add the tomatoes, sugar and chicken stock.
  6. Lower the heat and allow to simmer for 15 minutes.
  7. Heat 1/2 cup of oil in a large frying pan and fry the potatoes until golden and crisp. Season with salt and set aside.
  8. 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 chicken stock and cover with foil (or a lid if your oven-dish has one).
  9. Place in the oven for 25-30 minutes.
  10. To make the raita, simply combine all the ingredients.
  11. Serve the Biryani with the Buttermilk Raita and fresh Coriander leaves.