Make a delicious biryani from scratch (requires some advance preparation)

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Learn how to make one of the ultimate Indian rice dishes at home: chicken or vegetable biryani. Master the marinade and discover the secret to blending fragrant spices for the perfect balance of flavours. You’ll even make a carrot raita and mango chutney to serve alongside. Our chefs will share lots of cookery advice and inspiration and they'll help you to perfect your dish.

(This class requires some preparation in advance - see below).

What you'll take away:

  • Discover the secrets of seasoning and balancing spices for maximum flavour
  • Learn how to cook rice perfectly
  • Practise your knife skills

Serves: 2 generous portions

Duration: This class will last approximately 1.5 hours.

Shopping list (serves 2 generous portions)

Fruit & Veg - Prepare ahead by washing fruit & vegetables, but no need to peel and chop

  • 2 small carrots
  • 2 onions
  • 2 shallots (or 1 extra onion)
  • 3 limes
  • 3cm piece ginger
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 3 green chillies
  • 1 mango
  • 15g fresh coriander

Optional- for a vegetarian biryani

  • Replace the chicken thighs with 200g vegetables. We recommend a combination of cauliflower, aubergine & peas


  • 2 boneless & skinless chicken thigh fillets


  • 350g natural yogurt, divided into 100g & 250g (or coconut yogurt for a dairy free alternative)
  • 1 tbsp milk

Store cupboard

  • Salt
  • 200g basmati rice
  • 2 tbsp ghee (or unsalted butter, or extra sunflower oil)
  • Sunflower or vegetable oil, for cooking
  • 80g roasted cashew nuts
  • 80g sultanas or raisins
  • 5 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 5 tbsp palm sugar (or demerara, granulated or caster sugar)
  • Large pinch saffron

Spices, can be measured out together as stated below

Mix 1: Whole spices

  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 1 bay leaf

Mix 2: Marinade

  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • ¼ tsp ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp chilli powder

Mix 3: Mango chutney

  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • Pinch ground ginger (optional)

Mix 4: Carrot raita

  • ½ tsp fennel seeds
  • ½ tsp nigella seeds


  • Chef’s knife
  • Chopping board
  • 3 small mixing bowls: 1 for raita, 1 for mango & 1 for chicken marinade
  • Sieve, for rinsing and draining rice
  • Small jug or cup, for saffron milk infusion
  • Microplane or fine grater
  • Box grater, for coarsely grated carrots
  • Vegetable peeler
  • Frying pan, preferably non stick
  • Large saucepan for mango chutney
  • Small saucepan for cooking rice
  • Heavy based casserole or saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, suitable for both hob and oven use
  • Small plate lined with kitchen paper, to drain the crispy onions
  • Wooden spoons or spatulas, for stirring
  • Spoons and forks, for mixing and tasting
  • Serving bowls, for mango chutney & carrot raita

Prepare ahead: For this course, you will need to prepare your marinade in advance of the class. Combine 100g natural yogurt with the juice of ½ a lime. Peel and grate the ginger (you’re after about 1 tbsp), crush 4 cloves of garlic and slice 1 of the green chillies. Add all of this to the yogurt mixture, along with the marinade spices. Dice the chicken thighs (or vegetables, if making a vegetarian biryani) into 2cm pieces and add to the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. This can be done up to 24 hours in advance of the class.

About your instructor: You’ll be led through this class with one of our experienced chefs from the Waitrose Cookery School.

Joining a virtual experience: Our Virtual Experiences will take place via Zoom. We’d recommend using a laptop or desktop if possible to make it easier for you to take part. Two days before your Virtual Experience, we’ll send you full details on how to join.

Please note: T&C’s apply.


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