beef biryani

Beef biryani: A taste sensation. Photo credit: Carla Zinkfontein.

Beef biryani – Flavour-infused dish that will knock you off your feet

Bring the pleasing aroma of beef biryani to your home with this brilliant recipe.

beef biryani

Beef biryani: A taste sensation. Photo credit: Carla Zinkfontein.

As South Africans, we just love pungent, aromatic flavour-infused dishes. This beef biryani is loaded with so much taste and flavour that it will easily become a favourite after just one bite.

This beef biryani recipe may seem like a lot of steps to follow but it comes together really easily. Make sure you do not skip any of the ingredients or steps so that you can enjoy this dish in its full glory. There is something so satisfying about this Indian rice dish. It is not only lip-smackingly delicious but will also make you feel full and content.

Bring the pleasing aroma of beef biryani to your home with this brilliant recipe. Prepare this recipe once and it will become a family favourite. You will find that it will become a frequent menu request from the family.

If you have tried this recipe, let us know in the comments section of this recipe. You can also send us a photo of your prepared dish.

Beef biryani recipe

4 from 4 votes
Recipe by Carla Zinkfontein Course: MainCuisine: IndianDifficulty: Easy
Prep time


Cooking time


Total time




  • To grind
  • 5 small 5 onions

  • 2 inch-sliced 2 ginger, chopped

  • 4 cloves 4 garlic

  • 3 3 green chilies

  • 3 3 whole cardamom

  • 2 2 whole cloves

  • 2 inch-sliced 2 whole cinnamon

  • Beef masala
  • 2 tablespoons 2 ghee

  • 5 5 yellow onions, sliced thin and long

  • 2 2 bay leaves

  • 2 2 tomatoes, chopped

  • ½ kg ½ beef, bone-in or boneless stew cut

  • 2 teaspoons 2 coriander powder

  • 2 teaspoons 2 fennel powder

  • 1 teaspoon 1 chilli powder

  • teaspoon turmeric powder

  • ½ teaspoon ½ ground cumin

  • ¾ teaspoon ¾ garam masala

  • 2 2 handfuls cilantro, chopped

  • 6 6 fresh mint leaves, chopped

  • ½ cup ½ water

  • salt to taste

  • Basmati rice
  • 2 cups 2 basmati rice

  • 3 3 whole cardamom

  • 3 3 bay leaves

  • ¼ teaspoon ¼ turmeric powder

  • salt to taste

  • 1 tablespoon 1 ghee

  • cups water (for cooking in a rice cooker)

  • Frying onions
  • enough oil to fry onions

  • 2 2 yellow onions, sliced thin and long

  • Other ingredients
  • tablespoons ghee

  • ¼ cup ¼ roasted cashew nuts

  • 2 handfuls 2 cilantro, chopped

  • 5 5 mint leaves, chopped


  • To grind
  • In a food processor, coarsely grind the above-mentioned ingredients ‘to grind’ without adding water. Do not make it into a paste. Keep aside.
  • Basmati rice
  • Cook the basmati rice in a rice cooker. Add all the ingredients mentioned for the basmati rice into the bowl of a rice cooker and cook till the rice cooker turns to warm mode. Remove the rice bowl from the cooker and keep it aside.
  • If cooking the rice in a saucepan, add 4 cups water for 2 cups rice and cook until the rice has cooked well and the water has completely absorbed.
  • Fried onions
  • For better taste, fry fresh onions rather than using store-bought fried onions. Add enough oil to a hot frying pan, add onions and fry until they turn golden brown in color.
  • Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fried onions onto a plate lined with a kitchen paper towel. Keep aside.
  • If you are using cashew nuts, fry ¼ cup cashew nuts in ½ tablespoon ghee until they turn golden in color. Keep aside.
  • Beef masala
  • Place a pressure cooker over medium heat. Add ghee, let it turn hot.
  • Add the ground mixture, saute for 5 minutes. Add sliced onions, season with salt, and add bay leaves. Saute till onions turn translucent.
  • Add tomatoes, cook for a minute.
  • Add beef that has been cleaned well. You could use bone-in or boneless stew-cut beef.
  • Add coriander powder, fennel powder, chili powder, turmeric powder, ground cumin, garam masala and salt. Combine well. Add chopped cilantro and mint leaves.
  • Add ½ cup water and close the cooker with its lid. Place the whistle and cook over medium heat until 2 whistles or for 20 minutes. Remove the cooker from the heat and let the pressure subside completely and then open the lid.
  • There will be some gravy in the masala. Place the pressure cooker over high heat and cook until the gravy in the beef masala has thickened. Do not make the masala too dry, let there be some gravy in the masala as it will be absorbed by the basmati rice while mixing. Taste and add more salt if needed. Turn the heat down to low heat.
  • Add the cooked basmati rice into the beef masala, combine well into the masala.
  • Add 1½ tablespoons ghee and combine well.
  • Garnish with fried onions, roasted cashew nuts, chopped cilantro and mint leaves.
  • Give everything a good mix, remove the pressure cooker from the heat. Close with its lid and keep the biryani covered for 20 minutes.


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