Quick and Easy Chicken Biryani

Turn dinnertime into a flavor-packed adventure with our Quick and Easy Chicken Biryani! Succulent diced chicken and zesty ginger paste create a delicious dinner in no time!

Chicken Biryani in a pot on the table.

Other than Thai food, there’s no cuisine I find myself craving more often than Indian. I’d love to make it three nights per week. But, I don’t always have the time to make a complicated dish when I’m already 100% hangry.

For those nights, I love making this Indian Potato Chickpea Stew (on the table in 30 minutes), this Creamy Cashew Chicken Curry (another half-hour miracle dish), and today’s recipe, a simple Chicken Biryani recipe (just 45 minutes start-to-finish).

This dish is great on its own, but it pairs well with some Naan Bread, Vegan Palak Paneer, and some Mango Chutney.

Indian Chicken Biryani in a white bowl with a bite of it on a fork.

What is Chicken Biryani?

Chicken Biryani is a delightful chicken curry dish cooked with rice. There are various versions of Biryani—some vegetarian and others with different meats, such as chicken, beef, lamb, goat, shrimp, or fish. This dish is highly popular in India and is also prepared in various forms across the Indian subcontinent, including Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. According to Wikipedia, Biryani is the most frequently ordered rice dish online in India.

Reasons to Love Chicken Biryani

  • Chicken Biryani bursts with flavors. It has a rich blend of spices, herbs, and tender chicken.
  • The aromatic delight that fills your kitchen as it cooks is simply irresistible.
  • This dish is a one pan wonder. Just one pot to cook it all, making dinner prep a breeze.
  • Perfect for family dinners or entertaining guests, Chicken Biryani is a crowd-pleaser.
  • Leftovers? Even Better! Chicken Biryani’s flavors intensify, making it a delicious next-day meal.

Recipe Ingredients

Chicken Biryani ingredients. on a white table.
  • Chicken: Adds meaty, savory notes and a tender texture.
  • Basmati Rice: Imparts a nutty aroma and fluffy, separate grains.
  • Chicken Broth: Provides a savory base for the dish.
  • Ghee/Vegetable Oil: Offers a rich, buttery flavor and aids in cooking.
  • Onions: Contribute sweetness, depth and enhance the overall taste.

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.

Variations

  • Use different proteins: Substitute chicken with lamb, beef, shrimp, or a mix of vegetables such as cauliflower, green peas, and potatoes for a vegetarian version.
  • Use different rice varieties: Instead of basmati rice, you can use other long-grain rice varieties or even short-grain rice like jasmine or sushi rice. Remember that cooking times and liquid ratios may vary depending on the rice type.
  • Add other vegetables: Include bell peppers, green beans, or carrots to the biryani to enhance its flavor and add more nutrients.
  • Add Some Whole Spices: For a different flavor, you can add whole spices such as cinnamon sticks, black cardamom pods, cloves, and black peppercorns. This will give the dish a richer flavor.
  • Add yogurt: Mix in some plain yogurt when you add the tomatoes to give the dish a creamy, tangy flavor.

How to Make Chicken Biryani

Step #1: Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large nonstick skillet or frying pan. Once the oil is shimmering, add the chicken pieces and let them cook undisturbed for 3-5 minutes until golden brown.

Step #2: Turn the chicken pieces and add the onion, jalapeno, ginger, garam masala, cumin, turmeric, and salt. Sauté for 3 minutes or until the onions have softened.

Spices added to chicken cooking in a pan.

Step #3: Add 1 tbsp minced garlic, tomatoes, and raisins to the pan. Stir well, then add the rice and broth.

Chicken Biryani ingredients in a pot on a burner.

Step #4: Allow the liquid to come to a boil, then cover the pan with lid and turn the heat down to medium-low. Let the rice steam for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and fluff the rice with a fork. Re-cover the pan and allow the rice to continue to steam for another 10 minutes.

Chicken Biryani cooking in a pan.

Step #5: Sprinkle cilantro leaves and almond slices on top for garnish.

Chicken Biryani in a pan, ready to serve.

Step #6: Serve the Biryani straight out of the pan into each bowl, accompanied by lime wedges for squeezing. You can also serve this dish with Naan Bread.

Chicken Biryani in a white dish with two spoons in it.

Expert Tips

  • Use Bone-In Chicken Thighs: Opt for chicken thighs with bones to infuse more flavor and moisture into your biryani.
  • Yogurt Marinade: Tenderize the chicken by marinating it with yogurt for at least 30 minutes.
  • Saffron-Infused Milk: Add a fragrant touch with saffron milk.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Biryani spicy?

It can be adjusted to your spice preference. Biryani can range from mildly spiced to quite hot, depending on the recipe. Add red chili powder for an extra kick.

