An easy recipe to cook a delicious biryani from scratch and impress your friends and family!

  • Serves 8
  • Prep time 45 minutes
  • Cooking time 1-1 ½ hours


Ingredients in bold available at Spice Bazaar.

  • 1kg mutton or lamb curry pieces on the bone/whole chicken cut up
  • 4Tbs plain yogurt
  • 2-4Tbs Kashmiri masala (depending on preferred level of hot!)
  • 1tsp dhania/coriander powder
  • 1tsp garam masala
  • 3tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1tsp turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 2Tbs lemon juice
  • Fresh mint for lamb and thyme for chicken
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 2 Tbs oil
  • 5 star anis
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1tsp whole jeera/cumin seeds
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 1tsp curry seeds
  • 8-10 fresh curry leaves
Rice and lentils:
  • 2 cups long grain basmati rice
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 1 cup black/brown lentils
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 onion, cut into rings
  • Egg yellow powder for colour
  • 3 medium potatoes cut in quarters
  • Salt to taste
  • Pinch of egg yellow powder for colour
  • 100g butter/margarine


  1. Marinade together mutton/lamb/chicken with yogurt, Kashmiri masala, coriander powder, garam masala, garlic and ginger paste, turmeric powder, lemon juice and fresh mint/thyme for as long as possible overnight preferably.
  2. Soak long grain basmati rice soak in boiling water for 30mins, then rinse and par boil, firm with cinnamon stick and bay leaf. Drain rice and set aside.
  3. Soak lentils in hot water for 30mins. Boil with salt and turmeric powder until cooked.
  4. Brown onion rings in oil (for the top).
  5. Add salt and red colour to potato quarters and rub in. Add butter/margarine and microwave for 10mins.
  6. Fry chopped onion with star anis, cinnamon sticks, whole jeera, large bay leaf, curry seeds
  7. Braise meat, add some water and salt, add curry leaves. Cook for 10-15 minutes for chicken, 20-25mins for lamb or 30-35 minutes for mutton.
  8. Add a little more water to meat if needed. Spoon into a large deep pot/dish with a lid.
  9. Layer over the lentils, reserve a few for the top.
  10. Add some red colour to rice, stir to create a marbled effect. Layer rice on top of lentils.
  11. Add few lentils and onion rings on top of rice, gently stir in slightly.
  12. Cover with foil and add lid.
  13. Put in oven at 180 for an hour for chicken or lamb, and hour and a half for mutton.
  14. Remove from the oven and mix up the different layers.

Delicious served with a carrot and onion salad, a cucumber and yoghurt salad and dhal. For the dhal use a tin of Saikav Split Pea Dhal and follow the easy directions on the can.