Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Bombay Biryani

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The word “Biryani” comes from the Persian word 'birian' which means fried before cooking. There are over 26 varieties of biryani made in Pakistan and India; however the basic method of layering the rice and meat/vegetable curry is the same. Bombay Birynai is the most popular and most loved biryani, full of flavors and lovely aroma this recipe will surely tantalise your taste buds.

Bombay Biryani


500 gm chicken pieces (you can use up to 1 kg of chicken cut in to 12 pieces, I prefer to use less)
750 gm rice (soaked for 30 minutes before boiling)
1 cup yogurt
¾ cup oil
3 medium onions (thinly sliced, about 250gms)
4-5 medium tomatoes (3 tomatoes finely chopped, 2 sliced in to rings)
1&1/2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
2 potatoes, peeled and cubed (optional)
1 tsp cumin seeds
2-3 green cardamoms
2 big black cardamoms
1 large cinnamon stick
4-5 cloves
8-10 black pepper corns
1 large bay leaf
Salt (to taste/ I use 1&1/2 tsp)
8-10 medium-small green chilies
1 ½ tsp red chili powder (you can adjust it depending upon how spicy you want it to be)
½ tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp biryani essence or kewra essence
Saffron strands or 1/4 tsp yellow food color
1 tsp star anise powder
3-4 tbsp milk
½ tsp nutmeg and mace powder
½ tsp green cardamom powder
1 lemon sliced
A bunch of mint
A small bunch of fresh coriander chopped
½ cup dried alu Bukhara/ prunes (optional)


1)  Take a large pan and bring the water to boil, add in 3-4 tsp of salt, along with one cinnamon stick, 3-4 cloves, 2-3 green cardamoms, and a tsp of cumin seeds.  once the water starts to boil add in the rice and cook till rice are half done, drain and set aside

2)  Heat oil in a pan and fry the onions till they get golden brown, turn the heat off and take ¼ cup oil out for later use.

3)  Now turn the flame on again and add cumin seeds, bay leaf, green cardamoms, black cardamom, cinnamon stick and ginger garlic paste, fry it well for 2 minutes and add in the chicken pieces, fry it well for further 5-10 minutes.

4) Add in the chili powder, salt, turmeric powder,  yogurt and green chilies and chopped tomatoes, stir it nicely, cover the pan and let it cook on low-medium heat till the chicken gets done.

5) Mean while mix together yellow food color, star anis powder, nutmeg and mace powder, cardamom powder, 3-4 tbsp of milk and 2-3 tbsp of yogurt in a small bowl.

6)  Once the chicken gets done, turn off the flame, spread  the lemon slices and dry prunes on top of the chicken gravy, swirl over the yogurt mixture followed by tomato slices, chopped fresh coriander and mint leaves.

7)  Spread the boiled rice on top, swirl over the ¼ cup of oil we kept aside. Cover the pan by using by damp kitchen towel and placing it over the pan then placing a lid on top.

8) Transfer the pan to a hot tava (flat pan) to prevent the biryani from sticking to the bottom. Cook on high flame for 5 minutes, then let it cook on very low heat for 20-30 minutes

9)   To serve, gently stir the rice and dish out in to serving dish, along with some salad, and raita.


  1. Recipe looks like a combination of the way i cook Sindhi n Saadi Biryani :) Easy n straightforward i will surely give it a try soon.

    Btw aloo bukhara wud be dried plums, no?

    1. Thanks for the lovely comment :) and dried plums and prunes are the same names of of thing :)

  2. very very delicious ... i made it with mutton today. perfect bombay biryani
    thank you so much for the amazing recipe.

  3. perfect measurement , good combo of spices well done

  4. hi sitara,didn't u upload any new recipe yet??

  5. no new recipe on ur blog anymore?

    1. i do post recipes off and on. but now its like once in a week :)