Healthy Chicken Biryani



  • 3 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 2 tsp finely grated ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 5 tbsp natural yogurt
  • 600g boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 4-5cm pieces
  • 2 tbsp semi-skimmed milk
  • good pinch saffron
  • 4 medium onions
  • 4 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • ½ tsp hot chilli powder
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
  • 5 green cardamom pods, lightly bashed to split
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 tsp cumin seed
  • 280g basmati rice
  • 700ml chicken stock
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • handful chopped coriander leaves


  • The number of ingredients can change as per the number of people being served.
  • If you like you can change the style and make modifications to the mentioned ingredients and recipe.


  1. Combine the minced garlic, ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, yogurt, pepper, and ¼ tsp salt in a mixing bowl. 
  2. Add the chicken pieces, ensuring they are well-coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Warm the milk to tepid, mix in the saffron, and set aside.
  3. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Halve each onion lengthwise, reserving one half and thinly slicing the other. 
  4. Pour 1½ tbsp oil onto a baking tray, coat the sliced onion in it, and spread it out evenly. Roast for 40-45 mins, stirring halfway, until golden. 
  5. Thinly slice the reserved onion. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large sauté or frying pan. Fry the onion until golden, about 4-5 mins. 
  6. Add the chicken, cooking each spoonful until no longer opaque. Stir in chili powder, pour in 100ml water, cover, and simmer on low heat for 15 mins. Remove and set aside. 
  7.  Cook the rice while the chicken simmers. Heat another 1 tbsp oil in a large sauté pan, add cinnamon stick, cardamom, cloves, and cumin seeds.
  8. Fry briefly until aromatic. Add the rice, fry for 1 min, stirring constantly. Pour in the stock, bring to boil, then simmer covered for about 8 mins or until stock is absorbed. Remove from heat, let it sit with the lid on for a few mins. 
  9. Stir garam masala into 1½ tsp oil, set aside. Reduce oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 when onions are roasted. STEP 5 Place half the chicken and its juices in an ovenproof dish (25 x 18 x 6cm). Scatter a third of the roasted onions. 
  10. Remove whole spices from the rice, layer half of it over the chicken and onions. Drizzle spiced oil over it. Add the rest of the chicken, another third of the onions, and top with the remaining rice. 
  11.  Drizzle saffron-infused milk and scatter the rest of the onions. Cover tightly with foil, heat in the oven for about 25 mins. Serve with mint and coriander.
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