• 2 cups basmati rice
  • 1 large onion, sliced thinly
  • 7-8 cashew nuts
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 black cardamom
  • 4 green cardamoms
  • 4 cloves
  • 2” piece of cinnamon
  • 1 mace
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 1/2 tsp poppy seeds
  • 1/2 tsp caraway seeds
  • Salt to taste

Method –

  1. Wash and soak the rice for 30 minutes
  2. After 30 minutes, drain the rice and set aside
  3. Heat ghee in a heavy bottomed pan.
  4. Fry the cashew nuts till golden brown and set aside
  5. Add the whole spices and poppy seeds and caraway seeds into the oil
  6. Sauté for a few seconds and add the onions till golden brown
  7. Add the rice and sauté till it becomes light brown
  8. Add 4 cups of water, salt to taste
  9. Cook it on high flame without lid
  10. Once the water dries up, stir the rice and reduce the flame
  11. Cook on low flame covered with a lid till the rice is cooked
  12. Add the fried cashew nuts
  13. Switch off the flame and let it rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Kolkata Style Chicken Biryani


  • 2 cups Basmati rice
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp rose water
  • 1 tsp keora water
  • 1 heaped tbsp of ghee
  • 750 gm chicken
  • 2 medium potatoes
  • 5 big onions
  • 20-25 cloves of garlic
  • 1” piece of ginger
  • 150 gm plain curd
  • 1 tbsp red chilli powder
  • A pinch of sugar
  • 2 tbsp warm milk
  • A pinch of saffron
  • 4 boiled eggs
  • Salt to taste

For the Biryani Masala –

  • 1 tbsp caraway seeds
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp white pepper
  • 2-3 black cardamoms
  • 7-8 green cardamoms
  • 1 whole nutmeg
  • 2 whole maces
  • 5-6 cloves
  • 1” cinnamon stick

Method –

  1. Dry roast all the whole spices on a hot tawa, till they start to release their aroma.
  2. Take them off the heat and let them cool a little following which blend them to get the powdered spice.
  3. Sieve the ground spice and store in an airtight container.
  4. To prepare the rice, take 4 or 5 cups of water in a pan and bring it to a boil.
  5. Add couple of green cardamom, 1 clove and a cinnamon stick. Add a pinch of salt.
  6. When the water starts to boil, add the rice and cook till it is done. Drain the extra water.
  7. Clean under running water to get rid of excess starch and salt. Take a flat plate and spread the rice.
  8. Slice the onions and fry them with a pinch of sugar in 2 tbsp oil till they caramelise
  9. We will use half of the onions to cook the chicken and half for assembling the final dish.
  10. Peel the garlic and ginger, blend them in a blender with a spoonful of water till you get a smooth paste.
  11. The ratio of ginger and garlic should be approximately 1:3.
  12. Take 2 spoonful of warm milk and add a pinch of saffron strands and keep it aside so the milk gets the color.
  13. Wash the chicken pieces and pat them dry with a kitchen towel or clean cloth.
  14. Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a pan and sear all the chicken pieces.
  15. After the chicken pieces starts to get a golden brown color, add half of the fried onions, all the ginger-garlic paste, plain curd, 1 tbsp biryani spice-mix, 1 tbsp red chili powder, 2 tsp rose water (if you are using rose essence then use 1 tsp), 1 tsp Keora water and salt.
  16. Mix well and bring it to a simmer. Reduce the heat and let it cook for at least 20 mins.
  17. Check occasionally, if required add a little water. We do not want a lot of gravy.
  18. When done take the chicken off the heat and keep them in a separate bowl.
  19. Take two potatoes, cut them into four pieces each and cook them in a pressure cooker with a pinch of salt. When done keep them aside.
  20. In the same pan, after finishing the chicken, fry the boiled potatoes till they start to acquire some golden color. Turn off the heat.
  21. Now that we have all the elements of biryani ready, we just need to assemble them.
  22. Take a heavy bottomed pan.
  23. In the pan, put the potatoes, chicken at the bottom, top it up with 2 tbs of gravy, some fried onion and a pinch of biryani masala.
  24. Now add a layer of rice. Top it up with fried onion, 1 tbs of gravy, a pinch of biryani spice-mix and 1 tsp of saffron milk.
  25. Put another layer of rice. Top it up with fried onion, 1 tbs of gravy, a pinch of biryani spice and a tsp of saffron milk and boiled eggs.
  26. Drizzle the ghee on the top.
  27. Cover the pan with a lid. Try to use a pan with a tight fitting lid. Put the pan on low flame and cook it for 10 mins. Turn off the heat and let it rest for another 5 mins.

