biryani rice

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Biryani rice Recipe with step by step photos. Biryani rice is a light, aromatic rice dish and goes well with any rich vegetarian curry or dal. Gluten-free and vegan recipe.

biryani rice recipe, biryani chawal recipe

I remember biryani chawal often being ordered by my parents when we would go out for dinners or parcel the food for home. It was one rice dish that was always ordered. My parents would have the rice with some chicken curry and I would have the rice with palak paneer or dal makhani. Strange but a fact. This was always my favorite combination squeezed with some lemon juice on top.

So much so, that my dad would get palak paneer or dal makhani and biryani chawal especially for me, when he would get food from out. After having biryani chawal in various places, I have come to a really good version of making this rice dish at home.

There are many variations of this recipe. in the south they make a similar dish which goes by the name Kuska rice. the vegetarian version is made with coconut milk or yogurt.

Biryani rice is basically spiced rice. the rice is cooked with spices. So what is the difference between Jeera rice and biryani rice. In jeera rice, the rice has flavors of cumin along with other spices. Whereas in biryani rice, the rice is just cooked with spices & herbs.

To add some texture and flavor to the rice, I have also garnished with fried onions and cashews. And yes these two do add a lot to this recipe of biryani rice.

For some color and aroma, I have used saffron. However if you are comfortable with artificial coloring, then you can use yellow or orange color. But my suggestion would be to go for natural based coloring ingredients.

This biryani rice, is best served with any rich curry like paneer butter masala, shahi paneer, malai kofta, baingan masala, bagara baingan. Also goes well with dal tadka or dal fry.

Along with biryani chawal serve some boondi raita or onion-tomato raita or a kuchumber and you have a meal fit for a king. Remember to have some nice Indian dessert towards the end of the meal like kulfi or falooda or gulab jamun.

How to make biryani rice

1. rinse 1 cup basmati rice for a couple of times in water, till the water runs clear of starch. soak the basmati rice in water for 30 minutes. Later drain and keep aside.

rice for biryani rice recipe

2. Heat 2 tbsp oil or ghee in a pressure cooker or a thick bottomed pan. Add ½ tsp caraway seeds along with the whole spices – 1 tej patta (Indian bay leaf), 3 to 4 cloves, 4 to 5 black pepper, 1 small star anise, 1 inch cinnamon, 3 to 4 green cardamoms and 2 to 3 single strands of mace. Saute them till fragrant.

making biryani rice recipe

3. Now add the 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste, 1 tbsp chopped coriander and 1 tbsp chopped mint leaves.

ginger for biryani rice recipe

4. Stir and saute till the raw aroma of ginger-garlic disappears.

making biryani rice recipe

5. Add the soaked rice grains and 18 to 20 saffron strands.

rice for biryani rice recipe

6. Stir gently and saute for a minute.

making biryani rice recipe

7. add 1.5 to 1.75 cups of water. Depending on the quality of rice, you can add less or more water.

making biryani rice recipe

8. stir well.

making biryani rice recipe

9. Season with salt.

salt for biryani rice recipe

10. Squeeze 5 to 6 drops of lemon juice. Stir.

adding lemon juice

11. Cover the pressure cooker tightly with its lid and pressure cook on medium to high flame for 1 to 2 whistles or for 6 to 7 minutes. Depending on the size of the cooker, the time will vary. So for a 2 litre cooker, it takes about 8 to 10 minutes and for a 3 litre cooker, it takes about 6 to 7 minutes.

For cooking in a pan – if cooking in a pan, then cover the pan tightly with a lid. Let the rice cook till its just done. the rice grains should be cooked well and yet remain separate. They should not become soft or mushy. While cooking in a pan, check in between But don’t stir as this will break the rice grains. if you feel the water is less, then just add the required amount of hot water.

pressure cooking rice for biryani

12. When the pressure settles down on its own, open the lid and gently fluff the rice.

biryani rice recipe

Making garnish for biryani rice

13. Meanwhile while the rice is pressure cooking, prepare the garnish and its totally optional. Heat ½ tbsp oil in a small frying pan and add ⅓ cup thinly sliced onions.

onions for biryani rice recipe

14. Stir well and saute on a low to medium flame stirring often. add a pinch of salt so that the onions brown quickly.

onions for biryani rice recipe

15. Saute till the onions turn golden.

onions for biryani rice recipe

16. Remove and drain them on kitchen paper tissues so that the extra oil is soaked.

onions for biryani rice recipe

17. In the same pan, add 10 to 12 cashews.

cashews for biryani rice recipe

18. Saute the cashews till golden.

cashews for biryani rice recipe

19. Remove the golden cashews and place them on kitchen paper tissues.

cashews for biryani rice recipe

20. while being served, Garnish the biryani rice with the fried onions, cashews and chopped mint leaves or coriander leaves.

biryani rice biryani chawal

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biryani rice recipe

Biryani Rice

4.91 from 10 votes
Biryani rice is a light, aromatic rice dish. Biryani chawal is easy to prepare and goes very well with any rich vegetarian curry or dal.
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 40 mins

Cuisine North Indian
Course: Main Course
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Difficulty Level: Easy

Servings 3 to 4
Units

Ingredients

Main ingredients

  • 1 cup basmati rice - 200 grams
  • 1.5 to 1.75 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons oil or ghee (clarified butter)
  • 1 tej patta (Indian bay leaf), medium-sized
  • 3 to 4 cloves
  • 4 to 5 black peppercorns
  • 1 star anise (small-sized) - optional
  • 1 inch cinnamon
  • 3 to 4 green cardamoms
  • 2 to 3 single strands of mace
  • ½ teaspoon caraway seeds (shahjeera)
  • 1 teaspoon Ginger-Garlic Paste or 3 to 4 garlic cloves + ½ inch ginger - crushed to a paste in mortar-pestle
  • 1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves (cilantro)
  • 1 tablespoon mint leaves
  • 18 to 20 saffron strands
  • 5 to 6 drops lemon juice
  • salt as required

For garnish

  • cup thinly sliced onions or 1 medium-sized onion
  • 10 to 12 cashews
  • ½ to 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons mint leaves or coriander leaves

Instructions

Soaking rice

  • Rinse the basmati rice for a couple of times in water.
  • Soak the basmati rice in water for 30 minutes. Later drain and set aside.

