Indian Tricolor Biryani (Tiranga Biryani) - a family meal

4.2 stars from 10 ratings of Indian Tricolored Biryani

The Indian Biryani

Biryani refers to a set of rice-based foods made with spices, rice (usually basmati) and vegetables. It is also made with meats. The name of the dish has been derived from the Persian word for 'fried' or 'roasted'. The dish originated from Persia (modern-day Iran). Travel was responsible for the dish arriving to the Indian sub-continent. Once in India, the Biryani underwent transformations and metamorphoses to evolve into a mind-blowing variety.

Newer versions are evolving even as we read this! The Tricolor Biryani or Tiranga Biryani is a special recipe developed by my father. He has cooking experience of more than 40 years and that shows in the taste and looks of this awesome rice dish. It needs patient efforts to make it, of course, but the results are richly rewarding. And so, if you love cooking and have a holiday at hand, here is something that you can conjure up. (Trust me, once you make it, anyone who eats it will consider you a magician!)

I remember serving this to a person who exclaimed,

"If I knew that vegetarian food could be so tasty, I would never have tried to even taste non-vegetarian food!"

That speaks a lot about this Biryani.

Here is the step-by-step recipe and instructions as told by my father. Note that you will need a masala or cooking-spices mix called paneer-butter-masala mix which is easily available in India. I don't know of its availability in other countries.

Serve the Tricolor Biryani (or Tiranga Biryani) with cucumber slices.
Serve the Tricolor Biryani (or Tiranga Biryani) with cucumber slices. | Source

Cook Time

Prep time: 1 hour 15 min
Cook time: 1 hour 15 min
Ready in: 2 hours 30 min
Yields: Serves 10 people 250 grams of vegetable rice

Ingredient list

  • 500 grams Basmati rice
  • 100 grams Green String Beans, chopped into 0.5-inch pieces
  • 100 grams Carrots, chopped lengthwise into 0.5-inch pieces
  • 100 grams Fresh Green Peas
  • 100 grams Frozen Yellow sweet corn
  • 200 grams Cauliflowers, chopped into 0.5-inch florets
  • 200 grams Potatoes, chopped into 0.5-inch cuboids
  • 100 grams Red Tomatoes, chopped into 0.25-inch pieces
  • 200 grams Onions, chopped finely
  • 250 grams Spinach, chopped finely
  • 4 numbers Green hot peppers, chopped finely
  • 75 grams Paneer Butter Masala, (obtained under various brands like Mother's Recipe)
  • 1 teaspoon (4 grams) Cinnamon powder
  • 4 numbers Cloves
  • 1 teaspoon (4 grams) Coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon (4 grams) Cumin powder (Jeera powder)
  • 2 teaspoons (8 grams) Red-chilly powder
  • 1 teaspoon (4 grams) Turmeric powder
  • 200 grams Curds, (ensure it has not soured)
  • 200 grams Green Peppers (Bell peppers), chopped into 0.5-inch pieces
  • 3 teaspoons (12 grams) Coconut, grated
  • 2 teaspoons Ghee
  • 5 teaspoons Sunflower oil, refined
  • 1 teaspoon Turmeric
  • To taste Salt
  • 3 teaspoons Cumin seeds

The Spinach rice

Mix the first part of the rice into the spinach paste prepared.
Mix the first part of the rice into the spinach paste prepared. | Source

The Cauliflower-Potato rice

The second part of the cooked rice is mixed with the cooked potato and cauliflower pieces.
The second part of the cooked rice is mixed with the cooked potato and cauliflower pieces. | Source

The Vegetables rice

The third and final part of the cooked rice is to be mixed with the cooked vegetables.
The third and final part of the cooked rice is to be mixed with the cooked vegetables. | Source

The penultimate stage

The three parts of the Tricolor Biryani ready to be layered
The three parts of the Tricolor Biryani ready to be layered | Source

A triple delight!

