This is my biryani, cooked dum style in the oven. It's not any sort of traditional kind, it's just my simplified version, good for a slightly fancy but easy weekend meal.

Marinade for curry

Prepare the protein and marinade:

Mix masala into the yogurt. It should taste strong and pleasantly spicy but not overpowering; use more or less to taste. Add as much salt as you think the protein needs, then combine everything. Let it marinate while doing the next steps.

Rice prep

Wash enough aged basmati rice to have at least three parts rice to one part protein+sauce in the end (for a small pack of meat, 2.5 cups dry rice is about right). Put it in a bowl with cold water to soak. It should soak at least half an hour, and up to 90 minutes.

Rice (watch timing! read for more info)

At this point, preheat the oven to 325°F / 160°C.

How the rice gets timed depends on how long the curry will need to cook, which depends on the protein used. See the next section for a quick table. For fast cooking proteins, get the rice ready first and set it aside. For slow proteins, cook the rice when they're almost done.

Get a big pot and add:

The vinegar slows down the rice cooking so doesn't end up mushy. Bring the water to a boil, then add rice. Return to a boil and cook 3-5 minutes, until about half done — you should be able to chew it without a hard crunch, but it shouldn't be nice and soft yet.

Strain, and if you're not ready for it yet, rinse with cold water so it doesn't keep cooking.

You could also add whole spices to the rice here - toast them in some oil or ghee, then add the water after the oil cools enough not to splatter. I don't think it's necessary, the rice will pick up lots of flavor from the curry later.


Add to a heavy dutch oven and heat:

Toss in:

Cook until the onions are soft and slightly browned, then add:

Cover and braise as long as the protein requires. It should be on the verge of tender but definitely not past, as there is still more cooking to be done.

Protein Approximate time
Chickpeas Don't cook, just toss together and skip ahead
Chicken breast Don't cook, just toss together and skip ahead (Yes! Raw!)
Chicken thigh 30 minutes
Lamb shoulder 75-90 minutes


Scoop the curry it into a bowl, leaving enough to cover the bottom of the pot. Layer rice and curry alternately like a lasagna. Cover the pot with foil and press the lid on for a good seal, and put it in the oven. Bake for 25 minutes.

Take the pot out of the oven and let it sit, still covered, for 15 minutes. During this time, prepare:

The saffron milk is optional, and turmeric may be used instead in the same way.

After the 15 minute rest, lift the lid. Drizzle the saffron milk over the rice so some is stained yellow, then sprinkle on the mint leaves. Replace the lid for 15 more minutes, then serve.

Last modified: Sat Nov 12 19:09:33 MST 2022. Converted from recipes/
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