Biryani, an evergreen classic, really needs no introduction. Whether it’s Lucknowi, Hyderabadi or Malabar, there is no other dish like biryani. It has gained global popularity and is in demand for every event and occasion. Though it is traditionally a non-vegetarian dish, even vegetarians have come up with recipes to mimic the unique taste. Here is a mix of traditional and brand new biryani recipes!

1. Classic Biryani

A classic recipe with an unforgettable taste! Indulge in a flavourful dish that’s sure to make you come back for seconds.

Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Cooking Time: 2 hours

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg chicken, with bone
  • 4 cups of basmati rice
  • 3 onions, sliced thin
  • 4 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 4 green chillies (hari mirchi), slit at the centre
  • 20 grams ginger, ground to paste
  • 20 grams garlic, ground to paste
  • 2 tablespoons red chilli powder
  • 2 tablespoons coriander powder (dhaniya)
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala powder
  • ½ cup of coriander (dhaniya) leaves, finely chopped
  • ½ cup of mint leaves (pudina), finely chopped
  • Cooking oil, as needed
  • Ghee, as needed
  • Salt, to taste

Marination:

  • ½ cup of hung curd (dahi)
  • 1 tablespoon red chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder (haldi)
  • Salt, as required

Method:

  1. Begin with the rice preparation. To cook basmati rice separately, wash and soak the basmati rice in water for 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, add about 3 litres of water in a large vessel and bring it to boil.
  3. Once the water starts to boil, add 1 teaspoon of cooking oil and 1 teaspoon of salt. 
  4. Add the soaked and drained rice, stir gently once and cook for about 3 to 5 minutes.
  5. Drain the water immediately and spread the rice on a large plate.
  6. In a deep bottomed pan, heat oil on medium flame,  add 1 sliced onion and fry it until brown.
  7. Remove browned onion from oil and keep it aside. This will be used for garnishing and to make the layers.
  8. Clean and wash the chicken thoroughly.
  9. In a mixing bowl, marinate the chicken with thick curd (dahi), red chilli powder, turmeric powder (haldi) and salt. Marinate for at least 30 minutes. 
  10. In a large pan, add oil and heat on medium flame, add the remaining sliced onions and sauté for 3 minutes or until the onions turn translucent. 
  11. Next, add ginger-garlic paste and sauté till the raw smell goes off.
  12. Add slit green chillies and mix for a minute.
  13. To this add chopped tomatoes and sauté till tomatoes turn slightly mushy.
  14. Once the tomatoes are mushy add red chilli powder, coriander powder (dhaniya) and salt and sauté it for about 2 minutes.
  15. Add 3 tablespoons of both coriander and mint leaves and mix.
  16. Finally, add the marinated chicken for the biryani and mix well. Cook until the chicken is fully cooked. 
  17. Once the chicken is cooked, if you find there is excess water, increase the flame and thicken the masala.
  18. Take a large wide, deep vessel, add ghee and spread it to coat all the bottom and sides of the pan, reduce the flame to low. Add about 2 full tablespoons of the thick chicken biryani masala and spread it all over the bottom.
  19. Next, add cooked basmati rice over the chicken biryani masala and gently spread the rice to cover the chicken. 
  20. Use a teaspoon and remove the top oily layer from masala and drizzle over the rice, this will add flavours to the rice and also give colour.
  21. Repeat the layering process until you have used up all rice and chicken. Over the top sprinkle coriander (dhaniya) and mint (pudina) leaves and browned onions and close with a lid.
  22. Ensure the flame is low and place something heavy on top of the lid to trap the steam inside. Leave the dum biryani aside for 10 minutes until all the flavours seep through.
  23. Scoop out the biryani from the edges of the pan, making sure not to break the rice grains.
  24. Serve biryani with raita, raw onions and a wedge of lemon!

