Hyderabadi Biryani

Photo by Shamsah Jiwani



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


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


  • 1 cup plant based yoghurt, whisked
  • 1 cup finely chopped mint
  • 1 cup finely chopped fresh coriander leaves (cilantro)
  • 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 the water, add whole spices, rice and salt. Cook the rice until almost done.

Combine the 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 mins. Check seasoning.


Pre-heat the oven to 200 °C. Layer a vessel with the curry, then with rice, then sprinkle the saffron milk over the rice. Repeat the layers as required, in the same vessel. Cover the vessel 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 vessel in the oven. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes. Serve hot.

Serves 4