The Best Biryani

"When I make this recipe, I take out so many spices but it is well worth it. My family and friends can't get enough."
photo by Jonathan Melendez photo by Jonathan Melendez
photo by Jonathan Melendez
photo by PrairieHarpy photo by PrairieHarpy
photo by Jonathan Melendez photo by Jonathan Melendez
photo by Jonathan Melendez photo by Jonathan Melendez
Ready In:
1hr 30mins




  • Soak rice for half an hour.
  • Cook in rice cooker with 15 cups of water. Cook rice until almost done.
  • Fry onions in oil until golden brown.
  • Add ginger and garlic.
  • Add chili powder, cloves, cardamom, pepper corn, cumin, curry, graham masala, coriander, cinnamon stick, bay leaves, dried plums, and salt.
  • Add yogurt.
  • Add tomatoes and cook until dry.
  • Add meat.
  • Add green chiles.
  • Cook until meat is done and add water if needed.
  • Add cilantro.
  • Mix saffron with hot water.
  • Layer rice and meat mixture and sprinkle with saffron mixture.
  • Put in oven at 350°F for 20 minutes.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Wade A.
    Looks fantastic! How much hot water do I use with the saffron?


  1. hutamk
    I just tried out this recipe this weekend for my friends and they LOVED it, but I didn't make 9 cups of rice I added exactly half of that and it turned out FANTASTIC every body enjoyed it and I thought its awesome... thank you for the great recipe :)
  2. Anum Qazi
    It was ,no doubt, the best biryani ever. It just had the taste of a restaurant biryani. The meat was completely tender and I disagree with everyone who thinks the rice quantity was more, because it turned out to be perfect for me. Please post some more recipes of different kinds of biryani. Thanks a lot..
  3. Troy M.
    Made this twice now and this go around was way better than the last. I too observed that there was way too much rice..insanely so. This time it was closer to reality. What I discovered is 7 cups, a whole bag of Trader Joe's basmati rice was a correct portion for a heavy on the meat ratio. It probably would have been what the original recipe called for. Previously I used a different rice and it was way too much. The rice type makes a difference on volume! Second, I thought more yogurt, about 1/2 cup was a good choice. I also was concerned about spacey heat with young children so I changed out the usual jalepeno for these weird, milder wrinkled up long green chilis. A mild yellow chili might also work. I used golden raisens instead of prunes to good effect. I would like to use sliced almonds in the future as it calls for it in a good biryani. To make a healthier meal we used organic free range venison and elk for the meat instead of a high fat lamb or goat. It is an excellent change out and usually people comment how mild and lean the lamb is...until we tell them it's free range organic venison. It gets oohs and ahs from the taste-testers. I'm still working on the perfect raita (yogurt sauce) for this dish but it requires additional experimentation. Overall, this is a grear recipe that doesn't require obscure desi ingredients. Everything in the recipe is available at most grocers.
  4. Andrew S.
    Tasty recipe, too much rice however. I (like others here) would suggest using quarter of the amount suggested.
  5. Rabi N.
    For best Biryani, Meat is always more than rice. if rice is 1 kg meat should be 1 and half kg or may be a little more.


  1. chosenprincess1
    Only used one cup rice. And also half cup red lentils. Halved spices. Only used 500g chicken and I often sub a cup of raisins for prunes and poss some flaked almonds for crunch. Also if I don't use whole spices, instead of the whole cloves I sub just under 1/4 tsp ground and a half tsp of cimmonon instead of a stick
  2. Jonathan Melendez
    A great recipe! I followed some other reviewer's suggestions and made less rice than stated. I cooked about 4 cups of basmati rice and it was the perfect amount.
  3. Diane M.
    I made 7 cups and used only about 4 or 5 cups of that.


I am a Cajun girl form Southwest Louisiana.? My husband is from Pakistan. Put them both together and what you get is Spicy Hot!
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