Beef Biryani

Beef Biryani is a culinary masterpiece that stands as a testament to the rich and diverse gastronomic traditions of South Asia. This delectable dish, with its layers of fragrant rice, tender beef, and aromatic spices, is sure to captivate your senses and leave an indelible impression on your palate. Below, we provide a detailed, step-by-step guide to creating the best homemade beef biryani, ensuring that your efforts yield a dish worthy of any celebratory table.


For the Marinade

  • 1 kg beef (preferably boneless, cut into medium-sized chunks)
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste
  • 2 teaspoons red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • Salt to taste

For the Rice

  • 3 cups Basmati rice (soaked in water for 30 minutes)
  • 4-5 cloves
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 4-5 green cardamom pods
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons ghee or vegetable oil

For the Biryani

  • 3 large onions (thinly sliced)
  • 2 large tomatoes (chopped)
  • 2 green chilies (slit)
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves (chopped)
  • 1 cup milk (infused with a pinch of saffron)
  • 4 tablespoons ghee or vegetable oil

For Garnish

  • Fried onions
  • Fresh coriander leaves
  • Sliced boiled eggs (optional)
  • Lemon wedges


Step 1: Marinating the Beef

  1. In a large bowl, combine the beef chunks, yogurt, ginger-garlic paste, red chili powder, turmeric powder, garam masala, and salt. Mix thoroughly to ensure the beef is well-coated with the marinade.
  2. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight. This will allow the beef to absorb all the flavors, making it tender and flavorful.

Step 2: Preparing the Rice

  1. In a large pot, bring 6 cups of water to a boil. Add the soaked Basmati rice, cloves, bay leaves, green cardamom pods, cinnamon stick, and salt.
  2. Cook the rice until it is 70-80% done. The grains should be firm but not fully cooked.
  3. Drain the rice and set it aside.

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Step 3: Frying the Onions

  1. In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, heat 2 tablespoons of ghee or oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the sliced onions and fry until they turn golden brown and crispy. This can take around 15-20 minutes.
  3. Remove the onions from the pot and set aside on a paper towel to drain excess oil.

Step 4: Cooking the Beef

  1. In the same pot, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of ghee or oil. Add the cumin seeds, and let them splutter.
  2. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook until they become soft and pulpy.
  3. Add the marinated beef, and cook on medium-high heat until the beef is browned and the marinade is thickened.
  4. Add the coriander powder, black peppercorns, green chilies, chopped coriander leaves, and mint leaves. Stir well to combine.
  5. Add 1 cup of water, cover the pot, and let the beef cook on low heat until it is tender. This can take about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Step 5: Assembling the Biryani

  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F).
  2. In a large, oven-safe pot, layer half of the partially cooked rice at the bottom.
  3. Add the cooked beef mixture on top of the rice layer.
  4. Add the remaining rice over the beef, spreading it evenly.
  5. Pour the saffron-infused milk over the top layer of rice.
  6. Cover the pot tightly with aluminum foil or a lid to seal in the steam.
  7. Place the pot in the preheated oven and bake for 30-40 minutes. This process, known as “dum,” allows the flavors to meld together beautifully.

Step 6: Serving the Biryani

  1. Once the biryani is done, remove it from the oven and let it sit for 10 minutes before opening.
  2. Gently fluff the rice with a fork to mix the layers.
  3. Garnish with fried onions, fresh coriander leaves, and sliced boiled eggs if desired.
  4. Serve hot with raita, salad, and lemon wedges on the side.

Tips for the Perfect Beef Biryani

  • Quality of Meat: Choose tender cuts of beef to ensure that the meat cooks evenly and becomes succulent.
  • Rice: Basmati rice is the best choice for biryani due to its long grains and fragrant aroma. Make sure not to overcook the rice during the initial boiling process.
  • Marination Time: Marinating the beef overnight is highly recommended as it allows the flavors to penetrate deeply into the meat.
  • Spices: Freshly ground spices make a significant difference in the flavor profile of the biryani. Try to use whole spices and grind them just before use.
  • Layering: Proper layering of rice and meat is crucial. Ensure that the meat is spread evenly and covered entirely with rice.
  • Dum Cooking: This step is vital for a perfect biryani. Ensure that the pot is sealed well to trap the steam, which helps in cooking the biryani to perfection.

With this comprehensive guide, you can now prepare the best homemade beef biryani, impressing your family and friends with your culinary skills. Enjoy this delightful dish that promises a burst of flavors in every bite.

FAQs Related To Beef Biryani Recipe

Q1: What type of beef is best for biryani? A1: For biryani, it’s best to use tender cuts of beef such as sirloin or chuck. These cuts become tender and flavorful when cooked slowly.

Q2: Can I use a different type of rice if I don’t have Basmati? A2: While Basmati rice is ideal due to its long grains and fragrance, you can use other types of long-grain rice. However, the texture and flavor might differ slightly.

Q3: How long should I marinate the beef? A3: For the best flavor, marinate the beef for at least 2 hours. Ideally, marinating overnight will yield the most flavorful and tender meat.

Q4: Can I make biryani without an oven? A4: Yes, you can cook biryani on the stovetop. After layering the biryani, cook it on very low heat for about 30-40 minutes. Use a heavy-bottomed pot and a tight-fitting lid to prevent steam from escaping.

Q5: Is it necessary to use saffron in biryani? A5: Saffron adds a unique aroma and color to the biryani, but it is optional. You can substitute it with turmeric mixed with milk or simply skip it if you prefer.

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