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Biryani 5h8a2854
Harry Weir and Brian Clarke

Chicken Tikka Biryani

Kinara Kitchen, well-known for its delicious Pakistani food, gives us a recipe for their classic one-pot wonder.

Serving: Serves 4


  • 5 breasts of chicken, diced into 5 pieces each
  • 500g aged basmati rice
  • 6 cups water for cooking
  • For the marinade
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped ginger
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 200g natural yoghurt
  • Glug of oil
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 200g ghee
  • 3 fresh bay leaves or ½ of a dried one
  • 2 whole cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tablespoon whole cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 6 black cardamom pods, slightly cracked
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 spoon finely chopped ginger
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
  • 4 tomatoes, chopped
  • Crispy fried onions
  • Coriander
  • Mint leaves


1 First up, we need to marinate that chicken. Get it all covered in the marinade and leave it for around 2-3 hours and get those spices mingling.

2 It’s important to soak the rice in cold water for around 25-30 minutes before cooking. This takes out any excess starch and will end up with individual grains of fluffy rice – don’t worry it will still have great flavour. Change the water completely twice in this process.

3 So now we have the chicken marinated, the rice soaked, it’s time to make the biryani. In a pot that has a tight-fitting lid – a clay one preferably – sauté the onions in the ghee for 5-6 minutes until golden brown. Add the chicken, spices and the rest of the biryani ingredients (not the tomatoes) to the pot, stir continuously whilst they release their flavours and turn golden. Now add the tomatoes and rice to the pot, layering the chicken on top.

4 Add the water to the pot and put on the lid. Cook over a medium heat for 15 minutes, resisting the temptation to lift the lid. After 15 minutes, have a peek and check if the rice is cooked. It may need another couple of minutes. Once the rice is cooked, leave the lid on for a further 10 minutes to allow the chicken to relax and the flavours to seep through and nestle into the rice.

5 Serve with crispy fried onions, fresh coriander and a few torn mint leaves.

Recipe credit: Kinara Kitchen

Photography credit: Harry Weir, assisted by Brian Clarke


"Buy good rice – there is a world of difference between a good, aged basmati rice and a young, sticky rice. We use a 2-year cask aged basmati that ensures slender, fluffy and separate grains that have a superior flavour and aroma"


This is lovely cold too and makes an excellent picnic dish. The chicken can be swapped out for almost anything – it’s exceptionally good with lamb too.