Bangalore Biriyani

Photo By: Adam Ahmed


Through my 18 years of married life, I’ve heard people rave about Bangalore Biriyani. During this period, I’ve learned how to cook, mastered the art and even competed in culinary competitions. I can make a pretty mean Biriyani myself, it took years of perfecting and now it tastes pretty good, but is different from a Bangalore style Biriyani. This recipe is almost always made with the most tender mutton that is cooked together with ginger, garlic, chilies, fried onions, spices and yogurt. Then layered with long grain basmati rice and is prepared in large pots for special occasions and weddings. I think if you didn’t serve Bangalore Biriyani at a typical Muslim wedding, your guests would be pretty darn upset.

Every time we visit Bangalore, I’ve had the chance to eat this Biriyani, but it was only till my trip in 2015 did I decide to corner my sister-in-law in her kitchen and document the entire process armed with a video camera. The ingredients are almost identical to the ones I use in my Biriyani, but the process varies. I noticed that my sister-in-law used a heavier hand with most of the ingredients; oil, ghee & spices and the end result is fairly different from my usual Biriyani, but oh so delicious! Follow the ingredient list below, but also play the video to watch the entire process.

This Biriyani was prepared in a large batch to feed a huge group of family and friends, but feel free to try this out in a smaller batch. There are two ways to cook the Biriyani in its final stage – on the stove top or in the oven. Personally, I will always choose the oven for its even heat, but if you are going to attempt cooking it on the stove top, be sure to protect the base of your dish with another pan or tava. This will reduce the impact of the direct heat as the rice at the bottom of the vessel could burn.



Marinate the meat

3 kgs or 6.5 lbs mutton or lamb shoulder cut in pieces


Red Chili powder


3 cups Oil

3 cinnamon sticks

10-12 cardamoms and cloves

8 cups sliced red onions

8 tsps ginger & garlic paste

6-9 tsps red chili powder

3-4 tsps turmeric

5 tsps garam masala

6 cups sliced tomatoes

18 green chilies slit horizontally

1/2 + 1/4 cup chopped coriander leaves

1/4 cup lemon juice

3 – 4 tbsp salt or to taste

3 cups stirred yogurt

1 1/2 cup ghee

3 – 4 sliced fried potatoes (half cooked)

1/2 + 1/4 cup chopped mint

Fried onions

Yellow food colouring


19 cups basmati rice soaked for 1 hr in water

Whole spices

3 green chilies



Marinate the meat for a few hours or overnight

In a large cooking pot add the oil and when heated add all the whole spices followed by the onions and cook till golden brown

Add the ginger and garlic paste, the chili powder, turmeric and garam masala and mix

Add the tomatoes, cover and cook till the tomatoes are mushy for about 10 mins

Add the green slit chilies and 1/2 cup coriander and follow that with the meat

Add the lemon juice and salt and combine

Follow this with the stirred yogurt and ghee

Cover and cook for 15 mins before adding the half cooked potatoes

Add mint, cover and cook for about 30 mins till the meat is tender

In another pot add double the amount of water as the rice and bring to boil together with salt, some whole spices and 3 green chilies

Add the rice and cook till half done

Drain and keep aside to drain

In another large vessel, add a layer of rice, make a well in the center and add some meat in the well as well as a layer on top of the rice

Add another layer of rice with another layer of the meat and gravy

Also add more chopped coriander, mint and fried onions in between and on top of the final layer

Also add some yellow food coloring at the top

Seal the vessel with some foil, you can also use a wet cloth or dough to make the vessel airtight

Use a pan or kadai under your vessel so the heat is not directly touching your vessel and cook for about 40 mins. You can also use the oven

Mix the grains and meat together with a large fork and serve


Photos By: Adam Ahmed

Full video: Bangalore Biriyani – Homestyle Authentic recipe