One Pan Chicken Biryani

It was when I was living and working in East London that my curry addiction became a serious problem. With my work only a stone’s throw from the multitude of amazing curry restaurants in and around Brick Lane, the incredible aromas drifting out onto the street would nearly hypnotise me, and before I knew what was happening I’d be sitting at a table for one with a three-course curry banquet spread out before me.

I am yet to meet a curry that I didn’t like, from creamy and comforting korma to fiery jalfrezi. One of my favourites to cook at home, however, is the gently spiced and beautifully coloured biryani. Now there are, quite frankly, as many variations of biryani as there are cooks in Hyderabad, every single one slightly different. Even the spelling is up for grabs, as it’s sometimes knows as biriyani, beriani or even briani! My recipe for One Pan Chicken Biryani is super quick and easy, and as it’s all made in one pan, there’s less washing up!

Ideal for weeknights or feeding a crowd, this one-pot wonder is very straightforward. Chicken is quickly marinated with yoghurt and spices, then layered in a heavy-based pan with flavoured rice. Topped with fried onions, coriander, almonds and tangy yoghurt, this is real comfort food. As with all curries, you can switch around the flavours to suit your tastes, add more or less spice or different meats. It is all delicious.

Do you have a favourite curry? Have you ever been to London’s famous Brick Lane? Let me know in the comments below! Take care out there and happy cooking. xJ

Homemade Chicken Biriyani

Let me know if you try this recipe in the comments below, or using the hashtag #daysofjay on Instagram. Happy cooking!

One Pan Chicken Biryani

One Pan Chicken Biryani

Yield: Serves 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

This recipe for easy One Pan Chicken Biryani is all made in one pan and ready in 45 minutes. Perfect for a weeknight dinner and for feeding a crowd.


for the marinade

  • 250ml plain yoghurt
  • zest of one lemon, finely grated
  • small bunch fresh coriander, roughly chopped
  • 6 cardamom pods, squashed with a mortar and pestle
  • 1 small green chilli, finely sliced
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 ½ tsp sea salt
  • fresh ground black pepper

for the biryani

  • 600g chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
  • 300g basmati rice, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 Tbsp fresh ginger, finely grated
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 4 cloves
  • 30g butter
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 big handfuls spinach leaves, roughly chopped
  • 600ml chicken stock

to serve:

  • 3 Tbsp neutral oil
  • 1 large red onion, halved and finely sliced
  • 25g almonds, roughly chopped
  • fresh coriander


  • yoghurt


    1. Whisk together the marinade ingredients, then cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces (you should get around 6 from each thigh) and stir through the marinade. Set aside, or refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
    2. In a small bowl, stir together the rice, garlic, ginger, turmeric and cloves. Melt the butter in a large heavy-based saucepan, an enamelled cast iron pan is ideal. Remove from the heat and spread half of the rice mixture over the base of the pan. Add the bay leaves, then layer over the chicken and any marinade. Top with the spinach and remaining rice.
    3. Pour over the chicken stock, then cover with a tightly fitting lid and cook over low heat for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and cook for a further 5 minutes.
    4. Meanwhile, combine the oil and sliced onions in a small frying pan. Gently cook until the onions have begun to brown and crisp, then lift out of the pan with a slotted spoon and allow to dry on a plate lined with a paper towel.
    5. When the biryani is cooked, stir gently to combine, and serve topped with fresh coriander, chopped almonds and the fried onions.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 909Total Fat: 54gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 34gCholesterol: 244mgSodium: 2026mgCarbohydrates: 53gFiber: 5gSugar: 14gProtein: 59g

Nutrition information is calculated automatically and isn’t always accurate.


I am missing one of the spices! Can I still make biryani?

Yes, of course. This is a very customisable and forgiving recipe. Just season to suit your tastes.

Do I have to use basmati rice to make biryani?

Technically you can use any rice you like, however, I strongly recommend basmati. Different rice varieties absorb different amounts of water, so if you change the rice you may find that the rice is over or undercooked.

Can I make biryani in advance?

Definitely. Make ahead and reheat until piping hot before serving.

Do you have any other curry recipes?

Of course! Why not try an indulgent Massaman Beef Curry? Or a Creamy Chicken Korma?

With multiple layers of flavour, Chicken Biryani is a deliciously easy curry.

Homemade Chicken Biriyani
Homemade Chicken Biriyani


Jay Wadams
Jay Wadams

Jay Wadams is a cookbook author, food photographer and Le Cordon Bleu Gastronomy and Nutrition graduate. Based in Italy 🇮🇹 Germany 🇩🇪 and Australia 🇦🇺.

Articles: 333


  1. I think I’d prefer a spinach raita on the side to slimy cooked spinach in the biryani. Sounds good otherwise, though.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Skip to Recipe