Beef Biryani

Servings : 4-6

This rich and aromatic meal is one of the most delicious amongst the rice dishes. Tender morsels of steak cubes cooked in a beautifully thickened spicy gravy, served over fragrant basmati rice makes the beef biryani a meal to remember.

Marination Ingredients

  • 500 gm steak - preferably rump steak or fillet, cubed
  • 1/2 cup fresh plain yoghurt, whipped
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. oil
  • 1 heaped tsp. garlic paste
  • 1 heaped tsp. ginger paste
  • 1 tbsp. tomato puree/paste
  • 1 tsp. whole jeera/cumin
  • 1 tsp. pinch of saffron
  • red chilli powder/chilli flakes
  • 5 black pepper
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 cardamom
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 2 tbsp. chopped coriander
  • 1 green chilli, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric powder

Masala Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp. oil
  • 4 onions, sliced and fried until golden, then crushed
  • 3 tomatoes, cubed
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic paste
  • 1/4 tsp. ginger paste
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 green chillis, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh plain yoghurt, whipped
  • 1 tbsp. tomato puree/paste
  • 1 tsp. sugar (to cut the acidity from the tomatoes)
  • 2 1/2 - 3 cups water
  • 4 potatoes, peeled and quartered, then fried until tender
  • salt to taste

Ingredients for Rice

  • 2 cups rice, long grain basmati (wash/rinse the rice well and then soak in water for 30 minutes)
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 1 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 cloves
  • 4 tbsp oil
  • a few strands of saffron and/or orange food colouring (soak the saffron in some warm water and mix the food colouring in a bit of water)
  • salt as needed


Mix the steak cubes with the rest of the marination ingredients and allow to marinate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.

Heat the oil in a pot, add the tomatoes and cook until they are mushy and oil begins to separate from them. Add the ginger and garlic paste, followed by the cinnamon stick and chopped green chillies and cook the mixture for a few seconds then add the marinated steak. Fry on high heat for 3 minutes.

In the meantime, in a bowl, mix the yoghurt with the crushed fried onions, tomato puree, sugar and 1 tsp. salt. Pour this mixture into the pan and cook until the gravy is dry. Add the water, turn the heat down to low and cover the pot. Allow to simmer and cook gently for 15-20 minutes or until the beef is tender and the gravy is thick.

Taste and adjust salt and spice. Add the fried potatoes and give it a mix.

Rice Recipe

Bring a big pot of water to boil, add salt,  cardamom pods, cinnamon stick and cloves plus 2 tbsp of oil.

Drain the pre-soaked rice and add it to this water when it is boiling. Cook until the rice is about almost done and then strain out all the water.

Put the rice back into the empty pan and sprinkle a handful of fried onions and some chopped fresh coriander. Then drizzle about 2 tbsp. of oil and the saffron water over the rice. Add the food colouring on one side and mix it up a bit with a spoon and then cover the pot tightly. Steam this on low heat for 15 minutes or put in a 180 C preheated oven for about the same time.

Serve hot, topped with beef masala/gravy and garnished with more fried onions, chopped coriander leaves and chopped green chillies!

Enjoy!  🙂

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