Biryani with a Persian twist

Biryani with a Persian twist

Anyone who likes Indian cuisine is familiar with the Biryani. Few know that the word Biryani is derived from the Farsi word "Birian". Some believe that the dish could therefore have originated somewhere in erstwhile Persia.

Today's attempt was to make a biryani with a persian twist, right from the choice of meat to the spices. So, I used mutton and only persian dry spice powder.

Contributed by Rajan Manickavasagam.

Published 11. December 2016


  • Salt (to taste)
  • Crushed black pepper 
  • Persian dry spices
  • 1 cup natural/greek yoghurt
  • 2 cups of basmati rice
  • 500 gm of mutton chops 
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of clarified butter (ghee)
  • 1 large onion chopped into juliennes
  • 10-12 cashew nuts
  • Assorted whole spices - mace, cinnamon sticks, cardamom and star anise


  • Marinate the mutton in salt, pepper, persian dry spices and olive oil for 10 minutes.
  • Heat a wok and add the clarified butter.
  • Once the butter is melted, saute the onions. Add the assorted whole spices. 
  • As the onions cook, add the mutton, cashew nuts and saute them further until they brown.
  • After a few minutes, add the the yoghurt and water to cover the mutton.
  • Remove the mutton and some of the stock from the wok and roast them in an oven for 20 minutes at 200 C.
  • Meanwhile, in the stock, add the basmati rice to the stock and cook them.
  • Finally, add the rice to the mutton in the oven and roast for a further 10 minutes. This give the biryani a "dum" effect.
  • For vegetarians, it may be best to use chunky pieces of potato and carrots that can absorb the spices as well as meat.
    Happy eating.

Further details

Serves 4 people.
Preparation time is approximately 20 min.
Cooking time is approximately 40 min.


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