Chicken biryani

Chicken biryani

S is for Sri Lankan
Kim Lightbody


Quantity Ingredient
500g boneless chicken thighs, quartered
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
5cm ginger, peeled and finely minced
1 green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
2 tomatoes, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
3 tablespoons natural yogurt
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 onions, finely sliced
300g basmati rice
40g butter, melted
2 tablespoons greek yogurt


  1. Mix the chicken thighs with the garlic, ginger, chilli, tomatoes, turmeric, chilli powder, cumin, ground coriander, yogurt and salt. Leave to marinate for 1 hour, or overnight.
  2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan, then add the onions and stir-fry for 10 minutes on a medium heat until golden brown and crisp, then remove half and set aside for later.
  3. Add the marinated chicken and stir-fry for a further 2–3 minutes. Add 250ml water, cover, then simmer on a very low heat for 20 minutes until cooked. Season to taste with salt.
  4. Five minutes before the chicken is cooked, par-boil the rice in a large saucepan of boiling salted water for 5 minutes.
  5. Drain the rice well. Pour a quarter of the butter into a fresh saucepan, then add one-third of the rice. Use a slotted spoon to remove half of the cooked chicken and onions from the sauce and flatten over the rice.
  6. Repeat with the rice, butter, chicken and reserved onions and finish with a layer of rice. Pour over the remaining butter, cover tightly in foil, then a lid, then place on a low heat to cook for 30 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, reduce the sauce that you cooked the chicken in by half. This should take about 10 minutes on a slow boil. Stir in the Greek yogurt and season to taste. Serve the biryani with the sauce on the side.
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