My recipe for Cheat’s Chicken Biryani is purely there to fulfil my cravings for my favourite comfort food with the least possible effort.

Cheat's Biryani

As excited as I get to taste interesting flavours and food that is foreign to me, there are two dishes I have a habit of always ordering. If it is Indian it is always Biryani. I seem to never be able to choose anything else off the menu. And when it comes to pizza, it is always Bacon, Avo and Feta (apologies Italy) which has to be the lowest of the low when it comes to pizza toppings. Those toppings are possibly just one rung up from pineapple or kimchi on a pizza.

Cheat's Chicken Biryani

And luckily my last craving was matched with a goodie bag filled with Spekko Rice after attending the Spekko Rice Cook Off at The Market at the Palms in Woodstock. The market is managed by my dear friend Isabella Niehaus and when Bella invites you to an event you know it is going to be great fun. Luckily I did not have to cook this time (my last appearance at the Spekko Rice Cook Off was a bit of a disaster with a recipe I did not test before the time) and I could sit back, relax with some fellow food blogger friends and watch Hope Malau from Drum Magazine, Jaco Brand from Picardi Place and Sebastian Newman from Expresso cook some really tasty dishes for us. And bonus was the giant goodie bag filled with 3 types of Spekko Rice and more spoils from Spekko and the traders at the market.

Cheat's Chicken Biryani

This Cheat’s Chicken Biryani could not be easier to make. Soak the rice, fry the onion, garlic and chicken, add some store bought curry paste of your choice, drain the rice and place on top of the chicken, add some stock and steam it for about 30 minutes. In that 30 minutes make a few sambals, toast some shredded coconut, get the coriander and beer out of the fridge, gently loosen the biryani with a fork and your delicious dinner is ready. Quicker than the time it takes get it as a take away.

Cheat's Chicken Biryani

Enjoy! Get some more divine chicken recipes here.

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Cheat’s Chicken Biryani


  • 300g basmati rice
  • 5ml salt
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, mashed
  • 500g deboned chicken breast or thighs, cut into bite sized chunks
  • Baleia Extra Virgin Olive Oil, for frying
  • 50g curry paste of your choice
  • 700ml warm chicken or vegetable stock


  1. Soak the basmati rice in water and the teaspoon of salt for 30 minutes
  2. Fry the onions and garlic a splash of olive oil in a heavy based pot with tight fitting lid over a medium heat until soft
  3. Remove the onions and garlic from the pot and set aside
  4. Increase the heat and add more oil if required and fry the chicken in batches, sealing the chicken pieces
  5. Place all the chicken back into the pot, add the onions and curry paste and fry for a few minutes until the chicken is well coated with the paste
  6. Drain the rice from the water and spoon the rice over the chicken
  7. Pour over the stock, bring to a slow simmer and place the lid on top
  8. Reduce the heat to medium low and let it cook for 30 minutes (The temperature must be high enough to steam the rice but not burn the bottom of the pot)
  9. After 30 minutes quickly lift the lid and test a grain of rice to see if it is cooked. Replace the lid and let it stand for 5 minutes to rest
  10. Use a fork to loosen the rice and serve with sambals, yoghurt, toasted shredded coconut and naan bread
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** Disclaimer: Olive oil sponsored by Baleia Extra Virgin Olive Oil

I am proud to be associated with Baleia Olive Oil and use it whenever a recipe requires Extra Virgin Olive Oil. The South African cold press extra virgin Olive Oil is produced in the Riversdale area, has a whiff of fresh cut grass and aromas of green tomatoes, almonds artichokes and green apples.

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