Ready In:

1 hr 15min   

Good For:

Lunch, dinner, celebration


  • 1.5 x recipe chicken curry (from our recipes)
  • 20g butter-for greasing tray
  • 600g basmati rice (I use a premium brand called Kashish)
  • 225ml warm milk
  • 60g dried fried onions or shallots
  • 100g dried fruit (any fruit including apricot, sultana, mango, grape)
  • 1/2 cup/30g chopped coriander
  • 4 boiled eggs- boil for 6mins, peel.
  • 60g roughly chopped salted nuts- choose from cashew, brazil, pecan or peanut
  • 60g melted butter
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • chopped chilli-optional
  • couple drops of red food colouring

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Whenever I cook a biryani I always layer using hot curry and rice, however, I wanted to design a recipe that makes it easy for anyone wanting to plan ahead, say for a large group or dinner party.

This recipe uses cold rice and curry when assembling the biryani.

Step 2

Let’s start by half cooking the rice. The better the quality of the rice, the greater the dish but any basmati will surface.

Preheat an oven to 190°C.

Put a pot of salted water on to boil.

Rinse the rice in plenty of cold water until the water runs clear. I always soak for ten minutes after washing. This gives you more fluffy rice. 

Once the water has boiled, drain the rice and cook for 7mins. Once the rice has cooked for 7mins, drain and spread over a tray to cool. Once cool remove 1/2 cup or rice and dye it by stirring through a couple of drops of red food colouring.


Step 3

You’ll need a deep roasting, baking tray or pot to cook the biryani in. My tray is approximately  50cm x 30cm and 8cm deep but you can use a stewing pot.

Liberally grease the tray on all sides.

Step 4

To start the layering, spoon 2 cups of curry into the tray and spread it across the base. Now, scatter 2 cups of rice over the curry. Don’t press the rice. or smooth over.

Scatter nuts, fruit, shallots, 1/3 dyed rice and coriander over the rice.

Place 2 eggs on top.

Now repeat this process spoon curry over, scatter rice, then nuts, fruit, shallots, dyed rice and coriander. Place another 2 eggs over the rice.

If you’re using fresh or dried chilli which is optional, scatter this over the rice.

Step 5

The final layer has the rest of the meat curry spooned over the rice along with any nuts, fruit, coriander, crispy onions left.

Scatter over the last cups of rice and dyed rice. The biryani is now layered.

In a pot melt together butter, turmeric and milk. 

Spoon the milk mixture over the rice and cover with tin foil or a lid. 

Step 6

Place the tray or pot into the preheated oven and allow to cook for 50mins without checking.

After 50mins remove from the oven and check to see if the rice is cooked. The biryani is ready when the rice is cooked.

My rice biryani took between 55-60mins to cook. If you’re using hot rice and curry, then layer in the same way but cook for 45mins. 


Step 7

Allow the biryani to sit for 5mins once it’s cooked. 

Whenever I cook a biryani I’ve always got plenty to reheat for the next day. It makes for a really tasty rice salad with watercress and cranberry.

Step 8

Now I eat my biryani with curry sauce, yoghurt or cucumber yoghurt, a chutney of some description, and freshly chopped chilli.

This recipe can be layered the day before (don’t add the milk) and then cooked when you need it. 

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