In this week’s article, Keighley’s award-winning restaurant Shimla Spice will be revealing the secret recipe and method for how to make the world-famous biryani.

We will go through the step-by-step way to make a perfect chicken version.

Biryani is a rice-based dish that originated from Persia, but over time has spread throughout the world and can be found in every country.

Throughout the Middle East it is a tradition to serve biryani for guests, dinner, celebrations and mainly weddings. An Asian wedding without biryani on the menu is incomplete.

Mostly you would find chicken or meat biryani, which are the most popular, but as the regular diners at our restaurant will know, we don’t only serve a chicken biryani, we have many different combinations. We explored the dish with our customers, and this went down really well, so we now have a huge variety.

We serve the following options: chicken, meat, vegetable, prawn, king prawn, fish and mixed, which consists of all the above.

I think as a diner at our restaurant you must try the seafood biryani options – prawn, king prawn or fish. These are great combinations and taste fantastic.

In our restaurants, biryani is served mixed with the rice, but there are many different ways to cook it. If you try this dish, please e-mail us the photos at and let us know how you got on with it.


Chicken Biryani
Ingredients for cooking the chicken
4 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons of chopped, fresh mint leaves
Half-a-teaspoon of ground black pepper
2 large onions, finely chopped
1 (5cm) cinnamon stick
3lb of chicken breast chunks
1 tablespoon of minced, fresh root ginger
Half-a-teaspoon of chilli powder
4 small potatoes, peeled and halved
Half-a-teaspoon of ground turmeric
1 teaspoon of salt
2 medium tomatoes, peeled and chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons of plain yogurt
Half-a-teaspoon of ground cardamom
Ingredients for cooking the rice
450g (1lb) of basmati rice
Two-and-a-half tablespoons of vegetable oil
1 litre of chicken stock
1 large onion, diced
1 pinch of saffron
5 pods of cardamom
3 whole cloves
1 (5cm) cinnamon stick
Half-a-teaspoon of ground ginger
1 teaspoon of salt
1. Wash your rice and set aside to dry in a colander
2. Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan, then fry the potatoes until they look cooked and have turned brown
3. Separate the potatoes from the pan and drain the potatoes from any liquid
4. Add the other two tablespoons of olive oil to the pan, let the oil heat, then add the onions, garlic and ginger, and stir until the onions have turned brown
5. Add the tomatoes, chilli, turmeric and peppers and stir until they have been well mixed
6. Add hot water to the pan and cook these ingredients so the tomatoes have melted and become like a paste
7. Stir well and make sure the mixture doesn’t stick to the pan by adding a little bit of hot water
8. Add the chicken to this paste mixture and cook on low heat for about 30 minutes so the chicken is cooked – check by piercing the chicken to see if it’s cooked in the middle
9. Once cooking the chicken with the mixture, you will find it will create a thick sauce paste
10. In a separate pan, heat the vegetable oil, add the onion and fry until they have turned brown
11. Add the rice, cinnamon stick, saffron, ginger, cardamom and cloves
12. Stir well for a few minutes so the spice sticks to the rice 
13. Place the chicken stock and salt in a pot and let it heat
14. Once this is hot, mix it well with the rice and the chicken
15. On very slow heat, let the biryani cook for about 30 minutes, then your lovely dish will be ready to serve
16. You can try different combinations with meats, vegetables and seafood