Chicken Biryani with Figs and Nuts

This Chicken Biryani is an aromatic, spice-filled, one-pot rice and meat dish with a healthy spin. It is light on the rice and heavy on the spices, nuts, and California Figs! Pair it with raita or salad and enjoy it with family and friends on those special occasions.

I’ve partnered with Valley Fig Growers to bring y’all this Chicken Biryani with Figs & Walnuts! Thank you so much for supporting the brands that keep this Blog Spinning!

Overhead photo of chicken biryani with figs and nuts

We love this Chicken Biryani with Figs and Nuts because it is:
✅ It is so tasty
✅ It is so easy to make
✅ It is gluten-free
✅ It can be made in one pot
✅ It is a delicious blend of flavors and textures

This Chicken Biryani with Figs and Nuts is so easy to make!

The beauty of this dish is it is so easy to make, yet tastes so exquisite.

The initial prep requires therapeutic dicing of onions, garlic, carrots, pecans, and California Figs into neat, bite-sized portions. But then, after you have layered in all the ingredients, you set this aside to cook.

You can then go about conversing with friends and family that you might have called over to linger over this biryani with – until it’s time to uncover this Chicken Biryani and enjoy it!

What are the ingredients needed to make this Healthy Chicken Rise Dish?

You will need the following ingredients:

  1. Olive oil
  2. Red onion
  3. Chicken breast
  4. Garlic
  5. Ginger
  6. Coriander
  7. Cumin
  8. Rice
  9. Chili powder (optional)
  10. Turmeric
  11. Ground cloves
  12. Ground cardamom
  13. Chicken broth
  14. Carrots
  15. Frozen peas
  16. Dried California Figs
  17. Pecans

I also used parsley to garnish and added in salt and pepper to taste.

Sun Maid Figs and other ingredients for Chicken Fig Biryani

Biryani (or biriyani or briyani) is a heavily spiced rice and meat dish that is widely popular among South Asians and Persians. It is said to have been brought to Sri Lanka by South Indian traders in the early 1900s.

In Sri Lankan, biryani is Buryani and is usually very much spicier than its Indian and Persian counterparts’. And, my mom made one heck of a delicious biryani!

In fact, one of the scents of my youth was my mom’s biryani. It was so insanely aromatic. The kind of aromatic that gets those salivary glands in the back of my mouth pinging painfully even now – at just the memory of it!
I guess that’s what good food does – right?

Pan with chicken biryani with figs and nuts layered on top

My mom’s biryani was a simple dish – just rice, chicken (or mutton in some cases), a smattering of veggies, ghee, raisins, cashews, curry leaves and spices – tons and tons of spices.

Spices so well layered and intertwined, it was hard to pick one out. Back then, it used to be hard for my mind to grasp how spices like cardamom, cinnamon, and cloves could work so well right alongside cumin, coriander, and chili powder. Yet, they did. Only intensified when my mom used to roast them up before adding them to her biryani.

My mom often reserved this simple dish for special occasions like birthdays, or holiday get-togethers. I remember I kept wishing I would have more siblings just so there’d be more birthdays to enjoy this dish at.

Overhead photo of bowl with Chicken Fig Nut Biryani


You can enjoy this biryani by itself or serve it paired with this Sautéed Brussels Sprouts And Apple Salad or Easy Cabbage Salad with Lentils.

Overhead photo of bowl with Chicken Fig Nut Biryani

Chicken Biryani with Figs and Nuts

5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 5 servings
Author: Shashi
This Chicken Biryani is an arousingly aromatic, spice-filled, one-pot rice and meat dish with a healthy-ish spin. It is light on the rice and heavy on the spices, nuts, and California Figs! Pair it with raita or salad and enjoy it with family and friends on those special occasions.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 red onion diced
  • 1 pound chicken breast cut into cubes
  • 3 cloves garlic smashed and diced
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder optional
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon cardamom
  • 2 cups salted chicken broth
  • 2 carrots peeled and diced
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup Sun-Maid® or Orchard Choice California Figs
  • ¼ cup pecans
  • Parsley to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Add oil to a pan over medium heat and sauté the onion for 5 minutes.
  • Then add in the chicken and sauté till the chicken is lightly browned on one side. Flip chicken pieces over, add garlic and ginger and cook for another 2 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in another pan, over low heat, roast the coriander and cumin for about a couple of minutes stirring frequently as you don’t want the spices to burn. They will change color and become a tad bit darker during the roasting process. Set aside.
  • To the chicken, add the rice, the roasted coriander and cumin, chili powder (if using), turmeric, cloves, cardamom, and chicken broth and stir. Cover and let cook for about 15 minutes.
  • Uncover and add in the carrots, frozen peas, California Figs, and pecans (no need to mix at this point) and let cook about 5-7 minutes, or till rice is tender and liquid has been absorbed.
  • Using a fork, fluff, and mix the veggies, nuts, and California Figs with the lower layers of spiced rice and chicken.
  • Sprinkle some parsley, season with salt and pepper (if needed), and enjoy with a cold salad or raita.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 347kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 78mg | Sodium: 352mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 10g
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This recipe can also be found here.

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  1. I recently had biryani for the first time, and I was hooked! I loved the meat and spices. Truthfully, it kinda reminded me of Cajun food as it was a bit of everything thrown in with rice. Sure, the flavor profile was different, but the concept was the same. Either way, I need to try making some at home now! And I know I’ve talked about it on the blog before, but growing up my grandpa had a huge fig in the backyard. It was right next to the garage, and he literally had figs for years. Seriously. They’d make preserves, and then eat them for the whole year. I miss that! I’ll have to keep an eye out for these figs now…and then use ’em in this recipe. Sounds like my kinda eats!!

  2. This sounds so good! I bet the figs and nuts give this such a good flavor! Can’t wait to try this for my husband!

  3. Your biryani looks so flavorful! I love the addition of figs too. I bet the sweetness of the figs balance out the spice. I haven’t found my own version of this recipe that I love yet so I’m going to have to give yours a try!

  4. Looks like such a hearty bowl of goodness! I love how the smell of a dish sparks memories and just takes you right back to those special moments!

  5. Soooo, I’ve never actually had biryani. But from everything I’ve heard, I need to try it because I love food that’s heavy on the spices. Cardamom is my ALL TIME favorite flavor so I know I’d love this dish! Have a great weekend, Shashi!

5 from 2 votes (1 rating without comment)

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