qabooli biryani

Qabooli biryani or Qubooli biryani – an aromatic and flavorsome one pot dish of a biryani made with bengal gram (chana dal). Gluten-free and vegan.

Is from Hyderabadi cuisine. the nawabi food is truly a delight for the eyes as well as for the taste buds.

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hyderabadi qabooli biryani

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.

Qabooli biryani Looks simple and unassuming, but one bite and you are transported to the land of nawabs and royalty. 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

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 dairy yogurt. Cashew yogurt works wonderfully in gravies, biryanis and this I say from experience. No one will know the difference. I have made this Restaurant style veg dum biryani 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 dairy yogurt instead.

Qabooli biryani can be served as a main course and served with a side vegetable salad, boondi raita and some papad and lemon 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

More biryani varieties

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qabooli biryani

5 from 3 votes
Qabooli biryani is an aromatic and flavorsome one-pot dish of a biryani made with bengal gram (chana dal)
Author:Dassana Amit
Prep Time:1 hr 30 mins
Cook Time:30 mins
Total Time:2 hrs
Course:main course
Cuisine:south indian
Servings (change the number to scale):4
(1 CUP = 250 ML)


ingredients for cooking chana dal

  • ½ cup chana dal (husked and split bengal gram)
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1.5 cups water

ingredients for cooking the rice

  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 4 cups water
  • ½ teaspoon salt or add as required

ingredients for making the dal gravy

  • 2 medium sized onions, finely sliced
  • paste made from 4 to 5 garlic & ½ inch ginger in a mortar-pestle
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ¾ teaspoon red chili powder
  • ¾ teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 1 cup cashew yogurt or dairy yogurt
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons oil, you can also use ghee instead of oil
  • salt as required

ingredients for layering qabooli biryani

  • cup coriander leaves
  • cup mint leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon saffron dissolved in 2 tablespoons warm water or milk
  • 1 to 2 green chilies , chopped


cooking chana dal

  • Firstly soak the chana dal in enough water for 1 hour. Drain.
  • In a pan, heat the 1&1/2 cups water. Add salt.
  • When the water comes to a boil, add the chana dal and turmeric powder.
  • 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.
  • I check the doneness by pressing the chana dal between the thumb & the index finger and if it smashes easily, the dal is cooked.
  • You can also taste the dal and check if its cooked. Strain and keep the cooked dal aside.

making qabooli biryani gravy

  • Soak the basmati rice in 4 cups water for 30 minutes.
  • In a pan add the basmati rice with salt plus water and cook covered till the rice is about 3/4 cooked. It should be just cooked and not mushy.
  • Heat oil and add the sliced onions. Brown the onions.
  • When you see the onions are getting golden browned, quickly remove 1/2 of the browned onions with a slotted spoon and keep aside. This half of the onions will be used for layering the biryani.
  • Add ginger-garlic paste and saute for 1 minute.
  • Add the yogurt slowly and stir.
  • Add the turmeric, red chili, garam masala powder and salt.
  • Stir and cook for 2-3 minutes
  • Add the cooked chana dal and again stir and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Keep the chana dal gravy aside.

layering qabooli biryani

  • In a large pan or an oven proof pyrex bowl, first make a layer of the chana dal gravy.
  • Add some of the chopped mint, coriander, green chilies and fried onions.
  • Make another layer of half of the cooked rice.
  • Top the rice layer with some mint, coriander, green chilies, fried onions & saffron along water or milk
  • Prepare a third layer of the dal gravy again.
  • Top the dal gravy again with the mint, coriander, green chilies and fried onions.
  • The last and fourth layer is of the rice again.
  • Top the rice layer with the remaining mint, coriander, green chilies, fried onions & saffron along water or milk.

cooking qabooli biryani

  • If using a pan, cover with a tight lid. The steam should not escape from the sides.
  • You can even seal the edges of the lid with wheat flour dough.
  • Keep on low flame and cook the biryani on dum for 25-30 minutes.
  • 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.
  • If using a pyrex bowl, then cover it with an aluminium foil.
  • Place it in a preheated oven at 180 degrees c for 20-25 minutes.
  • Serve qabooli biryani hot or warm with a side salad or raita.
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Dassana Amit

Dassana Amitnamaste and welcome to which i started in feb 2009 and is a pure vegetarian blog. i have been passionate about cooking from childhood and began to cook from the age of 10. later having enrolled in a home science degree greatly enhanced my cooking & baking skills and took it to a different level which i now share as foolproof recipes. i was formally trained both in mainstream indian as well as international cuisines.

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24 comments/reviews

  1. Thanks for so easy n nice recipe.It added new taste in daily menu

    • thank you armeen for your positive views 🙂

  2. It was delicious and easy to cook it wasnt time consumin…thnx again for easy healthy biryani5 stars

    • pleased to know this Riya 🙂

  3. I tried this recipe and it turned out fabulous. I can’t believe how flavorful this biryani was. My family devoured it. This will be made in my household on a regular basis. Loved it. Thank you.

    • welcome aman. glad to know that you all liked the biryani recipe.

  4. Hi Dasanna,

    I am so so happy to have found your site and recipes. I made this for our family last evening, doubled the chana dal since it looked to little in pot after cooking and all but one dish was left. There are three adults, a 3 yr old and 9 month old eating, so you know it was enjoyed.

    Thank you for posting5 stars

    • welcome abigail. good to know that even after doubling the recipe, it worked and you all enjoyed it.

  5. 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.


    • 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.

  6. wonderful ha ha maja aa gaya5 stars

  7. Dassana,

    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.


    • 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.

  8. Thank you ,for all these great vegetrian recepies.

    • welcome nishat.

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

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

    • thanks laura.

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

  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.

  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.

  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 🙂

    • thanks nags.

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