Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Keema Biryani

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

This recipe is for Keema Biryani - Mince Biryani. It is a really tasty layered rice dish which is usually made with chicken or meat, but this mince version is equally flavourful and very light. Use fresh spices for maximum flavour, and serve with my green yoghurt chutney.
Take a look at my second blog - British Muslim Girl, for Islamic stories, reminders and quotes. 

A Simple List of Ingredients:

1. Basmati Rice
2. Green Cardamoms
3. Black Cardamoms
4. Cinnamon Stick
5. Black Peppercorns
6. Cloves
7. Cumin Seeds
8. Salt
9. Onions
10. Cornflour
11. Vegetable Oil
12. Crushed Ginger
13. Crushed Garlic
14. Tomatoes
15. Red Chilli Powder
16. Ground Coriander
17. Ground Cumin
18. Ground Turmeric
19. Garam Masala
20. Water
21. Green Chillies
22. Chicken Mince
23. Fresh Coriander
24. Yoghurt
25. Frozen Peas
26. Potatoes
27. Yellow Food Colouring

Don't panic at this long ingredients list - the recipe is really quite simple if you follow my step by step photos!

Bismillah, let's begin!

First, to prepare the rice, take:
4 cups (1 kilo) Basmati rice 
4 green cardamoms
2 black cardamoms
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
4 cloves
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
3 teaspoon salt

Rinse out the rice with water until the water that comes out is less cloudy, then soak the rice in water for at least a 1/2 hour.

Fill a large pot 2/3 full with water, and bring to the boil.

Add all the above ingredients except the rice ... 

.. and bring it to the boil.

Add the rice.

Cook the rice until it is par-boiled.

Drain the rice and place it onto a tray - this stops it sticking together.

Next, to fry the onions, peel and finely slice 3 medium onions.

Place them into a sieve over a plate.

Add 1 and 1/2 teaspoon cornflour to the onions.

Stir the cornflour through the onions, and then shake off the excess.

Shallow fry the onions in medium hot oil ...

... until the edges turn golden brown.

Drain the onions on a paper towel lined plate, and allow to cool down and become crispy.

Next, to make the keema, take:
 2 peeled and sliced onions
1 teaspoon crushed ginger
 1 teaspoon crushed garlic

Heat a few tablespoons vegetable oil in a large pan, and add the onions, ginger and garlic.

Fry until golden brown.

Add 4 sliced tomatoes. I didn't have enough so I used some cherry tomatoes.

Next, add:
1 teaspoon red chilli powder
1 and 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground turmeric 

Add a splash of water, and then cook for about 5 minutes or until the tomatoes start to break down.

Next, add 2 pounds chicken mince.

Stir fry the mince on high heat until it has turned brown.

Add 1 cup yoghurt.

Stir to combine, and if it looks a bit dry, add a splash of water.

Take 1 cup frozen peas.

Add them to the pan.

Cook the mince on high, stirring regularly, until most of the water dries out.

Add a few whole green chillies.

Chop a bunch of coriander.

Add half of it to the pan.

Add 1 teaspoon garam masala.

Stir everything well to combine, and it's done!

Now, to layer the biryani, take a large pot, and put thin layer of mince at the bottom.

Next, add a layer of the rice.

Then, a layer of the mince.

Next, take fried potatoes. These are 8 potatoes, peeled, cubed, boiled and then fried until golden brown.

Next, add a few fried potatoes.

Take a few slit green chillies.

Add a few of the green chillies.

Next, take the fried onions from earlier.

Sprinkle on a handful.

Along with a handful of chopped coriander.

Then, another layer of rice.

Mix 1 teaspoon yellow food colouring with some water.

Drizzle on a little of the mixture.

Keep layering until you reach the last of everything.

Make sure to end with a layer of rice topped with the food colouring.
Cover the pot with a lid, and place on a high heat for 5 minutes, then turn the heat down to the lowest heat for 10 minutes.

Serve immediately for a light but filling meal.


Spice Enthusiast


  1. Hi - just wanted to say thank you for this recipe. My husband wanted me to try making this meal after he had it at an event he was at. I don't think either of us expected it to taste good for my first attempt but it was really delicious. I do have to admit my first batch of rice was a disaster but that was my fault for not reading the instruction properly. The second batch was perfect.
    I halved the amount of curry powder as I'm a wimp when it comes to spicy food but it was still full of flavour and there are lots of leftovers for tomorrow aswell - have even sent over some to an ill friend :-)

    1. Hi Sharon! First, thank you so much for taking the time out to write this comment - it means a lot. And, I'm so glad you liked the keema biryani. And, don't worry about the curry powder - the seasonings are always according to your own taste. Hope your friend gets better soon! :)

  2. just thought i'd let you know - our friend loved his meal. Also I'd frozen about half the meat mixture and defrosted it a couple of days ago it was still delicious. This time it was to help hubby get rid of a head cold so i added more chilli powder to his while it was reheating. He loved it even more than the first time and it certainly made him sweat - and the next morning his cold was nowhere to be seen or heard and we were both very happy. I left mine as it was and the flavours had really deepened. so it's now on our regular meal planner, it takes a little time but is so satisfying that it is more than worth the effort. we're going to try some more of your recipes too - i really like the look of aloo palak and aloo gobi :-)

    1. I'm glad your friend liked the biryani. thanks for taking the time to send this message and I hope you enjoy my other recipes. :)

  3. I loved it and will be making this one of the dishes i turn to for flavoursome meal... thank you for sharing

  4. this recipe looks and sounds great, just a question how many people does this feed?

  5. Hey I just tried this recipe, and over really liked it but I have a spice concern! I thought the recipe called for too little spice, so I put a tablespoon of everything instead of a teaspoon, and it was still a little bland for my taste. I really liked it overall, so I'll be using the same base and instructions, but with 1.5 tbsp per spice. Any thoughts?

    1. Yes, you can increase or decrease to your own taste as you wish! :)

  6. Can i use chicken keema?


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