One Pan Chicken Biryani

Living and working in East London fueled my serious addiction to curry, with the multitude of amazing restaurants around Brick Lane tempting me daily.

The incredible aromas drifting out onto the street would nearly hypnotize me, and before I knew it, I’d be seated at a table for one with a three-course curry spread before me.

Homemade Chicken Biriyani

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.


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.

u003cbru003eDo 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.

u003cbru003eCan I make biryani in advance?

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

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

Homemade Chicken Biriyani
Homemade Chicken Biriyani


One Pan Chicken Biryani

One Pan Chicken Biryani

Jay Wadams
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.
5 from 9 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes


for the marinade

  • 250 ml 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

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

to serve:

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


  • yoghurt


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • When the biryani is cooked, stir gently to combine, and serve topped with fresh coriander, chopped almonds and the fried onions.

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Calories: 909kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 59g | Fat: 54g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 34g | Cholesterol: 244mg | Sodium: 2026mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 14g
Tried this recipe?Leave a review or a star rating and let me know how it was! Use the hashtag #daysofjay on Instagram so I can see your delicious creations.
Course | Main Course
Cuisine | Indian
Ⓒ | Jay Wadams
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: 340


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

5 from 9 votes (9 ratings without comment)

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