Chicken Korma Pulao (Assamese Muslim Style Pulao) is


  • 1 kg chicken, cut into medium sized pieces, washed and drained
  • 2 medium onions, sliced finely
  • 2 pieces of cinnamon stick
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 7-8 pieces of cloves
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 7-8 cardamoms, half crushed
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1/2 cup yogurt, whisked
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 1/4 cup of oil
  • Salt and sugar to taste
  • 500 gm gobindobhog rice

Method –

  1. Wash and rinse the rice
  2. Soak the rice for 30 minutes
  3. Drain the rice in a colander and set aside
  4. There should be no moisture in the rice
  5. Heat a pan on medium heat
  6. Add oil and ghee to the pan
  7. Once the oil gets hot, add 1 tsp sugar and let it caramelise
  8. Add bay leaves and sliced onions
  9. Sauté the onions till it turns golden in colour
  10. Add the cinnamon sticks, cloves and peppercorns
  11. Sauté the onions for another 2-3 minutes
  12. Add the crushed cardamoms, ginger and garlic paste
  13. Sauté till the raw smell goes away
  14. If required, sprinkle a little water
  15. Add the chicken pieces and sauté till the chicken changes colour to white
  16. Keep sautéing till the colour changes to golden
  17. Add the beaten yogurt
  18. Keep stirring the yogurt and chicken for 2-3 minutes
  19. Add salt and sugar to taste
  20. Put the lid on and cook on low heat for 5 minutes
  21. Remove the lid and keep sautéing till the water dries up and the oil separates
  22. Add the strained rice
  23. Sauté the rice along with the chicken taking care that it doesn’t stick to the pan
  24. When the colour of the rice changes, add water (double the quantity of rice)
  25. Adjust the salt if necessary
  26. Cook covered on medium flame for 10 minutes
  27. Open the lid, turn the rice part by part and keep it on very low heat on a griddle for 20 minutes.
  28. Serve with raita and salad on the side

Dindigul Thalapakatti Mutton Biryani


For the Masala –

  • 5 Green Chillies
  • 2 pieces two inch cinnamon sticks
  • 3 cardamom
  • 3 cloves
  • ⅛ th of a nutmeg
  • 1 small piece Mace
  • 2 inch piece ginger
  • 12 cloves Garlic
  • 10 shallots (100 grams)

For the Biryani –

  • 500 gm Seeraga Samba Rice
  • 500 gm Mutton with bone
  • 2 tbsp Ghee
  • 3 tbsp Sunflower Oil
  • ½ tsp Red Chilli Powder
  • ½ cup curd
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup chopped mint leaves
  • 1/3 cup chopped coriander leaves
  • Juice of half a lime

Method –

  1. Before starting to cook, wash and soak the rice for at least half an hour.
  2. Grind all the ingredients listed under masala paste with half a cup of water. Set aside.
  3. Heat oil and ghee in a pressure cooker and add in the Masala paste. Add in the mutton to the pan.
  4. Add in two cups of water and add in the salt.
  5. Add in the curd and red chilli powder.
  6. Mix well and cook the mutton in the masala for 20 minutes on a medium flame. Remove the cooker from heat and wait for the pressure to settle.
  7. Remove the cooked meat to a bowl and roughly measure how much liquid is left behind.
  8. Mine had about 1.5 cups of liquid. Just measure roughly. It need not be accurate.
  9. We require 2 times water to the quantity of rice. So we need to add 4 cups water. There was already 1.5 cups gravy that we measured before. So I added 2.5 cups water to the mixture. Add in the chopped coriander leaves and the mint leaves. Let the mixture come to a boil.
  10. Add back the meat and let it come to a boil again. Check for seasoning. Add more salt if necessary. Drain the soaked rice and add it to the pan.
  11. Wait for it to boil. Add in the lime juice.
  12. Cover the pan with a lid and let it cook for the first 4 minutes on medium flame.
  13. Open the lid. Gently mix once from the bottom, cover the lid again and simmer for 10 minutes on very low flame.
  14. After that time, open the lid and mix well. The rice will be 3/4 cooked. Cook for a couple of minutes more.
  15. Switch off the flame and close the pan with a lid. Do not disturb for the next 20 minutes. The rice will get swollen and absorb all the left out moisture. This time is very important. Do not rush.
  16. Serve hot with raita

