• Amaaya

Easiest Chicken Biryani Recipe

My girls' favourite cuisine is Tamil and this gave me the motivation to add more Tamil recipes to my repertoire. I'd tried and failed miserably to make authentic tasting dishes- the countless Tamil cookbooks I ordered from Amazon didn't make much of a difference either. Somehow, I just couldn't get the flavours quite right. One of my uncles is a very good cook and frequently supplies my mum with his tasty dishes, which of course I then get to sample too. I was amazed by the depth of flavour in all his dishes but especially his chicken biryani; he assured me that he used the easiest method to make this great tasting dish and we scheduled a day for me to come over to learn how to make it.

The one element I used to struggle with the most when attempting Biryanis was the layering of the curry and the rice- one or the other would always end up over or undercooked and there were so many steps involved that I'd just give up. I use a biryani mix because I simply do not have the time nor the energy to grind up spices- maybe one day I will!

I'm convinced that this is the easiest Chicken Biryani recipe because if I can make it, anyone can!

*Please note that this recipe is quite spicy for children- my girls have this biryani with a side serving of a cooling cucumber raita and boiled eggs which seems to take the edge off and they don't mind the heat too much.


  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

  • 3 medium white onions, sliced thinly

  • 800g diced chicken thighs

  • 1 pack biryani mix (I use this one)

  • 1.5 tbsp minced garlic

  • 1.5 tbsp minced ginger

  • 3 tsp curry powder (I make my biryanis quite spicy so add 1-2tsp for a milder version)

  • 3 cups basmati rice

  • 1 tsp turmeric

  • salt to taste

  • a handful of fresh coriander


1) Mix one sachet of the biryani powder with the chicken thigh pieces, cover and refrigerate.

2) Heat the oil in a medium to large, heavy bottom pan (I use this non-stick pan), add the onions, reserving a handful for later and fry on a medium to high heat until onions are golden brown.

3) Add the curry powder, mix quickly and transfer the marinated chicken to the pan. Stir in the ginger and garlic, add a couple of splashes of water (not too much as the curry will become more watery as it cooks), close the lid and turn the heat right down.

4) Whilst the curry is bubbling away, wash the rice until it runs clear. Put the rice into a medium pot, add water and 1tsp of turmeric, bring to a boil and as soon as it comes to a full boil, turn the heat right down. I don't tend to add salt to the rice as I find that the biryani mix is quite salty already.

5) Let the rice cook for 15 mins, turn off the heat and let it rest for 5 minutes before fluffing it with a fork.

6) I found that adding the curry slowly to the rice works best- don't add all the curry at once as you may end up with soggy rice; you want to add it gradually until you achieve the ideal consistency.

7) Garnish with chopped coriander, boiled eggs and dig in!

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