Chicken, Chickpea and Spinach Biryani

 I’m not sure whether I can legitimately call this a ‘Biryani’… It’s a copy of something Jamie Oliver calls a Biryani, but I’m not entirely convinced! After watching one of his programmes on how to make the most of left overs to make a whole new meal, I decided to give it a go!

I made some chicken and chickpea curry in the pressure cooker for a quick mid-week meal and didn’t quite have enough left over to feed us for another night. So I decided to give this biryani rice dish a whirl… 

This recipe basically involves boiling some rice, defrosting some frozen spinach and then layering it all up with the left over curry. Any curry can be used, so this meal can easily be vegan, vegetarian, gluten free etc. Here is what I ended up with…


  • Left over chicken and chickpea curry (about 300g)
  • 5-6 balls of frozen spinach (seasoned with salt and pepper)
  • Boiled rice (salted for flavour)
  • Cashew nuts (for sprinkling on top)
  • Smoked Paprika (for sprinkling on top)


  • In an oven proof dish: Put half of the boiled rice in a layer at the bottom of the dish
  • On top of the rice, all the curry in a single layer
  • On top of the curry, add all the spinach in a single layer
  • Add the rest of the rice on top of the spinach and ensure none of the filling is peeking out
  • Sprinkle the top of your layered biryani with the cashew nuts and smokes paprika
  • Bake in a medium oven (around 180 degrees C). Keep it covered for the first 20 minutes so the filling steams inside the rice, then uncover for the final 15-20 minutes to crispen up the top layer
  • Serve with a dollop of minted yoghurt and pickled cucumber (or whatever you feel like!) 


When serving this meal the layers don’t really hold together so not great presentation wise, but it tastes lovely! 🙂

The crunchy cashew nuts and crispy rice layer are a great contrast against the soft chicken and chickpeas. And the spinach really lightens the whole dish so it doesn’t feel so heavy!

This recipe is great when you have a little left over curry and some left over rice too, but it might just be worth the effort to make everything from scratch anyway!  


3 thoughts on “Chicken, Chickpea and Spinach Biryani

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