Buttery and creamy, and accompanied with aromatic basmati rice, this butter chicken biryani will become a family favourite at first try
Serves 4
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Fusing two Indian classics, this butter chicken biryani carries the fragrance of basmati rice, as well as the indulgence of buttery and creamy gravy. You may also add in an assortment of nuts for a finishing touch, and for extra crunch and flavour.


  • 1½ cup (300 g) basmati rice, rinsed well
  • 2¼ cup (560 ml) water
  • 600 g chicken thigh fillets
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 350 g bottled butter chicken simmer sauce
  • ½ cup (125 ml) water, extra
  • Cooking-oil spray
  • 1½ cup (180 g) frozen peas
  • ¼ cup (20 g) flaked almonds
  • ½ cup loosely packed fresh coriander leaves

Put rice in a medium saucepan; add the water. Put a tight-fitting lid on the pan; heat on the stove over high heat until the water boils. When boiling, reduce the heat to as low as possible. Simmer, covered, for about 14 mins or until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender.


Spoon the rice onto an oven tray and spread it out to cool slightly (and stop it over-cooking).


Meanwhile, trim the fat from the chicken; cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces.


Heat half the oil in a large frying pan on the stove over high heat for 1 min. Carefully add half the chicken; cook, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, for about 3 mins or until browned. Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon and put in a medium bowl. Repeat with remaining chicken and oil.


Return all the chicken to the pan with the simmer sauce and the extra water. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 5 mins.


Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180 C.


Spray a 2 litre (8 cup) ovenproof bowl, or pudding basin, with cooking oil; cut strips of baking paper to line bowl or basin. Put 1 cup of the rice in the base of the bowl; top with half the chicken mixture, then half the peas. Top with 1 cup of the rice, then the rest of the chicken mixture and the rest of the peas. Top with the rest of the rice. Cover the bowl with greased foil.


Place the bowl on an oven tray; place into the oven and bake for about 30 mins or until heated through.


Meanwhile, toast the nuts in a medium frying pan on the stove over low heat, stirring, about 3 mins or until golden. Remove the nuts from the pan and put them in a small bowl.


Take the tray out of the oven. Stand the biryani in the bowl for 5 mins, then carefully turn out onto a serving plate. Sprinkle the biryani with the coriander and nuts before serving.

TIP The best way to test if your rice is cooked is to remove a few grains with a spoon, cool them slightly, then taste them. If it’s done, remove the pan from the stove. Fluff the rice with a fork.

Photo: bauersyndication.com.au

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