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A white plate with chicken biryani.
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4.80 from 5 votes

Easy Chicken Biryani Recipe

Easy Chicken Biryani Recipe, a delicious chicken dinner that is bursting with amazing flavours. Spiced rice cooked to perfection and chicken cooked in fragrant, but mild Indian spices are combined in one fantastic dish that everyone in the family can enjoy.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Marinating Time1 hr
Total Time2 hrs 20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 3 people
Calories: 601kcal


For the marinade

  • 450 g boneless, skinless chicken thighs (1 lb)
  • ¼ cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chilli flakes

For the spiced rice

  • 1 ½ cup basmati rice
  • 6 cardamom pods
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cinnamon stick

For the biryani

  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 3 small onions
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 cm fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 red chilli peppers
  • cup chicken stock/broth
  • 2 tablespoon fresh parsley or coriander


  • To prepare the marinade, add the yogurt to a bowl together with the spices, and mix well to get a smooth paste.
  • Add the chicken thighs and mix well to get them well coated in the spiced yogurt.
  • Cover the bowl with clingfilm, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, ideally longer.
  • Rinse the rice under cold water until the water runs clear.
  • Add the rice to a pan together with all the spices and plenty of water - bring it to the boil and cook until the rice is nearly cooked, but it still holds its shape well and there is still water left.
  • Drain the water, and set aside.
  • Peel and cut the onions julliene.
  • Heat up the oil in a large pan, add the onions, and fry on a small to medium heat until they are golden.
  • Remove half of the onions and set aside for garnishing the dish later.
  • Over the remaining onions in the pan, add the peeled and chopped garlic, ginger, garam masala, turmeric, red chilli peppers and bay leaf and give it a good stir.
  • In goes the chicken, stirring well, then increase the temperature to medium to high.
  • Leave to cook on both sides for 5 minutes, then add the chicken broth.
  • Cover with a lid and leave it to cook until the chicken is cooked through and the liquid is reduced to a quarter.
  • In a small bowl, add the saffron, pour 2 tablespoons of warm water, and set aside for 10 minutes.
  • Bring the temperature down to a medium heat, add the preboiled rice to the chicken in one layer, scatter around the cooked onions, drizzle the saffron over, and garnish with chopped parsley.
  • Place the lid on and cook for 10 minutes for the rice to be cooked through.
  • Remove the pan from the heat, and leave the lid on for a further 10 minutes.
  • Serve straight after.


  • Swap the chicken for beef - my beef biriyani is absolutely delicious, mutton, lamb or any other meat of your choice.
  • But be mindful, the cooking time will be longer, as the meat will not be tender as quickly as chicken is.
  • Or make it completely vegetarian, but adding a range of vegetables: cauliflower, baby corn, green beans, eggplant, whatever you have in the fridge. In this case, it will be ready in no time.
  • Make sure you use a non-stick pan, otherwise the chicken might stick to it at the very last stage.


Calories: 601kcal | Carbohydrates: 87g | Protein: 41g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 145mg | Sodium: 1015mg | Potassium: 803mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 871IU | Vitamin C: 46mg | Calcium: 116mg | Iron: 5mg