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Hyderabadi Biryani

Photo credit: Shamsah Jiwani


For the Rice

  • ¼ kg whole brown basmati rice, soaked for 8-10 hours
  • 1 tsp whole spices (cloves, cinnamon, green cardamom)
  • ¼ tsp unrefined salt
  • ½ litre water

For the Curry

  • ½ cup soya chunks, soaked, drained and water squeezed out as per pack instructions
  • ½ kg onions, finely sliced
  • 2 tsp saffron strands, soaked in a little plant based milk of your choice

For the Marinade

  • 1 cup plant based yoghurt, whisked
  • 1 cup finely chopped mint
  • 1 cup finely chopped fresh coriander leaves
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tsp coriander (dhania) powder
  • Red chilli powder to taste
  • ¼ tsp cumin (jeera) powder
  • ½ tsp unrefined salt (or to taste)


Boil water, add whole spices, rice and salt. Cook the rice until almost done.

Combine ingredients for the marinade and marinate the prepped soya chunks in this for 1 hour. In a skillet, dry ‘fry’ the onions. Add the marinated mixture and sauté for 7-10 minutes. Check seasoning.

Pre-heat the oven to 200 °C. Layer an oven-proof dish with curry, then with rice, then sprinkle the saffron milk over the rice. Repeat the layers as required, in the same dish. Cover the dish with aluminium foil, taking care that the foil does not touch the food. Turn the oven heat down to 180 °C and place the covered dish in the oven. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes. Serve hot.

Serves 4

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