Biryani Recipe

on Saturday, June 9, 2012

Biryani Recipe by

Biryani is my favorite Indian dish! I never skip ordering it whenever we are at an Indian restaurant. For years I kept trying to prepare it at home with recipes provided by friends or books, but they never tasted like the Biryani I love! But I was determined I will learn how to do it; I am not a person that gives up easily.

My strategy was to find an Indian woman and learn it from her. Living in the United Arab Emirates, which has a large number of Indians, I thought that was an easy task. So I set about asking my friends if they had an Indian friend who could teach me… my efforts were useless, I couldn’t find anyone. My next attempt was to try to find an Indian lady in the market, I would go to the supermarket or grocery and start scanning all visitors… result? Unsuccessful. I couldn’t believe it, this was turning into mission impossible!

Then one evening as my husband and I were returning from dinner, we were greeted by our Indian guard and I had an idea… just by the look in my eyes, my husband knew what I was about to do and told me “you are crazy!” But my mind was set, and I asked him “do you know how to cook biryani?”

You cannot imagine my feelings at that time. This action may seem very normal in many parts of the world, but in our culture it is very much out of the norm. Every cell in my body was flushing with anxiety, if I was a Christmas Tree I would probably have lit the whole neighborhood. But all my anxiety disappeared when he answered “sure madam.” Upon hearing that I quickly asked him (before my courage disappeared) “will you teach me?”

This is how I learnt to cook the best biryani ever, even better than the one you get at restaurants. He even thought me how to cook many other Indian dishes that we enjoy at home. As you are preparing this dish you will be taken by the aroma of the spices that will fill your house… heavenly, especially if you ground your spices just before using them.

I hope you try this recipe, you will love it!

Biryani Recipe

Guest post prepared and submitted by Rania Shuraffa'a

Preparation time: 20 min               Cook time: 90 min


2      teaspoons turmeric
3      teaspoons biryani spices
3      teaspoons kabseh spices
2      teaspoons ground cinnamon
3      teaspoons cardamom
2      kilograms lamb meat
3      bay leaves
2      tablespoons vegetable oil (canola, sunflower, or corn)
3      large cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
9      large onions, peeled and coarsely chopped (wings)
1      big fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1      hot green chilli, finely chopped
10    large red tomatoes, diced chopped
2      teaspoon tomato paste
1/4   cup fresh coriander, washed and chopped 
3      teaspoons salt

For Basmati rice

3       tablespoon vegetable oil
3      cups basmati rice
5        cups water
2      large green bell peppers, coarsely chopped
1       teaspoon saffron soaked in 1/4 tea cup of rose water

How to make Biryani:

  • Mix the turmeric, biryani spices, kabseh spices, and ground cinnamon in a small dish.
  • Wash your meet well and pat dry.
  • Put the meat in a pot, add water to cover. Add the bay leaves and ¼ of the amount of the spices and boil the meat until it is cooked well. Set aside to cool.
  • As the meat is cooling, chop your vegetables.
  • Heat the oil in the pan and sauté the onions, garlic, and cooked meat. Mix well and cook  until onions are translucent (clear and transparent); about ten minutes.
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  • Add the chopped ginger and hot chili, stir for 3 minutes.
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  • Add the remainder of the spices, chopped tomatoes, tomato paste. Mix well and cook for 5 minutes.
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  • Add the fresh coriander and salt. Mix and simmer covered over medium heat for half an hour or until you get thick sauce.
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  • Prepare the pot you want to cook and serve your baryani in. Layer 1/2 of the chopped bell peppers.
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  • In separated pot boil the water and oil for the rice. Add the basmati rice and cook for 3 minutes after which you take the rice on the top (it is about 1/3 of the portion and not well cooked) and you will lay the rice on the bed of bell pepper.
  • On top of the layer of rice, spread half of the meat mixture. 
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  • Boil the remainder of the rice for two more minutes, then scoop another portion of the rice (half the remaining rice) and lay it over the meat sauce layer.
  • Spread the remaining green peppers over the layer of rice then spread the remaining meat sauce over it. Boil the remaining rice for 2 minutes and spread it over the meat sauce. The result is three layers of rice and two layers of meat sauce. Also the top layer of the rice is well cooked, the middle layer is cooked a bit less, and the first layer is the least cooked rice. 
  • Sprinkle the soaked saffron on top. Cover and cook over low heat for about half an hour or until your rice is well cooked.

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Biryani rice is served with Yogurt Chutney Sauce.

Hope you enjoyed today’s easy recipe: Biryani; an authentic Indian dish. Bon appetite.

What is your favorite Indian dish? Where did you learn how to prepare it?

اضغط الرابط لقراءة وصفة البرياني الهندي باللغة العربية

RaniaRania Al Shurafa'a: A mom of four adorable kids I feel that my kitchen is my haven where I forget myself in the heat of preparing different kinds of dishes. I often ask women from different nationalities for recipes of authentic dishes from their countries. My nose is programmed to sniff the smell of delicious food and on more than one occasion I have knocked the doors of my neighbors to ask them about the aromatic food they are cooking. My husband jokes that my nose will kill you one day! I use freshly grounded spices, so if you are preparing my dishes with packed spices, increase the portions a bit. Hope you will give my recipes a try.