2. Mutton Biryani

This saffron-infused delight with mutton is unmatchable. Be it a dinner party or just the weekend, mutton biryani is the best dish to serve.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 star anise (chakra phool)
  • 500 gms basmati rice, blanched
  • 2 bay leaves (tej patta)
  • 2 black cardamom (kali elaichi)
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 6 black peppercorn (kali mirch)
  • 6 green cardamom (elaichi)
  • 2 cinnamon sticks (dalchini)
  • 6 cloves (laung)
  • 1 teaspoon fennel (saunf)
  • ¼ nutmeg (jaiphal)
  • 1 mace (javitri)
  • 3 teaspoons salt

Marination:

  • 1 kg mutton (cut in 2 inches pieces)
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon garlic paste
  • 1 tablespoon ginger paste
  • 3 tablespoons raw papaya paste
  • 4 tablespoons hung curd (dahi)
  • 1 lemon (juiced)
  • Coriander powder (dhaniya)
  • Cumin powder (jeera)
  • 1 tablespoon red chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • other ingredients:
  • 4 onions, sliced
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • ¼ cup milk (warm)
  • Ghee
  • Saffron strands
  • Oil
  • Rosewater
  • Kewra essence
  • 4 green chillies (hari mirchi)

Method:

  1. First, marinate the mutton. To the mutton, add the beaten curd (dahi), ginger-garlic paste, raw papaya paste, chilli powder, salt, lemon juice, garam masala.
  2. Allow the mutton to marinate for 3 hours.
  3. Slice 2 onions very thinly. In a pan or kadai add oil and fry the onion slices till nicely brown. Fry in small batches.
  4. Make sure all the onion slices frying are dipped in oil. Keep stirring continuously but gently for an even brown colour.
  5. Take the fried onions out with a slotted spoon or ladle. Keep them on a paper-towel-lined plate.
  6. Heat ghee in a thick-bottomed pan. Add remaining sliced onions and green chillies (hari mirchi). Cook, stirring continuously, till onions are light golden brown.
  7. Add ginger paste and garlic paste and mix well.
  8. Next, add the marinated mutton and cook on high heat for 7 to 8 minutes.
  9. Then add coriander powder (dhaniya), cumin powder (jeera) and red chilli powder. Mix thoroughly.
  10. Stir in three cups of water, bring it to a boil, reduce heat and cook covered till mutton is almost cooked.
  11. Add tomatoes, salt, garam masala powder and fresh coriander leaves (dhaniya).
  12. Cook for 15 minutes on medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  13. Soak the rice for 20 minutes in water. Wash well till the water runs clear. Drain all the water.
  14. In a small piece of cloth take all the whole spices (cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, javitri, jaiphal, black peppercorn, shahi jeera, star anise) and tie a knot to make a bag (potli).
  15. Bring 750 ml water to boil, add rice, bay leaf, salt and potli, cover and cook till rice is done  ⅓rd.
  16. Drain the water & remove the whole masala potli.
  17. Take ¼th cup of warm milk and dissolve saffron strands in it.
  18. Cover and wait for 20 minutes. Add rose water and kewra essence in the milk. Mix well and cover. Keep aside.
  19. Take a large heavy bottom pan with a tight fitting lid. Add 2 tablespoons ghee to the pan. Melt the ghee on low heat. Turn and rotate the pan carefully so the ghee can coat the bottom and sides of the pan. Switch off the heat.
  20. Add a layer of cooked rice, then cooked meat pieces, sprinkle saffron water, add fried onion slices and ghee.
  21. Again add a layer of rice, then meat. Go on like this till you are done. Top and bottom layers should be rice.
  22. Cover with chopped pudina and coriander, fried onion and slit green chillies (hari mirchi) and juice of half a lemon.
  23. Put the lid on. Seal the pan with flour dough or aluminium foil, then put the lid. Keep the heat to lowest. And cook the biryani for 40 minutes.
  24. After 40 minutes switch off the heat and let the biryani stand for another 10 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl.
  25. Serve with raita and salad.

3. Paneer Biryani

Picture Credit: Archanaskitchen.com

If you are a vegetarian searching for a biryani that suits your dietary needs, then here’s a fantastic recipe. A delightful dish with the goodness of paneer, it’s sure to satisfy your biryani cravings.

Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups of water
  • 2 pods cardamom (elaichi)
  • 4 cloves (laung)
  • 1 inch cinnamon (dalchini)
  • 2 bay leaf (tej patta)
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorns (kali mirch)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • 1 green chilli (hari mirchi), slit
  • 1 cup of basmati rice, soaked 20 minutes
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon ghee
  • 2 bay leaf (tej patta)
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 pod black cardamom (kali elaichi)
  • 1 Mace (javitri)
  • 2 pods cardamom (elaichi)
  • 1 teaspoon shahi jeera
  • ½ onion, sliced
  • 1 tomato, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons coriander leaves (dhaniya), chopped
  • 2 tablespoons mint (pudina), chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fried onion
  • A pinch of biryani masala
  • 2 tablespoons saffron milk
  • 1 teaspoon ghee
  • ¼ cup of water

Marination:

  • 1 cup of thick curd (dahi)
  • 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric (haldi)
  • ¾ teaspoon Kashmiri red chilli powder
  • 2 tablespoons biryani masala
  • 2 tablespoons coriander, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons mint (pudina), chopped
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 15 cubes paneer
  • ½ onion, petals
  • ½ capsicum, cubed

Method:

  1. In a large bowl take 1 cup of curd (dahi), 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste, ¼ teaspoon turmeric (haldi), ¾ teaspoon chilli powder and 2 tablespoons biryani masala.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons coriander (dhaniya), 2 tablespoons mint (pudina), 1 teaspoons oil, 1 tablespoons lemon juice and 1 teaspoon salt.
  3. Whisk and combine well making sure the spices are well combined.
  4. Next, add 15 cubes paneer, ½ onion and ½ capsicum. Mix gently to coat everything nicely.
  5. Cover and marinate for 30 minutes.
  6. In a large vessel take 6 cup of water. Add the whole spices (2 pods of cardamom, 4 cloves, 1 inch cinnamon, 2 bay leaf, ½ teaspoons peppercorn) along with 1 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons oil and 1 chilli.
  7. Boil for 2 minutes. Then add in 1 cup of basmati rice and stir well. make sure to soak rice for at least 20 minutes.
  8. Boil for 3 minutes or until rice is half cooked. Drain off the rice and keep aside.
  9. In a large kadhai, heat 2 tablespoons oil and 1 teaspoon ghee.
  10. Sauté 2 bay leaves, 1 star anise, 1 pod black cardamom, 1 mace, 2 pods cardamom and 1 teaspoon shahi jeera.
  11. Add ½ onion and sauté until it turns golden brown. Next, add 1 tomato and sauté until it turns soft and mushy.
  12. Now put in marinated paneer and sauté well. Sauté until the oil separates from the sides.
  13. further spread prepared rice uniformly.
  14. Top it with 2 tablespoons coriander (dhaniya), 2 tablespoons mint (pudina) and 2 tablespoons fried onion.
  15. Sprinkle a pinch of biryani masala, 2 tablespoons saffron milk, 1 teaspoon ghee and ¼ cup of water.
  16. Cover with aluminium foil and close the lid.
  17. Simmer for 20 minutes or until rice is cooked fully.
  18. Enjoy paneer biryani with raita and slices of onion.

4. Keto Chicken Biryani

Picture Credit: Eazypeazymealz.com

You don’t have to sacrifice your favourite dish while on a diet. This keto chicken biryani recipe is low-carb Indian food at its best.

Preparation Time: 40 mins

Cooking Time: 25 mins

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of roughly grated cauliflower florets
  • 150 gms boneless chicken breast (vegetarians can use diced mixed vegetables)
  • 4 tablespoon coconut oil or ghee
  • 2 teaspoons ginger garlic paste 
  • 1 onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli powder (quantity can be altered as per taste)
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Salt to taste
  • Lemon and coriander leaves (dhaniya) for garnish (optional)

Method:

  1. Cut the chicken into bite-sized cubes and marinate with the ginger garlic paste, lemon juice, salt, turmeric, chilli powder and garam masala. Keep it aside for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil/ghee in a pan and cook the chicken completely. Keep stirring the chicken so it cooks evenly.
  3. Remove the chicken from the pan and keep it aside.
  4. In the same pan, add 2 tablespoons of oil/ghee and cook the chopped onions until they are golden brown.
  5. Add the grated cauliflower (cauliflower rice) to the onion and season with salt, turmeric and chilli powder.
  6. Constantly stir the cauliflower rice until tender.
  7. Mix the chicken with the cauliflower rice, put a lid on the pan and let it simmer for 5-7 minutes. 
  8. Garnish the biryani with lemon slices and chopped coriander leaves (dhaniya).