  1. Wash the Basmati rice thoroughly. Add equal measure of water and half teaspoon of ghee. Cook the rice in the cooker. Once the rice is ready, spread it on a plate to cool it. Divide it into three equal parts.
  2. Now we shall prepare the Spinach rice. Cook the spinach and green hot chillies in about 100 ml water. This will take about 5 minutes. Grind the cooked spinach and chillies to paste with the grated coconut.
  3. Add a teaspoon of ghee in a frying pan and heat. Add the cloves and sauté till it sputters. Next, add the cinnamon powder and the ground spinach paste. Toss in the ghee for about a minute. Add about 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt (to taste). Mix this homogeneously with one part of the cooked rice.
  4. Next we prepare the potato and cauliflower rice. Boil the potato and cauliflower pieces with 1 teaspoon each of salt and turmeric. Once the cauliflower and potato pieces are soft and cooked (about 10-12 minutes), drain the water.
  5. Add 3 teaspoons of sunflower oil in a frying pan. Add 1 teaspoon cumin and heat till it sputters. Add tomatoes and fry for about 3 minutes. Next, add the boiled potatoes and cauliflowers. Fry for a further 5 minutes. Add 3 teaspoons of salt (to taste). Also add the coriander powder, a teaspoon of cumin powder, a teaspoon of red-chilly powder and 15 grams of the paneer-butter-masala mix. Mix well and then mix it with the 2nd part of the rice.
  6. We will finally make the vegetable rice part of the recipe. Boil the green string beans, carrots, green peas and yellow sweet corn till soft(about 15 minutes). Drain the excess water.
  7. Add two teaspoons of sunflower oil in the frying pan and add 1 teaspoon of cumin till it sputters. Add the yogurt and heat till it boils. Add the remaining 60 grams of paneer-butter-masala mix. Mix well and then add the remaining vegetables. Add salt to taste and mix this with the third part of the cooked rice.
  8. In a microwave-worthy bowl, add the lower layer of potato-cauliflower rice. Pack well and then top it with the spinach rice. Pack it well and add the final layer of vegetable rice. Heat it in the microwave before serving. Cut through the layers while serving.

Ready to dig in?

Two minutes of warming in the microwave is all that is needed before you dig into this mouth-watering delicacy!
Two minutes of warming in the microwave is all that is needed before you dig into this mouth-watering delicacy! | Source
Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 250 grams
Calories 200
Calories from Fat27
% Daily Value *
Fat 3 g5%
Saturated fat 2 g10%
Unsaturated fat 1 g
Carbohydrates 30 g10%
Sugar 5 g
Fiber 4 g16%
Protein 6 g12%
Cholesterol 30 mg10%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

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Comments 13 comments

aravindb1982 profile image

aravindb1982 2 years ago from Puttaparthi, India Author

@ millionaire tips: Thank you for your kind comment. Since my regular reader base is from India, I wrote in the metric that is comfortable for them - the UK system. :)

But your point is well taken.


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 2 years ago from USA

That sounds delicious! Each of the layers of rice look like they are worthy meals of themselves, but together they would make a special treat. I think it would be helpful if you provided the measurements of the ingredients in pounds or ounces so each reader doesn't have to do the conversions.


Anpaws profile image

Anpaws 4 years ago from New Delhi, India

nice about Biryani, but I found the tricolor missing. got faded?


aravindb1982 profile image

aravindb1982 4 years ago from Puttaparthi, India Author

@ Poornima - You embarrass me!! :)

@ Snigdha - Try it out - You'll enjoy it... Thank you for stopping by...


snigdha.s profile image

snigdha.s 4 years ago from India,mumbai

Wow I love biryani and keep trying different types. This one looks great. You explained the procedure very well.Voted up and bookmarked. thanks for sharing


poornimasrinath profile image

poornimasrinath 4 years ago from Midrand, Johannesburg, RSA

Hey this one seems like "Sathwic" with no garlic ! Did you miss that part? ! lol.. I see the difference in your weight from your M.Sc., drama photo to the present one! Food at your place must be really delicious then..;) Will try soon and let you know the result.......Learn soon to give a helping hand to Pooja..


An Impressed Reader 4 years ago

A good narrator is always a good narrator, no matter what he talks about :)

Just as the scenes play in front of my eyes when I read your other posts, I could see through this too, aided by the well titled pictures of course .. Wish it had appeared in front of me at the end though :)

Enjoyed reading it .. Tingled my taste buds


aravindb1982 profile image

aravindb1982 4 years ago from Puttaparthi, India Author

@ Deepak - Again - it is not me cooking! It is my dad... Am only noting and writing...

And my dad has been cooking all the while... :)

Yes! My wife is happy..


Deepak 4 years ago

At least your wife must be the happiest person now...with one more helping hands :-))))))))))))))))))


aravindb1982 profile image

aravindb1982 4 years ago from Puttaparthi, India Author

@ M K Paul - Thank you. The reality is that am only a good and sincere writer! The cook is my dad! I got inspired by the dishes and plan to put them up as recipes for all to enjoy!

Thank you so much...


M K Paul profile image

M K Paul 4 years ago from India

Hey, arvind, I must say, you are a gr8 cook.Nice to meet you.Shared and voted up


aravindb1982 profile image

aravindb1982 4 years ago from Puttaparthi, India Author

@ Darshi -

My dad was so happy! Hope you have that Biryani for lunch or dinner soon!! :)


darshi 4 years ago

omaigod *drools*....

You just had to Anna! Now I will remain hungry dreaming of such delicious briyani. Although I'm not such a big fan of peas and the frozen vege...maybe I can substitute that with something else :) Please tell your dad it looks yummylicious!

......*still drooling*.....

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