Sautéing spices, herbs and rice

  • Heat oil or ghee in a pressure cooker.
  • Add the caraway seeds along with the whole spices and saute them till fragrant.
  • Now add the ginger-garlic paste, chopped coriander and mint leaves.
  • Saute till the raw aroma of ginger-garlic disappears.
  • Then add the soaked rice and saffron strands. Stir gently.
  • Now add water, 5 to 6 drops of lemon juice and salt. Mix well.

Cooking biryani rice

  • Pressure cook for 1 to 2 whistles or for 6 to 7 minutes.
  • If cooking in a pan, then cover the pan tightly with a lid. Let the cook rice till its just done.
  • The rice grains should be cooked well and yet remain separate. They should not become soft or mushy. While cooking in a pan, check in between but don't stir as this will break the rice grains.
  • If you feel the water is less, then just add the required amount of hot water.
  • Cover and let the rice cook till done.

Preparing garnish

  • Whilst the rice is cooking, heat oil in a small pan. Add the sliced onions and fry till they become golden.
  • Add a pinch of salt so that the onions brown quickly.
  • Remove and drain them on paper tissues so that the extra oil is soaked.
  • In the same pan, roast the cashews till golden.
  • While being served, garnish the biryani rice with the fried onions, cashews, mint leaves.
  • You can serve biryani rice with with any rich vegetarian curry or dal.

Notes

Ingredient Notes & Swaps

  • Rice: Biryani rice is always made with basmati rice. Aged basmati rice gives the best taste and texture. Use a good quality and a trustworthy brand of aged basmati rice. With parboiled basmati rice (sella basmati), this biryani rice tastes good. Soak parboiled basmati rice for an hour and add some more water as needed when cooking.
  • Spices: To get the perfect aroma, flavor and taste, I would suggest to use all the whole spices. However, you can omit star anise and caraway seeds if you do not have these. You can include cumin seeds in place of caraway seeds. 
  • Vegan substitutes: Make the dish with a neutral oil instead of ghee.
  • Nuts: Replace cashews with almonds, pistachios, pine nuts or use a combination of these nuts for a rich version.
  • Saffron: If you do not have saffron strands, for the light yellow color, you can add a generous pinch of turmeric powder. But note that the delicate flavor, aroma of saffron will be missing from the dish. You could add about 1 to 2 teaspoons of rose water or kewra water (pandanus water) for a lovely fragrant aroma. 

Cooking Notes

  • Water proportion: The amount of water will vary in relation to the variety, type and age of rice. For 1 cup of basmati rice, 1.5 to 1.75 cups of water work perfectly when cooking in a pressure cooker and 2 cups for cooking in a pan.
  • Soaking rice: It always helps to soak rice grains prior to cooking them. Soaking not only makes the rice grains cook fluffier but also reduces the cooking time. You can soak rice grains for 20 to 30 minutes. If short of time, then you may need to add some more water, about 2 to 2.25 cups to the un-soaked rice while cooking in the pressure cooker. 
  • Rinsing rice: For fluffy, separate, non-sticky rice grains, rinse the rice grains thoroughly until the water is clear of starch. 


Instant Pot Biryani Rice

  1. To make biryani rice in your Instant pot, follow the sautéing instructions of the spices, herbs and rice in the steel insert of your IP using the sauté function.
  2. Add 1.5 cups of water and mix in the salt. Seal with the IP lid with the pressure valve positioned to the sealing position.
  3. Pressure cook on high pressure for 5 minutes. After hearing the beep sound when the pressure cooking is complete, wait for 10 minutes and then do a quick pressure release. When all the pressure is released, remove the lid and fluff the rice. Serve hot with the prepared garnishes. 

Cooking in a pan (stove-top)

  1. For making biryani rice in a pan, sauté the spices, herbs and rice in a heavy thick bottomed pan or pot on low to medium-low heat.
  2. Add 2 cups water and mix salt. Cover and simmer on a low to medium-low heat until the rice grains are tender and fluffy.
  3. Keep a check when the rice grains are simmering. If needed, you can add some hot water if the water has dried up and the rice grains are undercooked. 
  4. Once cooked, fluff the rice and serve hot or warm. 

Nutrition Info Approximate values

Nutrition Facts
Biryani Rice
Amount Per Serving
Calories 381 Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Fat 15g23%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Sodium 402mg17%
Potassium 197mg6%
Carbohydrates 56g19%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 164IU3%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 1mg67%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 1mg59%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 1mg5%
Vitamin B6 1mg50%
Vitamin C 4mg5%
Vitamin E 5mg33%
Vitamin K 3µg3%
Calcium 55mg6%
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 15µg4%
Iron 2mg11%
Magnesium 45mg11%
Phosphorus 117mg12%
Zinc 1mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Dassana Amit

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Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

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43 Comments

  1. I prepared this today with veg kadai. It turned out awesome. Keep going. Let’s have a good meal.

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