Make this easy chicken biryani, then check out our chicken tikka masala, chicken korma, chicken madras, chicken jalfrezi and more chicken curry recipes. For another variation on this popular dish, try our lamb biryani.


  • 800g chicken thighs, boneless and skinless, cut into large pieces


  • a pinch saffron
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • a large bunch mint, chopped
  • 3 green chillies, halved
  • 8cm piece cinnamon stick
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 100g greek yogurt


  • a thumb-sized piece ginger, shredded
  • 1 green chilli, cut in half
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • a small bunch mint, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 400g long-grain basmati rice, washed and drained


  • a pinch saffron, soaked in 100ml milk
  • 1 tbsp rose water
  • a pinch cardamon powder
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced and fried in 1 tbsp of oil until very soft
  • mint yogurt, to serve
  • mini poppadoms, to serve


  • STEP 1

    To make the marinade, soak the saffron in 50ml of boiling water in a small bowl.

  • STEP 2

    Leave for 10 minutes then put in a large bowl with the chicken and remaining marinade ingredients, except the yogurt.

  • STEP 3

    Mix really well, cover and chill for at least 2 hours.

  • STEP 4

    An hour before cooking, stir in the yogurt and marinate for a further hour.

  • STEP 5

    For the rice, bring 2 litres of water to a boil in a large pan.

  • STEP 6

    Add the ginger, green chilli, cinnamon, mint, bay leaves and sea salt.

  • STEP 7

    Simmer for 5 minutes. Add the rice and simmer gently for 10 minutes with a lid on. Strain the rice and cool to room temperature.

  • STEP 8

    In a wide casserole dish over a low heat, add the chicken and all of its marinade. Slowly bring to a simmer.

  • STEP 9

    Layer the rice over the chicken, then pour over the saffron-infused milk, rose water and cardamom powder, and spread the onions evenly over the surface.

  • STEP 10

    Put a clean, damp tea towel over the pan, with a lid on top. Simmer gently for 90 minutes on a low heat.

  • STEP 11

    To serve, stir the biryani gently so as not to break up the rice grains.

  • STEP 12

    Serve with the mint yogurt and mini poppadoms.


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