Govanhill Cookbook

Chicken Biryani

Recipe by



  • 200g basmati rice
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • 8 shallots, chopped
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh root ginger, grated
  • 6 chicken breast fillets or 2 chicken breasts, thinly sliced into strips (chicken breast fillets are the small, tender fillets on the underside of the chicken breast, available in some supermarkets)
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoon of ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • generous pink freshly grated nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup plain yoghurt
  • 2 teaspoon caster sugar
  • 4 or 5 handfuls raisins (optional)


  1. Wash the rice in several changes of water until the water runs clear, then leave to soak in tepid water with the salt for 30 minutes.
  2. Drain the rice place in a pan with enough cold water to come out about 2cm above the top of the rice.
  3. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to as low as possible, cover and cook for about ten minutes, or until ‘holes’ begin to appear on the top of the rice and all the water has been absorbed.
  4. Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the shallots, onions, garlic and ginger and fry for a couple of minutes, until golden-brown. remove a tablespoonful and set aside for garnishing.
  5. Add the chicken and stir fry for 4 minutes.
  6. Add the spices and stir for one minute, then stir in the yogurt and simmer for 1-2 minutes. Add the sugar, raisins and part-cooked rice. Cover the pan with a clean tea towel and cover with a lid (this will hold in all the steam).
  7. Place over a very low heat and cook for 10 minutes.
  8. Remove from the heat and leave to rest for 5 minutes.
  9. Serve large spoonfuls garnished with the reserved shallot and onion mixture.

One Review

  1. Tauseef Khan

    Really good and easy recipe to follow!


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