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Most satisfying and filling meal which is not only aromatic but very flavourful and delicious.Ideal Sunday lunch meal.
5 from 10 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4 servings


For the Rice:

  • 1 cup basamti or any long grain rice
  • 3 cups water
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ghee or oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 star anise
  • 4-6 cardamom pods
  • 2 pieces cinnamon sticks about an inch long
  • 6 cloves
  • ¼ tsp saffron strands
  • 2 tbsp hot rice water

For the Chickpea Curry:

  • 1 cup white chickpeas (kabuli chana) cooked
  • ½ cup sliced onion
  • 1 tbsp ghee or oil
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp green chilli paste
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • ¼ cup fresh tomato puree
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • ¾ - 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp biryani masala powder

For In Between Layer:

  • ½ cup fresh coriander chopped
  • 20-25 mint leaves chopped

For the Top Layer:

  • ½ cup onion sliced
  • 1 tbsp ghee or oil
  • 10-12 almonds cut into halves
  • 10-12 cashew nuts cut into halves
  • 2 tbsp raisins or sultanas


  • Preparation of the Rice:
  • Wash and soak rice in 3 cups of water for 30 minutes.
  • Pour the water from the soaked rice into a big saucepan.
  • Add the bay leaves, star anise, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, ½ tsp salt and 1 tsp ghee to the water.
  • Bring the water to a boil over medium heat.
  • Add the soaked rice and allow it to simmer and cook till half done.
  • Drain the rice out into a sieve or colander.
  • Don't throw the water away. You will need some later on. The remaining can be used up as stock for soup.
  • Add two tbsp of the hot rice water into a small bowl or cup. Add saffron to it and allow it to steep.

Preparation of the Kabuli Chana/Chickpea Curry:

  • Heat ghee or oil in a pan over low to medium heat.
  • Add onions and a pinch of salt. Stir fry the onions over low heat till they become golden brown.
  • Add ginger, garlic and green chilli paste. Stir fry till the garlic turns slightly pink.
  • Add salt, turmeric, red chilli and coriander powders. Mix it well.
  • Add the tomato puree and mix.
  • Cover the pan and allow the mixture to cook over low heat for 3-4 minutes.
  • Add the chickpeas and coconut milk. Allow the mixture to simmer over low heat for 5 minutes.
  • Add the biryani masala powder and mix well.
  • Take the pan off the heat.

Preparation of the Topping:

  • Heat ghee or oil in a wide pan over medium to low heat.
  • Add the chopped almonds and roast them till they begin to turn light brown.
  • Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon.
  • Add cashew nuts and roast them till they turn pink.
  • Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon.
  • Add raisins and stir fry till they swell up.
  • Remove from the pan using a slotted spoon.
  • At more ghee is required.
  • Stir fry the sliced onions till they trun golden brown.

Layering the Biryani:

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  • Lightly grease a baking tray with some ghee or oil.
  • Add half of the rice to the tray and spread it out to make a layer.
  • Sprinkle ¼ cup rice water over it.
  • Sprinke half of the saffron water over it.
  • Add the chickpea curry layer, spreading it out over the rice evenly.
  • Sprinkle the chopped coriander and mint over the curry.
  • Add the remaining rice and spread it out evenly over the mint coriander layer.
  • Sprinkle the remaining saffron water and ¼ cup rice water over it.
  • Add the topping, i.e. the roasted nuts, raisins and browned onion.
  • Cover the tray with an aluminium foil.
  • Bake the biryani for 20 -30 mins or till the rice is done.
  • Serve piping hot biryani with raita, salan or plain yogurt and some roasted papad.


  • Make sure you sprinkle some water over the rice layers so that the rice cooks nicely in the oven.
  • To save time, prepare the chickpea curry the previous day and leave it in the fridge. It helps the spices to infuse making it more flavoruful.
  • Can add other vegetables and chopped paneer to the curry if you wish.
  • If you have a clay pot or individual portion clay pots, bake the biryani in the pots for that traditional feel.
Keyword biryani, chickpea recipes, gluten free option, indian vegetarian, kabuli chana recipe, lunch recipe, lunchbox recipe, rice recipes, vegan option