Hyderabadi Biryani


Photo by Shamsah Jiwani



  • 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


  • ½ cup soya chunks, soaked, drained and water squeezed out as per pack instructions
  • ½ kg onions, finely sliced
  • 2 tsp saffron threads, 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 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 water, add whole spices, add rice, salt. Cook rice until almost done.

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


Pre-heat oven to 200 °C. Layer a vessel with 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 oven heat down to 180 °C and place the covered vessel in the oven. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes. Serve hot.

Serves 4