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Lamb, Chicken, and Rice Biryani Recipe

Updated on August 29, 2012
5 stars from 2 ratings of Rice Biryani

A family pleasing Rice Biryani (Easy Peasy to make too!)

Finished Yummy Biryani with yogurt, cucumbers and fresh tomatoes
Finished Yummy Biryani with yogurt, cucumbers and fresh tomatoes | Source

Easy Peasy Step One

Rice mixture made ahead and kept warm
Rice mixture made ahead and kept warm | Source
hot from the oven
hot from the oven | Source

Biryani Deconstructed to Easy Peasy for the non-Indian Cook

For an easy preparation, lay out all the ingredients and prepare the recipe in these steps. The end result is an easy nutritious dish!

We love Indian food. Since, my blog is about the Southwest USA where there are many Indian tribes, please know that I am talking about Indian food from India not from a tribe in the Southwest USA.

India is generally a hot country and many foods are made to counter balance the heat from the climate. Therefore, Indian food is a great hot weather food. It is surprisingly cooling to eat. It is also very healthy for you.

Recently, we went to one of our favorite Indian Restaurants by ASU (Arizona State University) and one of the dishes we had was their Special Biryani. This biryani used fresh tomatoes and had a lovely fragrant taste. It was also very satisfying on a hot day. It was a cooling dish.I wanted to make it at home.

So, I began researching biryanis to find out what the correct spices were and the methods. It was up to me to sort out what ingredients that our favorite restaurant used.

Biryani is a generic name for a rice dish with various seasonings. Therefore, the types of biryanis are nearly unlimited and I bet nearly every Indian cook or chef has their own special biryani. Biryani also is a wide spread food from many different cultures. It was created as an easy to prepare food for armies!

For more information on biryani please follow this link to a nicely detailed description of biryani

According to the books and web sites the biryani that I was trying to make was a biryani from the hot coastal area of Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay) area of India. All the recipes that I found were multi layered and very confusing to follow yet the very food biryani was created as an easy food to make for traveling armies and such. So, what was going on here?

The recipes had the steps all run together and that made it confusing.

Well, I took the recipes apart and that helped make them simple to create. Here is the biryani that I made with the help of many cook books, web sites, and the take home left-overs box from Delhi India Restaurant at the corner of Rural Road and University in Tempe, AZ.


Think of these in steps: boil, prepare/construct, and bake.

  • 1 1/2 C. rice
  • 9 cardamon Seeds, Ground and cracked. See #1 helper below for more info.
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/4 t. ground cloves
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 3 onions sliced
  • 1 cooked lamb chop, 1
  • 1 can chicken, 1
  • 1 t. coriander
  • 1/2 t. black pepper
  • 1 lemon juice only
  • 3 minced cloves of garlic
  • 4 sliced tomatoes
  • 1/4 C fresh chopped cilantro
  • 3/4 C Yogurt

Instructions Broken Down for Easy Preparation

  1. First five ingredients. Boil 2 cups of water and add rice and the first five ingredients. Let boil for 2 minutes (10 minutes for brown rice) Pick out the cardamom pods (The seeds found in the pods are fine. Drain and keep warm. --Try not putting in the pods at all, just use the seeds. --NOTE: Cardamom pods are very expensive, so I went to Sprouts Grocery and purchased from the loose spice collection only what I needed. This kept the cardamom pod price down to .25 cents rather than the cost of a small jar at the regular grocery for $10.00, and I am not exaggerating here!
  2. The next seven ingredients should be cooked until the meat is done and then simmered together for a few minutes. You can use any meat or meatless combination that you have on hand. I use left overs for this!
  3. The final three ingredients: Layer the sliced tomatoes on the rice mixture, scatter the chopped fresh cilantro (substituting cilantro powder is okay) on top, and cover with the 3/4 C. of yogurt. I only drained the yogurt for the time it took to make the recipe. You do NOT need to drain the yoghurt if you don't want to.
  4. Step Three Bake at 375° for 1 to 1/2 hours. Make sure your rice is done I cook this in a cast iron dutch oven and let it 'rest' for a bit to finish cooking. Again, Just make sure your rice is done!
  5. To make this easier divide the spice list up with a straight line to match-up with the step 1, 2, and 3. It makes it less confusing to make.

Cook Time

Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 1 hour
Ready in: 1 hour 20 min
Yields: 4-6 servings (main or side dish changes servings)


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    • NMLady profile image

      NMLady 5 years ago from New Mexico & Arizona

      Thanks Carol.....I know what you mean about reading recipes while hungry!

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 5 years ago from Arizona

      I should never read recipes when I am hungry. This certainly warrants trying. It looks delicious. Thanks for sharing this with us.

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 5 years ago from Iowa

      Hooray! But I know what you mean about life's complications getting in the way of writing. I published my first hub yesterday in over a month. And it may be a few weeks before I get another one done.

    • NMLady profile image

      NMLady 5 years ago from New Mexico & Arizona

      You are kind to say these things. Life has been a bit complicated and difficult the first part of the year. Things are more settled now. I missed writing. I enjoy it so!

      So, I'm baaaaack!

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 5 years ago from Iowa

      Where was this recipe a few weeks ago? I found some lamb in the bottom of the freezer and decided to make biryani but had a tough time coming up with a good recipe. This sounds (and looks) so much better than what I came up with, although it wasn't too bad. I love the wonderful photos you've used to illustrate the process. By the way, I'm glad to see you publishing again. I've missed your wonderful recipe hubs lately!