Chicken biryani

chicken biryani
Prep time
Cook time

Fragrant biryani is a favourite among South African families. This tasty recipe is an easy one to try.


  • 1½ cups (375ml) double-cream yoghurt
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 2cm fresh ginger, grated
  • a handful of fresh coriander, chopped
  • 20 cardamom pods, crushed 1 tsp (5ml) turmeric
  • curry powder
  • a pinch of ground cloves
  • 2 green chilies
  • 8 chicken thighs, halved (crush through the bone)
  • ¼ cup (60ml) vegetable oil
  • 5 onions, sliced
  • 2 cups (350g) rice


  • For the marinade, blitz all the ingredients in a blender.
  • Score the thighs and pour over the marinade. Cover and marinate at room temperature for 1 hour or overnight.
  • Preheat the oven to 180°
  • Heat the oil in a cast-iron dish and fry the onions for 30 minutes, stirring often, until golden. Scoop out half.
  • Pour the chicken and marinade into the dish and stir until it starts to simmer. Cover and roast in the oven for 20 minutes or until the meat is tender.
  • Soak the rice in cold water for 20 minutes. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil, add the strained rice, bring to a boil and strain.
  • Remove the chicken from the oven and turn down the temperature to 140° Spoon out half the chicken, sprinkle half the rice over the chicken in the dish and season. Layer the remaining chicken followed by the rice on top.
  • Scatter with the remaining onion. Cover with baking paper, then foil, and then the lid.
  • Bake for 30 minutes.