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How to Make Biryani (Briyani)
Step by step fully illustrated recipe

It is not difficult if you learn how to make biryani (also spelled briyani or biriyani) the way I teach you in this page. All it takes is a bit of time and patience to prepare the ingredients to make biryani. This recipe can feed up to 15 people (especially for those who love good food but are on a strict slimming diet!).

This recipe I used to promote TupperChef cookware for my consultants. By learning to use the stainless steel cookware, everyone is aware about the features and benefits of using the products.

A plate of biryani
A plate of Biryani

However, I would like to advise, for the first time making it, divide all ingredients into half. The reason is because, you may make mistakes on the first batch. It is an educational, relatively easy to follow recipe and delicious.  Have fun trying it out yourself.


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Rice and nuts Chicken pieces seasoned with salt Sliced fresh green chilies

Diced and sliced tomatoes Lemon juicer Fresh coriander, mint and scallion

  • 1kg basmathi rice (soaked for 4 hours with diced carrot, almond, cashew and raisins)
  • 1 carrot (diced finely)
  • 100 g whole cashew nut
  • 100g whole almond
  • 100g raisins
  • 1 chicken cut into 12 pieces and seasoned lightly with salt
  • 500g ripe tomatoes, half is diced and the other portion is sliced thinly
  • 7 fresh green chilies - sliced
  • 3 inches of fresh ginger processed finely with garlic (2 whole garlic)
  • 2 whole garlic (to be processed with the ginger above
  • 3/4 cup cooking oil
  • 1 lemon (juice from 1/2 lemon is for boiling rice, the other half for making biryani, you may use yoghurt also for this purpose; see below)
  • 1/2 cup each for fresh mint, scallion, Chinese parsley and fresh coriander leaves
  • 1/2 cup yogurt (if you want, you can substitute lemon juice with yogurt)
  • 3 tbs melted Ghee (clarified butter)


Indian Bay Leaves Whole spices Powdered spices

Ginger and garlic in processor Processed ginger and garlic Fried onions

  • 1 tbs briyani powder mix (also known as biryani masala)
  • 2 tbs coriander powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp anise powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp each star anise, cardamom, cloves (half is grounded, the other used whole)
  • 2 cinnamon stick (half is grounded, the other used whole)
  • 5 pieces of dried Indian Bay leaves
  • 10 saffron strands (if available)


Using the stockpot:

Parboiling basmathi rice Pour lemon juice Fluffy cooked rice

  • Boil 4 liters of water
  • When boiling, pour in soaked rice with the nuts and cook for about 10 minutes over boiling heat together with whole spices and 2 pieces of Indian bay leaves
  • Squeeze half a lemon to avoid the rice from being sticky
  • Sprinkle salt liberally
  • Strain and set aside when rice is fluffy

Using the wok:

Saute spices Add diced tomatoes Add chicken

  • Heat cooking oil in the wok
  • Cook the onions until golden brown
  • Set aside the onions for later use
  • Sauté the powdered spices together with grounded spices until fragrant
  • Add diced tomatoes
  • Add chicken pieces
  • When chicken pieces are half cooked, add in processed garlic and ginger
  • Mix well, add in 1/2 cup yogurt or another half of lemon juice

Half cooked chicken Add ginger, garlic and green chilies Add yogurt

Halved the chicken pieces First layers Sprinkle fried onion

Start layering:

  • Remove half of the chicken pieces
  • Put half of the rice on to of the remaining chicken pieces in the wok
  • Layer with half the fresh herbs, fried onions and sliced tomatoes
  • Repeat the process with the remaining rice, chicken pieces, fresh herbs, onion and sliced tomatoes.
  • Sprinkle saffron
  • Sprinkle melted Ghee
  • Cover the wok
  • Cook over very very slow fire for about 20 minutes
  • Fluff up the rice once or twice
  • Serve hot with pappadom and achar

Last layers Pour melted Ghee Gently fold it

Tip:  To avoid rice being burned, you may raise the wok using an extra piece of metal between the wok and the source of fire.

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