Butter Chicken Biryani

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This is a combination of 2 of my favourite recipes, butter chicken and biryani and it tastes outstanding.

For the Marinated Chicken
4 tbsp natural yogurt
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp salt
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp sunflower oil
2 garlic cloves, grated
1 inch ginger, grated
8 boneless skinless chicken thighs, chopped into bite size pieces

For the Rice
500g basmati rice
5 cardamom pods
1 bay leaf
5 cloves

For the Curry
1 tbsp salted butter
1 tbsp sunflower oil
1 stick cinnamon
4 cardamom pods
1 onion, finely chopped
5 tomatoes, pureed
2 garlic cloves, grated
1 inch ginger, grated
2 tbsp tomato purée
1 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp garam masala
1 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi)
3/4 tsp honey
1 tbsp double cream
1 tbsp salted butter

For the Garnish
5 onions, thinly sliced
pinch of saffron in 1 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp rose water


– In a small bowl, mix the yoghurt, garam masala, salt, chilli powder, sunflower oil, garlic, and ginger.

– Add the chicken to a large baking tray. Thoroughly coat the chicken in the marinade. Place it in the fridge to marinate for at least 1 hour.

– To prepare the rice, half fill a pan with water. Add the green cardamom pods, bay leaf, and cloves, and bring to a boil. Add the rice and cook until 50% done. Drain and set aside.

– To prepare the curry, add the butter to a hot pan. Add the cinnamon stick, green cardamom pods, and onions. Cook for 8-10 minutes until golden.

– Add the garlic and ginger. Stir through a cook for 1 minute.

– Add both the fresh and ready-made tomato purée. Mix well, lower the heat, cover, and cook for 20 minutes.

– Preheat the oven to 220°C / 200°C with a fan.

– Add the chilli powder, salt, garam masala, dried fenugreek leaves, and honey. Mix well and turn off the heat.

– Place the chicken in the oven and cook for 15 minutes.

– Once cooked, transfer the chicken to the sauce. Add the cream and another tbsp of butter. Stir through.

– To prepare the garnish, add 3-4 tbsp oil to a hot pan. Add the onions and fry until golden. Once cooked, transfer to a sieve on top of bowl to remove any excess oil.

– Reduce the oven 180°C / 1600°C with a fan.

– In a large oven-proof pan, add a layer of rice. Add half the chicken curry. Add another layer of rice and then a layer of onions.

– Add the second layer of chicken. Then, add the remaining rice and fried onion.

– Add a pinch of saffron to 1 tbsp of warm milk and let it rest for 2 minutes. Then, pour it over the biryani along with a few drops of rose water.

– Cover and place in the oven for 35-40 minutes.

– Once cooked, remove from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before serving!

11 thoughts on “Butter Chicken Biryani”

  1. Love your recipes and videos! Can you please give some advice about what Garam Marsala to buy or a recipe to make my own. I have tried some garam Marsala that have not tasted very good,
    Thank you, Cathy

  2. I’d love to try this. Is there a written recipe, or only the video recipe? I see the ingredient list, but am unable to find a written recipe.

    I’m sure enjoying the “Healthy Indian” book!


  3. I’m so happy I found you!!! You’re amazing!!! I’m basically Binging all of your content as we speak and it’s been a blast – keep up the good work and massive success will follow!!!

  4. I’m so happy I found you!!! You’re amazing!!! I’m basically Binging all of your content as we speak and it’s been a blast – keep up the good work and massive success will follow!!!

  5. I LOVE this recipe. I used tofu instead of chicken and vegan yogurt instead of dairy yogurt. The results were fabulous. I love Chetna’s recipes because they are vibrantly flavored and adaptable. This is one of my favorite Chetna recipes.

  6. I made this last night, and my family loved it. Perfectly spiced, flavorful. Delicious.
    I will make it again. But I did underestimate the time for the various steps. However, I have my notes, and will be able to get this on the table, next time, much more smoothly. I also liked that by the end of the cooking, I had a neat and tidy kitchen, and only one potto clean up. So cool. Thanks for a fabulous meal.

  7. Looks amazing….. Can this be layered up and refrigerated overnight (before allowing to come to room temp and cooking?) – I am thinking if I have friends over, it is always nice to spend time with them…!


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