5. Chicken Tikka Biryani

Give the traditional chicken biryani a new, smokey twist. This delicious recipe is worth the time and a sure hit!

Preparation Time: 1 hour

Cooking Time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

  • 450 grams of basmati rice
  • 5 pods cardamom (elaichi)
  • 5 cloves (laung)
  • 2 cinnamon sticks (dalchini)
  • 2 bay leaves (tejpatta)
  • 1/8 piece nutmeg (jaiphal)
  • 1 black cardamom (kali elaichi)
  • 1 pod star anise
  • 1 teaspoon shahi jeera
  • ¼ cup of mint leaves (pudina)
  • ¼ cup of coriander leaves (dhaniya)
  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • Salt as needed
  • 7 to 8 cups of water
  • 5 to 6 tablespoons oil
  • ¼ cup of fried onions
  • 2 medium onions very thinly sliced
  • 4 to5 green chillies (hari mirchi)
  • 5 tablespoons oil
  • 1½ teaspoon ginger garlic paste
  • 1 cup of semi-thick curd (dahi)
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder (haldi)
  • 2 teaspoons red chilli powder
  • 2 teaspoons biryani masala powder
  • ½ cup of mint leaves (pudina)
  • ½ cup of coriander leaves (dhaniya)
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoons ghee
  • Aluminium foil

Marination:

  • 750 grams chicken boneless
  • Salt as needed
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder (haldi)
  • 1 tablespoon red chilli powder
  • 3 teaspoons tikka masala powder
  • 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
  • ¼ teaspoon orange-red food colour
  • ¼ cup of curd (dahi), thick

Method:

  1. In a mixing bowl, add salt, turmeric powder (haldi), dried red chilli powder, tikka masala powder, orange-red food colour, ginger garlic paste, thick curd (dahi) and mix well.
  2. Add boneless chicken pieces and mix again. Let this marinate for an hour.
  3. Soak basmati rice in water for 30 minutes.
  4. Rinse the soaked rice for 2 to 3 times. Add water, salt, bay leaves, shahi jeera, cloves, cardamom, nutmeg, mace, black cardamom, mint leaves, coriander leaves, ghee, mix well and taste it. Add salt if required.
  5. Put this in a pressure cooker. Cook until the rice is almost done.
  6. Heat a pan and add oil. When the oil is hot add marinated chicken tikka pieces, mix well cover and cook until the chicken becomes tender. Mix the pieces in between.
  7. Turn off the flame when the chicken pieces are done.
  8. Take a heavy bottomed vessel and pour oil.
  9. When the oil is hot, add cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and sauté for a minute.
  10. Add green chillies (hari mirchi), thinly sliced onions, salt and sauté until the onions turn light brown.
  11. Add ginger garlic paste, turmeric powder (haldi), red chilli powder, biryani masala, medium-thick curd (dahi), mint leaves (pudina), coriander leaves (dhaniya), lemon juice and mix well.
  12. Cook on a slow flame until the oil separates. Then take out half of the gravy along with the pieces and keep aside.
  13. Add half of the almost cooked basmati rice and spread it evenly. add some mint leaves, coriander leaves, fried onions, ghee.
  14. Put the remaining gravy on top of the rice layer and repeat the process with the remaining boiled rice.
  15. Cover the vessel with a damp cloth or an aluminium foil and place the lid.
  16. Cook on a very slow flame for 10 to 15 minutes and turn off the flame. Leave for 15 to 20 minutes and serve.

Take your cooking skills up a notch with these biryani recipes. Make it a weekend feast or practice for your next social gathering. Taste the aromatic spices and customise it to your liking!

Srushti Pathak
Srushti Pathak

A blogger, aspiring author and old soul at heart, Srushti Pathak believes in writing stories that touch the heart. She maintains that curiosity defines her zeal for writing and creativity in all spheres of life motivates her.

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