Hyderabadi Biryani

Today being a holiday, my son wanted me to make biryani. It’s been long since I made one too. Though making biryani is not difficult or needs any special skill, it is very laborious. Also you need to have good recipe and loads of patience:)

I had written down this recipe long time back. Not sure from where. I decided to make this today. As I said, it did take lot of time. But it was totally worth the effort as my family feasted on the biryani:)



For the rice layer
Basmati rice – 2 cups
Cardamom – 2-3
Cinnamon – 2 inches
Cloves – 3-4
Bay leaves – 2-3
Star anise – 1
Saffron – a pinch
Salt – 1 tsp

For the vegetable layer
Chopped cauliflower – 1+1/2 cups
Chopped carrots – 1 cup
Chopped beans – 1 cup

For the marinade
Yogurt – 3/4th cup
Milk – 1/4th cup
Saffron – 2 pinches
Chopped mint leaves ( pudina) – 1/2 cup
Crushed and chopped garlic – 1 tsp
Chopped ginger – 1 tsp
Slit green chillies – 2
Lemon juice – 1 tsp
Red chilli powder – 4 tsps
Coriander powder ( dhania ) – 2 tbsp
Salt to taste

Ghee – 2 tsps
Sliced onions – 1 cup
Sliced tomatoes 1 cup
Cardamom – 2
Cloves – 2
Sugar – 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Garam masala powder – 1/2 tsp
Biryani masala powder – 2 tsps ( can use store bought or home made)

For home made biryani masala powder
Cardamom – 3-4
Cloves – 2-3
Cinnamon – 1/2 inch
Shah jeera – 1 tsp
Whole pepper – 10-12

For the biryani layers
Browned onions – 1 cup
Chopped coriander leaves – 1/2 cup
Ghee – 3-4 tsps
Milk – 3/4th cup
Saffron – 1/2 tsp

For the garnish
Fried dry fruits – 2 tbdps
Chopped coriander leaves – 2 tbsp
Chopped mint leaves – 2 tbsps
Fried garlic – 1 tbsp
Fried onions – 2 tbsps


To make the rice layer

Wash and soak basmati rice for 15-20 mins.
Drain and keep it aside.

Heat lots of water in a pan. Add the whole garam masalas mentioned and the saffron.

When the water starts boiling vigorously, add 1/2 tsp of salt and the drained rice.

Let it cook for few mins. The rice should be only half cooked. (When you press the grain, it should break).

Drain the rice and wash it in running water to stop further cooking. Drain it completely again. Spread the rice on a tray and remove all the whole garam masalas.


To make the vegetable layer

Dry roast the ingredients mentioned for biryani masala. Cool and grind to a powder. Keep it aside.

Add the cauliflower, beans and carrot in a big bowl and all the other ingredients mentioned for the marinade. Add the saffron milk and mix well. Check for the seasonings. Let it marinate for an hour.

Heat ghee in a pan. Add the sliced onions and sauté till it starts browning. Add sugar, cardamom and cloves and continue to sauté for few mins. Add the chopped tomatoes and sauté till the tomatoes turn soft.
Now add the marinated vegetables and mix well. Check for the seasonings again.
Cover the pan and cook till the vegetables are half cooked. Add the biryani masala powder and sauté for few seconds. Take it off the gas.


For assembling the biryani
Soak saffron in milk for some time.

Take a broad based heavy bottom pan.
Add some rice and spread well. Press the rice gently to pack it well. This will be the first layer.

Now spread some vegetables evenly. Top it some fried onions, ghee, chopped coriander leaves and saffron milk. This will be the second layer.

Now repeat the layers once again. The final layer will be rice topped with fried onions, ghee, chopped coriander leaves and the remaining saffron milk.



Press gently and pack it well.
Wrap the lid with a clean kitchen towel and close the pan tightly.

Heat a heavy iron tawa ( girdle). Reduce the the flame and place the pan on the iron tawa and let it cook for 25-30 mins.


After 30 mins, take it off the gas and let it rest for few mins.


Garnish the biryani with some fried onions, fried garlic, dry fruits, coriander and mint leaves and serve hot with yogurt or raita:)