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Dum Biryani from curries !

A special Biryani treat and a great way to refresh & recycle a Saturday night surplus curry !

A good recipe from extra curry left over , on one of those lazy Sundays when you want to eat something special, good & quick with little or no efforts is possible too if you have a pre made batch of Rice & caramelised onions in the fridge ....

Tip -

Its a good idea to always make a batch of “Birista ” what these golden fried onions are called in India , always as a back up for all these special dishes like - biryani & nihari s and many more , believe me it’s a big time saver .


  • 1 cup basmati rice (leftover, cooked rice can also be used)

  • 2 whole cloves

  • 1/2” cinnamon stick

  • 1/2 tsp shahi jeera

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 2 green cardamom

  • 1 black cardamom

  • 3 to 4 cups water to boil rice

  • 1 Tbsp oil

  • 1 tsp. salt

  • 1/2 cup mint leaves chopped

  • 1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves chopped

  • 2 cups of any left over curry like chicken, lamb ,channa or vegetables !

  • 2 large or 3 small onions, peeled and thinly sliced

  • 2-3 potatoes

  • 2-3 Tbsp. oil

  • Salt to taste (curry & rice already has salt so optional

  • A few strands of saffron, soaked in 2 tbsp. warm milk or water. ( optional)

Instructions To ensemble -

  1. Wash and soak rice for 10-20 minutes. drain and keep aside.

  2. Boil water in a pan, along with whole spices , 1 tablespoon of oil and salt.

  3. Add rice. Boil briskly until rice has 70% done - (1/4 uncooked grain remaining when pressed between a finger and thumb.)

  4. carefully Drain in a colander , spreading carefully, better to spoon out rice with a big slotted spoon . Otherwise rice will keep cooking and will become sticky. Keep aside.

  5. Heat oil in a pan and fry onions until brown, see picture. Drain and keep aside.

  6. peel & cut potatoes into 1/2 . piece with a fork over to allow marination , rub 1/2 tsp each of salt & turmeric on the potatoes, leave for 10-15 minutes to marinate & drain .

  7. fry potatoes in hot oil ( same oil where onions are fried can be used )

  8. In a thick bottom, nonstick pan add oil & spread all over, add your chosen curry and 1/3rd of the fried onions , add 1/4 cup of chopped mint & coriander on top , Heat it through. Now you are ready to assemble the biryani rice & potatoes

  9. Place half the rice in the pan and spread it evenly. Sprinkle half of the saffron strands in warm milk / water ,

  10. layer with fried potatoes

  11. top with the remaining rice

  12. sprinkle saffron all over ,

  13. add 2 Tablespoons of hot oil from the fried onions ( as this is now aromatised with onion flavour

  14. Spread the fried onions evenly on top with little more chopped mint & coriander. ( leave some for final garnish )

  15. Cover with a sheet of doubled aluminium foil and heat in a pre-heated oven at 180-200C for 20-25 minutes, until heated through.

  16. OR You can cook same on a medium gas flame too with a think Girdle below the pan (so as it does not scorch the chicken & prevent it from catching at the bottom )

Enjoy piping hot with some Curds & chopped onion, tomatoes & cucumber salsa !!

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