Nargisi Kofta Biryani

Servings : Serves 4-6

Each of the giant meatballs served with this gorgeous biryani contains a whole boiled egg enclosed in the spicy minced meat casing. Truly a luxurious meal!

Ingredients for Koftas/Meatballs

  • 800 gm finely ground chicken mince - minced twice (you can also do this with beef or mutton mince, but make sure that there is NO FAT in the meat, any fat will make the kababs break and crack during frying. So use very lean meat without any fat and minced 2-3 times for a super smooth mixture)
  • 1 and half tsp salt, or to taste
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
  • 2 chopped green chillies
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 5-6 boiled eggs

Ingredients for Masala/Gravy

  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 4 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 3 onions, sliced and fried until golden
  • 1/4 cup yoghurt
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1/2 tbsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tsp whole cumin seeds
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp whole black pepper
  • 4 cardamoms
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander
  • 1-2 tsp lemon juice

Ingredients for Rice

  • 3 cups basmati rice, washed 2-3 times then soaked for half an hour
  • salt
  • saffron & food colouring
  • oil
  • whole spices



Mix all the ingredients well and keep for half an hour. In the meantime, boil 5-6 eggs, peel and set aside. Once the keema has marinated for half an hour, take a handful of the mince, flatten it like a pancake on a piece of plastic, preferably cling film. Put a boiled egg in the center of the pancake, then using the plastic, enclose the egg completely with the keema. Make sure it’s very smooth and without cracks anywhere. The reason we use plastic to help in shaping is so that you get a smoother kabab. Doing it with the hands might leave some areas uncovered, thereby resulting in the kababs/koftas disintegrating during frying. So shape them using the help of a plastic bag. After shaping each kabab, set it aside and continue with the rest of the mince.

You can even oil the plastic bag slightly to avoid the mince sticking to it during shaping.

Once all are done, heat some oil and fry the kababs for about 2-3 minutes or until they are slightly firm, coloured and well held together.


Heat the oil, add chopped tomatoes and all the whole and powdered spices (except for the garam masala). Stir well and cook until oil separates from the gravy. Add splashed of water if needed until the tomatoes are well cooked. Then add the fried onions and yoghurt and mix well.  Finally add the fried koftas (now don’t use a spoon to stir as this could break the kababs). Cook the masala on low heat until koftas are done. Keep adding water a little at a time if needed and mix by moving/swirling the pan. Finally sprinkle the chopped coriander, garam masala and a squeeze of lemon juice.


Wash then soak 3 cups of rice in water for about 20-30 mins. Soak a few saffron strands in some water and set aside.

Bring a big pot of water to boil, add salt, 4 cardamom pods, 2-3 cinnamon sticks and 2-3 cloves plus about 2 tbsp. of oil. Drain the soaked rice and add it to this water when it is boiling. Cook until the rice is about 3/4 done, remove and strain out all the water. Now layer the rice in a big pot, placing the biryani masala and koftas in the between layers of rice then drizzle 2 tbsp. of oil, some soaked saffron water and some orange/yellow color on the rice. Seal the pot and put on dum/steam it on the stove….or bake in the oven for about 10 minutes. Serve!!

12 thoughts on “Nargisi Kofta Biryani
12 Replies

Leave a Reply