Easy Chicken Biryani on Food Tube

Chicken cooked with rice, saffron, cardamom, chilli and fresh mint

So happy to be back on Jamie’s Food Tube this month celebrating National Curry Week! I am sharing a really simple chicken biryani that is delicious and full of flavour. This is a perfect recipe for anyone looking to attempt a biryani as an introduction. I have used readily available ingredients and minimize on cooking time. Using leftover cooked rice for this recipe is great too. Was an absolute feast when I cooked it for the Food Tube team needless to say its a crowd pleaser and great for a family gathering!


  1. Marinate the chicken in greek yoghurt, turmeric, chilli powder and salt. Set aside and marinate for 20 minutes or overnight.

  2. Heat the oil in a heavy bottom saucepan over medium heat.  Add the green cardamom and cumin seeds fry for a few seconds. Add the sliced onion and fry for 10-12 minutes over a medium flame. Add the chopped tomatoes and fry stirring well for 3 minutes. Mash with the back of the spoon as they soften. Add the tomato puree and continue to fry for a further minute. Add the slit chillies along with the ginger and garlic paste. Fry for a minute

  3. Add the coriander powder, stir well and turn the heat low. Now add the marinated chicken mixing well. Now turn the heat back to medium and continue cooking the chicken for 3-4 minutes to seal the chicken pieces. Season to taste. Lower the heat and simmer with the lid on for 5 minutes. Stir the chicken half way through cooking making sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Add 50 mls water if it is too thick.img_0229

  4. Take the pan off the heat and put half the rice over the chicken followed by half the saffron milk, pinch of garam masala, 1 tbsp mint and 1 tbsp coriander. Layer the remaining rice and add the rest of the garnish ingredients.

  5. Put the lid back on and put the saucepan back on a very low flame for 5 minutes. Turn the heat off and leave the biryani to rest for 10 minutes. Serve warm with a choice of raita and onion salad.

  • Eleanor Snowdon

    This looks delicious. In the video you serve it with a Masala but I can’t find a recipe posted on the website for one! Could you please post one for the one you make on food tube?

  • Tomasz

    Hi Maunika!

    Yes, your fame has arrived in Poland. First of all, I want to thank you for bringing the Indian food to my family table. I have finally found proper recipes that taste just great. Everything that I cooked before and thought was Indian, didn’t even stand anywhere near what I’m getting now while cooking according to your recipes.

    I have my parents coming over for dinner tomorrow and I’m going to serve the Biryani. I started with butter chicken and have now ordered some more spices following your Spice Pantry.

    The take away stuff that you get in the UK, normally drowns in sauces and this was my mistake. I took it for granted that a curry must drown in sauces. Thank you for curing that misconception.

    Please keep it coming, you are my curry cook star!


    • Maunika Gowardhan

      So lovely to hear this! And wonderful to see your cooking recipes for the family too. Thank you for your lovely comments and happy cooking:)

  • MCFCTrick

    Another ask for the masala sauce recipe to accompany this biryani please Maunika!

    • Maunika Gowardhan

      Will be on the website soon so make sure to subscribe!

  • Sarah AlZaman

    I made this biryani. The instructions are suited, thus resulting in a yummy biryani with no hassle. 😀 I think I am going to try your other recipes too.
    Thank you Maunika.

    • Maunika Gowardhan

      Lovely to hear this and so glad you enjoyed it:)

      • Sarah AlZaman


  • Antipodian Gula

    This was great & a hit with my friends. One question – how much milk do I use with the pinch of saffron? I’ve never used saffron before so i had no idea. Thanks!

    • Maunika Gowardhan

      2-3 tablespoons of warm milk should be plenty. Enjoy!

      • Antipodian Gula

        You’re very kind! Have a lovely holiday season!

  • Henna Hemnani

    Hi! Is it possible to use this same recipe to make a turkey biryani? Wanted to make an Indian dish for some friends for Christmas!

    • Maunika Gowardhan

      Yes ofcourse! If you have leftover turkey add it along with the rice just to warm through. Will be delicious. Merry Christmas!

  • Maunika Gowardhan

    Thank you! Lovely to hear this:)

  • CandyPerfumeGirl

    I would not waste any saffron on this. It is a very delicate spice and the cardamom and garam masala annihilate its delicate scent. Also, try actually saffron powder. Take a mortar and pestle and grind the strands. This way it dissolves faster in the hot water or milk and you dont waste any by using strands, which never fully dissolve.

    I also use a large pot for layering rather than a pan and i add garlic and ginger paste (as well as lemon juice and garam masala) to the marinate. I have never seen bryani made like this before though so it may be interesting to try…

  • Venus Butterfield

    How would you make a vegetarian version? I was thinking about maybe replacing the chicken with sliced potato, courgette and aubergines. I’m concerned that they may become mushy or make the biryani too watery. Please suggest what I should do. Your finger tattoo is very cool by the way!

    Also, could I divide the vegetables/ chicken and put half at the bottom, then the layer of rice and spices, then the sauce and vegetables/ chicken again ??

    Thank you so much for your website. I’m enjoying going through it and hope to keep making your recipes :)

  • Clive

    If I made this for a large party can I cook it, freeze it, then reheat it on the day?

    • Maunika Gowardhan

      Best thing to do is make the chicken and the base sauce. Freeze it and then on the day of you party layer it all. Will taste delicious. Hope your guests enjoy the feast!:)