Chicken Biryani – Kerala Style


For the Rice –

  • Basmati rice – 2 cups
  • Water – 4 cups
  • Cloves – 4
  • Green cardamoms – 4
  • Cinnamon stick – 1”
  • Bay leaves – 1
  • Lemon juice – 2 tsp freshly squeezed
  • Salt to taste

For Marinating Chicken

  • Chicken – 500 gm
  • Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
  • Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
  • Yogurt – 1/2 cup
  • Biryani masala – 1/2 tsp
  • Salt to taste

For Chicken Masala –

  • Onion – 4 medium, thinly sliced
  • Tomato – 2 medium, chopped
  • Green chillies – 7-8, chopped
  • Ginger – 1” piece
  • Garlic – 8-10 cloves
  • Biryani masala
  • Red chilli powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Coriander powder – 2 tbsp
  • Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Mint leaves – 1/4 cup, chopped
  • Coriander leaves – 1/2 cup, chopped
  • Oil/ghee – 2 tbsp

For Nutty Paste –

  • Fennel seeds – 1 tsp
  • Poppy seeds – 1 tsp
  • Grated coconut – 3 tbsp
  • Cashew nuts – 10

For Garnishing –

  • Cashew nuts – A handful
  • Raisins – A handful
  • Ghee – 3-5 tbsp
  • Onion – 1 cup, thinly sliced
  • Coriander and mint leaves – A handful
  • Saffron – A few strands
  • Warm milk – 2 tbsp

Method –

Preparing the Nutty Paste-

  • Soak the poppy seeds, fennel seeds, cashew nuts in water for 30 minutes and grind it to a smooth paste along with the grated coconut and set aside

Cooking the Chicken Masala –

  1. Cut the chicken into medium sized pieces and drain the water well
  2. Grind ginger, garlic, green chillies to a coarse paste and set aside
  3. Marinate the chicken with turmeric powder, red chilli powder, yogurt, biryani masala and salt for 1 hour at room temperature and shallow fry the chicken
  4. Heat oil/ghee in a pan, add thinly sliced onions, sauté until it is translucent.
  5. Add ginger, garlic, green chilli paste, sauté till it becomes brown, add chopped tomatoes and sauté till soft
  6. Add the biryani masala, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, coriander powder, sauté well till the raw smell goes
  7. Add the chopped coriander and mint leaves and mix well
  8. Add the shallow fried chicken. Cover and cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes. Add water if needed and adjust salt
  9. Add the nutty paste. Cook for a couple of minutes, when the chicken is done, keep aside

Cooking the Rice

  1. Soak the rice for 30 minutes and drain the water completely
  2. Boil the required water, with half of the whole masala (cardamoms, cloves and cinnamon) and add little oil and salt
  3. Heat ghee in a pan, add the remaining whole masala
  4. Add the drained rice, when the rice starts cracking, add it to the boiled water and cook uncovered till the rice is 90% done
  5. Drain the excess water immediately from the rice, spread it on a tray, sprinkle lemon juice and set aside

Preparing for Garnish

  1. Heat ghee, fry thinly sliced onion till golden colour and crispy. Drain on a paper towel
  2. Fry cashews and then raisins, remove on a paper towel
  3. Mix saffron threads in warm milk and keep aside

Final Cooking and Layering –

  1. Preheat the oven to 180° C
  2. Grease an oven proof dish
  3. Spread half of the chicken masala
  4. Spread half of the cooked rice over it
  5. Sprinkle biryani masala, fried cashews, raisins, fried onions, chopped coriander and mint leaves, sprinkle left over ghee and a few drops of saffron milk over the rice
  6. Repeat this process for another layer
  7. Cover with aluminium foil and bake it for 20 minutes