Storage Info

To store Chicken Biryani, allow it to cool to room temperature, then transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate it. When stored properly, it can stay good in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. You can also freeze Chicken Biryani for longer storage; ensure it’s in an airtight container or freezer-safe bags, and it should remain good for 2-3 months. When reheating, you can use a microwave, stovetop, or oven. Adding a bit of water and covering it while reheating helps retain moisture and flavor. Stir occasionally until it’s heated evenly, and enjoy your delicious leftovers.

Did you try this recipe? Leave a ⭐️ rating below and share it on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest!

Quick and Easy Chicken Biryani Recipe

Turn dinnertime into a flavor-packed adventure with our Quick and Easy Chicken Biryani! Succulent diced chicken and zesty ginger paste create a delicious dinner in no time!
4.5 from 210 votes
Pin Rate
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Indian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 600kcal
Author: Linda
Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon ghee - or vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless - skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1″ cubes
  • 1 medium yellow onion - chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper - seeded and minced
  • 3 Tablespoons prepared ginger paste
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 large tomatoes - chopped
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1 cup uncooked long-grain basmati rice
  • 2 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth*
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup sliced unsalted almonds
  • 1 lime - cut into wedges
Save this recipe!
Get this sent to your inbox, plus get new and favorite recipes from us!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Instructions

  • Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large nonstick skillet or frying pan. Once the oil is shimmering, add the chicken pieces and let them cook undisturbed for 3-5 minutes until golden brown.
  • Turn the chicken pieces and add the onion, jalapeno, ginger, garam masala, cumin, turmeric, and salt. Sauté for 3 minutes or until the onions have softened.
  • Add 1 tbsp minced garlic, tomatoes, and raisins to the pan. Stir well, then add the rice and broth.
  • Allow the liquid to come to a boil, then cover the pan with lid and turn the heat down to medium-low. Let the rice steam for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and fluff the rice with a fork. Re-cover the pan and allow the rice to continue to steam for another 10 minutes.
  • Sprinkle cilantro leaves and almond slices on top for garnish.
  • Serve the Biryani straight out of the pan, accompanied by lime wedges for squeezing. You can also serve this dish with Naan Bread.

VIDEO

NOTES

Storage Info:
To store Chicken Biryani, allow it to cool to room temperature, then transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate it. When stored properly, it can stay good in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. You can also freeze Chicken Biryani for longer storage; ensure it’s in an airtight container or freezer-safe bags, and it should remain good for 2-3 months. When reheating, you can use a microwave, stovetop, or oven. Adding a bit of water and covering it while reheating helps retain moisture and flavor. Stir occasionally until it’s heated evenly, and enjoy your delicious leftovers.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 600kcal | Carbohydrates: 64g | Protein: 48g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.003g | Cholesterol: 117mg | Sodium: 1011mg | Potassium: 1251mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 633IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 89mg | Iron: 3mg

Want more inspiration?

More Recipes You'll Love

About the Author

Linda

Hi, I'm Linda! Welcome to The Wanderlust Kitchen, where I share recipes and travel adventures from all around the world. Here you'll find a world of recipes you can have confidence in. These recipes celebrate authentic food heritage as well as modern techniques and ingredients. Be adventurous and try a new recipe and travel somewhere you have never been before.  Bon Appétit! Bon Voyage!  

Join the Conversation

Rate and Comment

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

Please click on the Stars below to share your Rating of this Recipe




Comments:

  1. 5 stars
    This was sooooo. Good. I did alter some spices since I didn’t have garam masala. I added chickpeas and small cubed sweet potatoes for extra veggies and to eliminate any need for side dishes. This was quick and amazing.

  2. 5 stars
    Hi Linda, I wanted to let you know that I made this recipe almost exactly as written, I did leave out the jalapeno pepper. I am a 70 year old Canadian woman who is trying to cut back on meat ( not this recipe though lol ) I love veggies cooked in a sauce, all types of beans ( most liked chickpeas ) I found a recipe for channa and aloo and absolutely love it over rice with pigeon peas. My problem is that I have a hard time cooking basmati rice and of course it is my favorite,,lol. That said this recipe is amazing when I saw the list of spices I thought hmmmmmmmmmmmmm not going to be very tasty but I was very wrong. Thank you for a quick and tasty recipe I am going to browse your recipes to see what else stirs my taste buds!
    PS I really need a quick & easy recipe for na’an,,lol

    1. Hi Dorothy, typically, you can use the same amount of minced fresh ginger instead of ginger paste, but you might want to start with a little less since fresh ginger can be stronger than the paste. I suggest you start with 2 Tablespoons and work up to 3 if needed for your desired taste. – Linda