Pic of Chicken and Leek Biryani

Chicken and Leek Biryani

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Meat mains

Chicken and Leek Biryani

Main Serves 2 1h
Biryani is a pretty healthy curry to go for when you need a mid winter lift. Great when leeks are at their best, this recipe makes them the veg star, accompanied by juicy chicken leg meat, baked with aromatic spices and served with a minted yogurt and toasted almonds.


  • 125g brown basmati rice
  • 2 leeks
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • oil for frying
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 tbsp korma spice paste
  • 1 pack coconut cream
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom,
  • 1 tbsp coriander leaves,
  • ½ tbsp bouillon
  • ½ tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds,
  • ½ tsp ground ginger,
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • salt and pepper
  • 20g sultanas
  • 1 chilli - add to taste
  • 1 tsp dried mint
  • 150g yogurt
  • 20g flaked almonds
  • 275g diced chicken leg
  • 1 lemon
Image of Chicken and Leek Biryani


Prep time: 20 min
Cooking time: 40 min
  • Step 1

    Preheat your oven to 220°C/Gas 7-8. Make sure your baking dish is big enough for about 2 litres of water. Boil a kettle.
  • Step 2

    Put the rice in a heatproof bowl (or a saucepan). Cover with boiled water. Set aside. Trim the leeks, halve lengthways, then finely slice. Wash well. Peel and finely chop the garlic.
  • Step 3

    Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a flame and ovenproof casserole, one with a lid (or use a frying pan then transfer to a baking dish later). Gently fry the leeks for 5 mins, while you continue.
  • Step 4

    Reboil the kettle. Peel and coarsely grate the carrot. Stir the carrot, garlic, korma spice paste, coconut cream and the ground cardamom, coriander leaves, bouillon, curry powder, mustard seeds, ground ginger and ground cinnamon into the leek. Season.
  • Step 5

    Add the sultanas and 400ml of boiled water. Bring to a low boil. Drain the rice; stir that in. Transfer to a baking dish if you need to. Tightly cover with a lid or foil. Bake for 20 mins.
  • Step 6

    While the rice bakes, deseed and chop the chilli. Stir the dried mint into the yogurt.
  • Step 7

    Put the almonds in a frying pan. Heat gently, stirring often, for 3-4 mins, until lightly toasted. Transfer to a plate.
  • Step 8

    Season the chicken. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in the frying pan. Fry the chicken for 2-3 mins on a high heat, until golden.
  • Step 9

    After 20 mins, uncover the rice. Stir in the chicken. Check the liquid level – you might need to stir in a little more water (we used an extra 100ml). Re-cover and bake for a further 20 mins, until the rice is just tender with a little bite.
  • Step 10

    When ready, uncover the rice. Squeeze over a little lemon juice. Season. Serve, sprinkled with almonds, chilli (to your taste) and with the yogurt and lemon wedges.

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