Biryani (chicken or veg) – Belgaum style

I donno the origin of this biryani. I learnt it from the cook(aapa) of my pachi’s house in Belgaum. I guess this is a traditional muslim dish. But for vegetarians my pachi uses vegetables(mainly potatoes) instead of chicken.

Basmathi rice 2 cups
Chicken 1/2 kg
or Potatoes(you can even add cauliflower,carrot, beans along with potato) 3-4 Onions 2
Coriander leaves 15-20 strands
Mint(pudina) leaves 10
Green chillis 5-6
Ginger-garlic paste 2 tea spn
Curd 2 tbl spns
Food color(orange or yellow) a pinch
Biryani masala 1 tea spn
Oil 2 tbl spns
Ghee 2 tbl spns

If Biryani masala is not available or if you wish to use fresh masala, then dry roast the following and make powder.
Cloves 6-7
Cinnamon 2″ piece
Cardamom 2
Poppy seeds 2 tea spns
Nut meg(Jayphal) 1 small piece

Method: Cook the rice with 2 drops of oil and salt(Oil doesn’t allow the grains to stick together) in around 1:3 water for 10min. (Rice should be only half cooked). Drain the water. Grind coriander leaves, green chilies, mint leaves, ginger-garlic paste, 1/2 onion to a fine paste. Add this paste, salt and curd to chicken or vegetables and keep it aside to marinade. (chicken should marinade for about half an hour to one hour. Vegetables need not be marinated).
Cut the onions into thin long pieces. Heat oil & fry them till they turn brownish. Separate out the oil from onions.
Heat the oil(left out from frying the onions) in a heavy bottomed pan. Add the marinated mixture along with chicken, salt(add less salt because it is already added to rice), 1/4th of the biryani masala. Spread a thick layer of rice. Then spread a layer of onions, biryani masala, color(mixed in water). Again add a layer of rice & repeat the procedure given in this paragraph till all rice, onions, biryani masala, color is added. From above add ghee. Add 1/2 cup water. Close the lid & cook on low flame for about 10-15minutes. Then remove the flame & let it cook on the heated stove(without flame). Serve hot.

Updated on Sep 15: Today I tried the biryani with Shaan Biryani masala instead of home mase masala. It came out very well.

Serves : 4
Preparation time : 45min – 1hr

For step by step instructions, click here. This tastes great with chicken gravy.

49 thoughts on “Biryani (chicken or veg) – Belgaum style”

  1. wow – thank you for sharing today i am going to have this for dinner lets have then i will tell you how was that – because i am not a good cook

  2. thanks a lot for sharing this recipe.i tried it yesterday and it came out really very well.ur step by step method was very useful.

  3. I cook onions till reddish and grind them. Then i marinate the chicken with the paste, ginger-garlic paste, chilly powder, turmeric, 3tbsps sour thick curds, garam masala, ground pudina paste, little dry roasted coriander seeds powdered. Add lots of chopped tomatoes to the marinated chicken and set aside.

    Parboil Basmati rice with a pinch of salt.

    In cooker put half a cup of oil, marinated chicken, parboiled rice. Pour saffron dissolved in little milk over it. Cook it for about 20 minutes(Cooking time depends on the quantity of chicken)

    Happy Eating and Serving

  4. to this biriyani you can sprinkle 3-4 spoons of rose water and close the lid and let the biriyani cook on a low flame or in 250 degree oven for 15 minutes. Tastes just like Mugalai Biriyani.

  5. Shilpa,

    Few questions, when do i add green chilly, i think its missing in steps. And while making a paste, u have told to add 1/2 onion, u mean 1/2 onion or 1/2 of what we are using in the recipe. One more doubt, with half cup of water, will all the vegetables u have mentioned, will they cook all right? Thanks for recipe.

  6. Nayak mayi, thanks for pointing out the chilies. I have corrected it. They are added along with coriander & mint leaves while grinding. Yes, it is 1/2 onion, not half the quantity. We add a lot of fried onion(about 1 and 1/2) later. I am going to rewrite the recipe as I am doing the most of them, I will take care of all your feedbacks :). Since the vegetables are put in the bottom of the pan and the rice on top makes a kind of weight on them, they get cooked pretty fast. But if the heat is high, all water gets evaporated and vegetables don’t cook. So take care in that step. Also, use a narrow but tall vessel, so that there is a big heap of rice on top. Still, if the vegetables are not cooked, you can add little water in the end. Please have a look at making biryanis for more details.

  7. Hi Shilpa.

    I tried this tonight and it was so good. I skimped on salt a bit as I did not know how much to add. But other than that it was perfect. I followed your recipe to the letter. Thanks a lot. This is the first “proper” biriyani i have ever made. All my previous attempts were like khichdi. I always used to visit your blog, donno why I never tried anything. Now I will.


  8. Hi Shilpa,

    One more great tip.. which I learn’t from my co-sis’s mom. She does this charcoal treatment to the biryani after all the layers for the biryani are neatly done.

    For this you require:
    1 tbsp of vanaspati ghee or oil
    2 cardamoms (green)
    2-3 cloves.
    fist sized dough (to seal the vessel)

    Heat 2-3 pieces of lemon-sized charcoals on the flame for 5-10 mins (till they are flaming red hot).

    The following procedure needs to be done quickly.

