Cheats’ Chicken Tikka Biryani


If you fancy a midweek curry but don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen, then whip up this quick and easy version of a classic Indian rice and chicken dish in next-to-no time. Using tikka curry paste and pouches of microwave spiced pilau rice, it’s the perfect cheat!
Serves 4. Ready in 35 minutes.



• 400g chicken breast fillets, cut into chunks
• 2 tbsp natural yogurt
• 1 tbsp tikka curry paste
• Squeeze of lemon juice
• 1 tbsp sunflower oil
• 1 red onion, peeled and roughly chopped
• 450g frozen mixed vegetables with cauliflower
• 3 x 250g sachets instant pilau rice
• Sprigs of fresh mint, to garnish
• Mango chutney and poppadoms, to serve

1. Toss the chicken chunks in the yogurt, curry paste and lemon juice, then spread them on a baking sheet lined with foil. Cook under a medium-hot grill for 12-15 minutes, turning frequently, until the chicken is cooked through and lightly charred in places.
2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Add the onion and fry for 2 minutes. Pick the cauliflower out of the frozen vegetables. Add to the pan and cook for a further 2-3 minutes until browned in places.
3. Stir in the remaining vegetables, the rice and 90ml water or vegetable stock. Cover and cook over a low heat for 4-5 minutes, stirring once or twice until piping hot all the way through. Toss the hot cooked chicken tikka chunks into the rice. Garnish with sprigs of mint and serve with chutney and poppadoms.

To make a cooling cucumber and mint yogurt to accompany the biryani, mix ¼ of a grated onion and ¼ of a grated cucumber with 300ml natural yogurt, 2 tbsp freshly chopped mint and ½ tsp ground cumin.