qabooli biryani or qubooli biryani recipe | chana dal biryani recipe

by dassana amit updated October 26, 2013

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qabooli biryani or qubooli biryani is from hyderabadi cuisine. the nawabi food is truly a delight for the eyes as well as for the taste buds.

i was lucky to spent some time of my life in hyderabad and savor the hyderabadi delicacies. even though the cuisine has non-vegetarian recipes… there are some equally good vegetarian hyderabadi recipes too. amongst the vegetarian biryanis, there is also a lentil biryani called as qabooli biryani. in urdu qabooli means acceptance.

this qabooli biryani dish looks simple and unassuming, but one bite and you are transported to the land of nawabs and royalty. the qabooli  biryani is made with only one dal/lentil and that is the nutty flavored chana dal or split bengal gram.

chana dal biryani or qabooli biryani

the qabooli biryani is exquisite, aromatic and has rich flavors & taste. the basmati rice, chana dal, yogurt and spices… when they all are cooked together in dum, the whole quality of this chana dal biryani changes to a royal feast.

i have added cashew yogurt in place of  diary yogurt. cashew yogurt works wonderfully in gravies, biryanis and this i say from experience. no one will know the difference. i have made this veg biryani and this kashmiri dum aloo many times with cashew yogurt.

i served the qabooli biryani to my sis and she could not make out the difference. so vegans can make this biryani with cashew curd. vegetarians can use diary yogurt instead.

the qabooli biryani can be served as a main course and served with a side salad, raita and some papad and pickle by the side. i would suggest you to try this recipe atleast once. if you love biryanis, you will for sure love qabooli biryani.

qabooli biryani

you might also love to check these rice dishes:

  1. jeera rice recipe
  2. mix vegetable pulao
  3. hyderabadi veg biryani
  4. vegetable yakhni pulao
  5. south indian mushroom biryani
  6. restaurant style veg dum biryani

qabooli biryani or chana dal biryani recipe below:

5.0 from 1 reviews

qabooli biryani
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
an aromatic and flavorsome one pot dish of a biryani made with bengal gram (chana dal)
Recipe type: main
Cuisine: south indian
Serves: 4
ingredients for cooking the lentil/dal:
  • ½ cup chana dal/dried skinned and split bengal gram
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp salt or as required
  • 1 and ½ cups water
ingredients for cooking the rice:
  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 4 cups water
  • ½ tsp salt or as required
ingredients for making the dal gravy:
  • 2 medium sized onions, finely sliced
  • paste made of or crushed 4-5 garlic & ½ inch ginger
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • ¾ tsp red chili powder
  • ¾ tsp garam masala powder
  • 1 cup cashew yogurt or diary yogurt
  • 3-4 tbsp oil
  • salt as required
ingredients for layering the biryani:
  • ½ cup coriander leaves
  • ½ cup mint leaves
  • ¼ tsp saffron dissolved in 2 tbsp warm water or milk
  • 1 or 2 green chilies, chopped
  1. firstly soak the chana dal in enough water for 1 hour.
  2. drain.
  3. in a pan, heat the 1&1/2 cups water.
  4. add salt.
  5. when the water comes to a boil, add the chana dal and turmeric powder.
  6. stir & cook in an open pan on low or medium flame till the chana dal gets cooked but not mushy. it should be just cooked but not soft.
  7. i check the doneness by pressing the chana dal between the thumb & the index finger and if it smashes easily, the dal is cooked.
  8. you can also taste the dal and check if its cooked.
  9. strain and keep the cooked dal aside.
  10. soak the basmati rice in 4 cups water for 30 minutes.
  11. in a pan add the basmati rice with salt plus water and cook covered till the rice is about ¾ cooked. it should be just cooked and not mushy.
  12. heat oil and add the sliced onions.
  13. brown the onions.
  14. when you see the onions are getting golden browned, quickly remove ½ of the browned onions with a slotted spoon and keep aside. this half of the onions will be used for layering the biryani.
  15. add ginger-garlic paste and saute for 1 minute.
  16. add the yogurt slowly and stir.
  17. add the turmeric, red chili, garam masala powder and salt.
  18. stir and cook for 2-3 minutes
  19. add the cooked chana dal and again stir and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  20. keep the chana dal gravy aside.
  21. in a large pan or an oven proof pyrex bowl, first make a layer of the chana dal gravy.
  22. add some of the chopped mint, coriander, green chilies and fried onions.
  23. make another layer of half of the cooked rice.
  24. top the rice layer with some mint, coriander, green chilies, fried onions & saffron along water or milk
  25. prepare a third layer of the dal gravy again.
  26. top the dal gravy again with the mint, coriander, green chilies and fried onions.
  27. the last and fourth layer is of the rice again.
  28. top the rice layer with the remaining mint, coriander, green chilies, fried onions & saffron along water or milk.
  29. if using a pan, cover with a tight lid. the steam should not escape from the sides.
  30. you can even seal the edges of the lid with wheat flour dough.
  31. keep on low flame and cook the biryani on dum for 25-30 minutes.
  32. in order to avoid the bottom of the biryani from burning, you can also keep the pan on a hot tava or frying pan on a lower flame and cook the biryani.
  33. if using a pyrex bowl, then cover it with an aluminium foil.
  34. place it in a preheated oven at 180 degrees C for 20-25 minutes.
  35. serve qabooli biryani hot or warm with a side salad or raita.

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Pallavi November 15, 2013 1

Hi !

I have never heard about this before and would like to try it out.

Quick question if I am cooking the rice in cooker and needs to be done 3/4 how do I do.



dassana November 17, 2013 2

soak the rice for 30 mins. then for 2 cups rice use 4 cups water and then just pressure cook on high flame for about 2 whistles.


suman sharma July 19, 2013 3

wonderful ha ha maja aa gaya


Nidhi June 12, 2013 4


I made this for dinner today and its yumm. Thank you for the recipe! I just made a small variation and added some biryani masala. Where do I send the picture? Just wanted to share it with you.



dassana June 14, 2013 5

thanks nidhi. you can send the pic on this email id – vegrecipesofindia(AT)gmail(DOT)com or you can send also via the message option through the blog’s facebook page. whatever you are comfortable with.


nishat March 4, 2013 6

Thank you ,for all these great vegetrian recepies.


dassana March 4, 2013 7

welcome nishat.


Shri January 26, 2013 8

One very delicious vegetarian recipe Dassana.
I loved the jeera rice recipe and the plate it was served on too!


Laura January 26, 2013 9

I have made and love this dish. Yours looks fantastic!


dassana January 26, 2013 10

thanks laura.


Anamika | madcookingfusions January 19, 2013 11

I have never made this, looks so delicious. I have to make this biryani for everyone at home. Bookmarked it.


chinmayie @ love food eat January 16, 2013 12

This is so new to me! I have never come across anything like this before. Must try recipe for a rice lover like me.


Rashida Shaikh January 14, 2013 13

I like the one pot meal, whole platter is very appealing, pics are too good.
I want to try the Hyderabadi delicacy…
Hey, Qabooli word has derived from Qabool and it means acceptance. I noticed it up there, so I thought I should tell you.
Have a great weekend ahead.


nags January 14, 2013 14

i have never heard of this biryani before. from your past posts as well, i am guessing you are quite an expert in making biryani :)


dassana January 14, 2013 15

thanks nags.


radha January 14, 2013 16

I thought from the name it was with the whole channa. This is very nice. Looks delicious