    1. Now on the top most layer put a small steel bowl (press it into the rice). One by one blow the red charcoals and put it into the katori.

    2. Put the cardamom and cloves on the charcoal. Immediately put one tbspoon of vanaspati ghee or oil on it. This will let out smoke. Quickly cover the vessel with a dish and seal the dish with dough. The key is not let the smoke escape. Now cook the biryani on low fire as usual.

    Try this out.. It lends a amazing aroma :).
    I ain’t a great cook .. but I try to learn, concentrate and do it 🙂

    Let me know, how it turns out.

  9. hi there,
    dorry for this comment. i m a foodie. love to eat konkani food as my mom is a konkani. while reading your belgaum chicken biryani… i found that during the final preparation you havent mention any thing about the chicken after marination process. especially when the biryani is being kept for dum…

  10. Hey shilpa.. how ru doing?? love ur biryani recipe..
    Do check my blog out too and give me ur advice and ideas…:) wud really appreciate it..:)

  11. sowmya venkatesh

    Hi shilpa….
    there is something wrong with the measurements…. its showing 2 coriander leaves…2 tblspns of colour?????? even rest of the proportions are confusing…..please check it….

    Shilpa: Thanks Sowmya for pointing out. When we moved site from one place to another, the formatting got messed up. I have corrected it now.

  12. sowmya venkatesh

    i should thank you for your site…. or else it would have been very difficult to handle my ‘foodie’ hubby….hahahah

  13. thank Shilpa,
    The bwas great.It tasted like a biryani which I had eaten long back at an aunts place.I always tried a number of times to get that flavour.and when I tasted this biryani it was verrry close to that one.Keep up the good work.

  14. Hi, V have recently shifted to Bangalore, and have tasted pulao over here(Bangaloreans refer as palav…) whatever it is the taste is different. Wanted to know if anyone can give me the recipe for palav made in Bangaloreans style….

    btw Shilpa just made the Biriyani(with Potato)it came out really very great…
    Thanks for the wonderful recipe, as Iam a pulao/biriyani fan…

  15. Hi Shilpa,

    Thanks for a great recipie.. I tried it… wonderful…
    All my family loved it…

    Can you please share Hydrabadi biriani recipie with us…

    Saheer & Haseena

  16. Hi shilpa,

    Can i marinate the chicken for 3- 4 hrs, will it make any difference in taste. Also my chicken was dry after i made biryani, don’t know what turned wrong.

    Shilpa: Yes, you can marinate for longer time.


  18. Hello Shilpa – thanks very much for a wonderful website. I love the detail and the photos and want you to know your efforts are much appreciated. I’m Mangalorean too, although I grew up in Madras, wound up in St. Paul MN via Detroit, Winchester, VA and Cincinnati. I love to cook too but my recipes are simply Word documents. I don’t have a website but if you ever need one, just holler. Thanks for sharing your culinary riches.

  19. Hello Shilpa – thanks very much for a wonderful website. I love the detail and the photos and want you to know your efforts are much appreciated. I’m Mangalorean too, although I grew up in Madras, wound up in St. Paul MN via Detroit, Winchester, VA and Cincinnati. I love to cook too but my recipes are simply Word documents. I don’t have a website but if you ever need one, just holler. Thanks for sharing your culinary riches.

  20. Thanks Shilpa,

    Can you please tell me if nutmeg is to be powdered before roasting for the biryani masala? How to roast the nutmeg, I crushed it a bit and then roasted but I think it burns quickly, so my sprouted moong rice turned out a bit bitter, otherwise it tasted great!
    Thanks again,

  21. Oh ok, I had used 1 whole nutmeg that’s why the rice tasted sort of strong.
    Thanks for clarifying that Shilpa.

  22. Hi shilpa,

    I make Biryani in small manner but except for few changes. I fry cloves, cardomom, cinnamon, pudina(3-4) and bay leaves(2) before adding vegetables and layering. Also I grind these spices in small quantity and tomato(1) along with ginger-garlic,coriander and pudina. Try my recipe too.

    You have given a step by step procedure making the beginners to understand better. Good work. Keep it up.

    I am a veggie. My question is does cooking chicken on low flame for 15 mins enough? Or does chicken pieces needs to be smaller? Pls clarify.

  23. Hi Shilpa,

    so when I tried this recipie, no oil was left behind after cooking the onions, all of it was absorbed. should I have cooked the onions for longer?


  24. Hi..
    Sorry to ask this simple question.
    But i’m confused about the garam masala and the biriyani masala you have mentioned in the method.
    Are they both same?
    Are you referring garam masala to biriyani maslala?
    Please clarify this to me.
    Thanks in advance

  25. Dr Kusuma Kumari G

    Thank you for the reciepe I love Biryani and chicken Remember my collge days when I used to eat this biriyani in Belguam along with my freind Reni M Wilson

  26. Hi Shilpa,

    I love your website. I have tried many of your recipes and all turned out really good. I am going to cook this biryani with chicken first but my husband loves Lamb biryani. Will it be alright if I use Lamb with this biryani recipe?


  27. Can I use keora water and rose water in this biryani. Will it smell like the aroma we get in restaurants

  28. Shilpa,

    I add a little (about half teaspoon) suger and sprinkle a liitle salt when fried onions are brown. This will carmellize the onions and give you a distinct flavour. My two cents on an already awesome recipe. Thanks for sharing.

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