Mutton Biryani

Serves 8


For mutton curry –

  • 1 kg mutton cut into 2” cubes
  • 1 1/4 cups oil
  • 5 cloves
  • 5 green cardamoms
  • 2” cinnamon stick
  • 3 large onions finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped mint leaves
  • 1 cup finely chopped coriander leaves
  • 2 tbsp ginger paste
  • 2 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 4 large potatoes, cut in halves
  • 1.5 cups yogurt
  • 1/4 fresh coconut, ground to a paste
  • 6 slit green chillies

For Rice –

  • 1 kg basmati rice
  • 10 mint leaves
  • 6 cloves
  • 6 green cardamoms
  • 6 pieces of 1” cinnamon sticks
  • 4 tbsp salt

To complete the biryani

  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 3 pinches of saffron threads soaked in 1/2 cup milk

Method –

For mutton curry –

  1. Wash the meat and set in a colander to drain
  2. Put the oil in a pressure cooker on moderate heat
  3. When hot, add the whole spices and fry till they splutter
  4. Add the onions and fry till golden brown
  5. Add the mint and coriander leaves and fry well for about 5 minutes
  6. Add ginger, garlic and salt and fry for about 5 minutes sprinkling water as required
  7. Add the spice powders and cook for about 5 minutes
  8. Add the meat
  9. Now cook for about 10 minutes stirring continuously
  10. Pour in 1/4 cup water and pressure cook for 10 minutes after the cooker reaches full pressure
  11. Open the cooker and add the potatoes
  12. Pressure cook for 5 minutes so that the potatoes are cooked
  13. Stir in the yogurt after opening the cooker and start reducing the curry, till the water evaporates and oil separates, leaving a thick non runny gravy
  14. Lower the heat and add the coconut paste
  15. Add the chillies after a few minutes
  16. Take the pan off the heat, remove 1/2 cup oil which will be used later

For rice –

  • Wash the rice and soak it in water for 30 minutes
  • Fill a large heavy pan with about 5 litres of water
  • Add the mint, whole spices and salt and bring it to a boil
  • Drain the rice and add it to the boiling water
  • Cook till the rice is 90% done
  • Instantly drain all the water from the rice using a colander

To Complete the Biryani –

  1. Return half the rice to the heavy pan.
  2. Spread the entire meat korma over the rice
  3. Cover the korma with the balance rice
  4. Heat the reserved 1/2 cup oil
  5. Pour it on the rice in circles
  6. Now, drizzle the lime juice followed by the saffron infused milk
  7. Cover the underside of the lid with a clean damp cloth and bring the cloth over the top
  8. Place something heavy on the lid so that the steam does not escape
  9. Put a tava or griddle on high heat and place the pan of biryani on it
  10. Leave it for 5 minutes before lowering the heat
  11. Cook for 20 minutes and serve

Ambur Chicken Biryani

This is a signature dish from Ambur town in the district of Tirupattur in northern Tamil Nadu…..and this is one of the simplest biryani recipes


  • 750 gm chicken
  • 3/4 cup hung yogurt
  • 3 tomatoes chopped
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 1/3 tsp turmeric powder
  • A few sprigs of fresh coriander, chopped
  • A few mint leaves
  • 400 gm jeera samba rice
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 cloves
  • 4 green cardamoms
  • 4 medium onions, finely sliced
  • 2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • Salt to taste

Directions –

  1. Marinate the chicken with yogurt, tomatoes, ginger garlic paste, turmeric powder, coriander and mint leaves and salt and mix well. Allow to marinate for 1 hour
  2. Wash and soak the rice for 30 minutes. Drain out the water. Boil about 2 litres of water with 1 bay leaf, 3 cloves, 2 green cardamoms, 1 tsp oil and salt. When the water starts to boil, add the rice and cook for about 7-8 minutes till two-thirds done. Drain the water and transfer the rice to a wide dish
  3. To cook the chicken, heat 1/2 cup oil in a wok and add 1 bay leaf, 3 cloves, 2 green cardamoms. Add the onions and fry the onions till golden brown. Add the marinated chicken and keep stirring till the contents come to a boil. Cook till the oil starts to surface. Add red chilli powder, coriander powder and salt and cook for another 4-5 minutes. Add a little water and cook till the chicken is tender. When done, there should be about 1 cup gravy left.
  4. Now take a wide heavy bottomed pan. Transfer the chicken into the pan. Add the rice over it and mix gently. Add 1 tbsp melted ghee over the rice. Cover with a tight lid and cook on low flame till rice is done.