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Chicken Tikka Biryani with naan

Chicken Tikka Biryani

  • Author: caroline
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 1 1x


This chicken tikka biryani is super flavoursome – chicken coated in a warming spiced yogurt marinade, combined with tender rice stewed in fresh tomatoes and onion. There are quite a few ingredients and steps but the results are well worth it! 

The default recipe serves one



For the chicken tikka:

  • 1 chicken breast (around 125g / 4.5oz)
  • 120g / 4.5oz / 1/2 cup full-fat natural yogurt
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed or minced
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp chilli powder

For the saffron water:

  • 1 pinch saffron
  • 2 tsp water

For the rice:

  • 65g / 1/3 cup basmati rice
  • 170ml / 2/3 cup water
  • 4 cardamom pods, small slit cut into the side of each
  • 1 bay leaf

For the Biryani:

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 medium brown or white onion, diced
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped coriander


  1. First, prepare the chicken tikka marinade by mixing all the chicken tikka ingredients together excluding the chicken. Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces and then add to the marinade and mix together well. Cover and keep in the fridge for at least two hours (or ideally overnight). 
  2. Mix together the saffron and water in a small bowl and then leave to infuse
  3. Next prepare the rice (see rice ingredients). Wash and drain the rice a couple of times and then place in a small pan with the water, bay leaf and cardamom pods. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat to very low. Place a lid on the pan and leave to steam for around 10 minutes or until all the water is absorbed in the rice. When cooked fluff with a fork to stop the grains from sticking together and remove the bay leaf. 
  4. Next move on to preparing the main biryani mixture. Heat half the olive oil in a frying pan and place over medium-high heat. Add the onion when hot and saute for around 5 minutes until softened and just starting to brown. 
  5. Add the chopped tomatoes to the pan and cook for a further couple of minutes, until softened. 
  6. Add the remaining tikka marinade and the chicken. Mix everything together and bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. 
  7. Remove half the biryani mixture and place in a bowl. Top the mixture left in the pan with half the rice and half the chopped coriander. Add the rest of the mixture back into the pan and top with the remaining rice and then the remaining coriander. Drizzle the saffron water and strands over the top with a spoon. 
  8. Place a lid on the pan and leave to slowly simmer for 10 minutes. Serve with cucumber raita, chutney or an additional naan bread (although biryani is a meal in itself).


  1. If you simply don’t have time to the marinade the chicken for this recipe then don’t fret – it still works fine, but the chicken is more flavoursome and tasty the longer it is marinated. 
  2. Cutting the slit into the side of the cardamom pods helps them release flavour while cooking
  3. You can substitute the spices with other ingredients you have on hand. Great substitutions include nutmeg, ground cloves, garam masala or cayenne pepper. Swap them out as you like. Just be wary that some are much hotter than others, such as chilli powder and cayenne.
  4. Serve this dish with rice or naan (or both) and don’t forget a good dollop of cooling cucumber raita
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Hob
  • Cuisine: Indian


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 670
  • Fat: 22g
  • Carbohydrates: 72g
  • Protein: 46g

Keywords: curry, indian, yogurt, rice, biryani, dinner, chicken, main course