Savory Beef Biryani Recipe – Perfect for Any Occasion

Dear foodies and culinary enthusiasts,

Aromas and tastes serve as a gateway to exploring diverse cultures and traditions. From the bustling streets of Karachi to the luxurious palaces of Hyderabad, Pakistan’s rich culinary culture has always celebrated the amalgamation of spices and flavors, making it a hub for some of the most delectable meat preparations.

Today, I, Ehud, bring to you my take on a classic Pakistani dish- Beef Biryani. It is said that Biryani traces its origin from Mughal India and was brought to India by Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. The dish subsequently gained popularity in the Indian subcontinent, with every state offering its own unique twist.

Biryani is essentially a spiced rice dish mixed with various meats and/or vegetables, characterized by its aromatic blend of whole and grounded spices. It is known for its tender meat, fluffy yet flavorful rice grains, garnished with fresh cilantro, crunchy fried onions, and green peas.

With my recipe, you can embark on a flavorful journey that will take you straight to an open street-side eatery in Lahore or Islamabad – without leaving your kitchen.

So join me as I guide you through this easy Beef Biryani recipe that’s sure to impress your taste buds!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Beef Biryani
Beef Biryani

Food is not just about nourishing our bodies but also about satisfying our souls. And that’s where this Beef Biryani recipe comes in – a dish that’s sure to leave you craving for more. Trust me when I say there is no other biryani recipe that matches the rich flavor and aroma of beef biryani.

The combination of succulent beef cubes, fragrant basmati rice, and a myriad of spices like saffron, cumin powder, and cardamom powder create an explosion of flavors in every bite. The recipe is easy to follow and uses readily available ingredients that are sure to impress your guests.

This Beef Biryani recipe also accommodates different variations to suit your taste preferences without losing its essence. You can add green peas for bit of texture or cilantro to give it a burst of fresh flavor.

One secret ingredient that sets this Beef Biryani recipe apart from the rest is the use of cumin seeds which amplify the taste of the beef in incredible ways. It makes for a perfect addition to Pakistani Beef Biryani, which is known for its strong flavors and spices.

Whether it’s a special occasion or you simply want to indulge in some delicious comfort food, this Beef Biryani recipe is sure to satisfy your cravings and leave you feeling fully satisfied.

So why wait? Treat yourself with this mouth-watering Beef Biryani recipe today!

Ingredient List

 Aromatic spices dance around the tender beef in this Biryani dish
Aromatic spices dance around the tender beef in this Biryani dish

Ingredients needed for this delicious Pakistani-style Beef Biryani Recipe!

  • Beef: 1 kg Certified Angus Beef Sirloin
  • Basmati Rice: 3 cups, cooked
  • Onion: 1, medium, finely chopped
  • Garlic Cloves: 4, finely chopped or crushed
  • Ginger: 1-inch piece, finely chopped or grated
  • Green Peas: 1 cup
  • Cilantro: a handful, chopped (optional for garnish)
  • Saffron: a few strands soaked in 2 tbsp of warm water (optional)
  • Water: 2 cups, for rice
  • Plain Yogurt: 1 cup
  • Oil: to sauté onions and spices
  • Spices:
    • Cumin Seeds: 1 tbsp
    • Cardamom Powder: 1 tsp
    • Ground Cloves: ½ tsp
    • Cinnamon: ½ stick
    • Garam Masala Powder: 3 tsp
    • Turmeric Powder: 1 tsp

The Recipe How-To

 The perfect balance of flavors in every bite!
The perfect balance of flavors in every bite!

Now that we have all the ingredients prepared, it’s time to start cooking! Follow these simple steps to create a delicious and flavorful beef biryani dish that will impress your guests and family.

Step 1: Cook the Basmati Rice

Start by washing 2 cups of basmati rice until the water runs clear, then let it soak in cold water for about half an hour. In the meantime, boil 8 cups of water with 3 teaspoons of salt in a large pot. Once the water is boiling, add the soaked rice and give it a good stir. Cook the rice until it’s about 75% done, then remove from heat and drain any excess water.

Step 2: Prepare the Beef

In a pressure cooker or instant pot, heat 4 tablespoons of oil on medium heat. Add 1 sliced onion and sauté until they are golden brown. Then add 4 garlic cloves and 1 tbsp ginger paste, stirring continuously for another minute. Now add 500g cubed Certified Angus beef sirloin beef and sear them for about 5 to 7 minutes or until they turn brown.

Step 3: Add Spices

Add a pinch of saffron strands into 1/2 cup warm milk, let it soak for a few minutes until the milk turns yellow. Start adding spices to the beef mixture, including 1 tsp garam masala, 1 tsp cumin powder, 1/2 tsp coriander powder, 1/4 tsp turmeric powder, and salt to taste.

Step 4: Add Cilantro, Green Peas, and Rice

Pour in a cup of water, then add in some fresh cilantro leaves and green peas. Next, lay half of the partially cooked rice on top of layers of beef mixture followed by another layer of uncooked rice. Pour over an extra half-cup of warm milk mixed with crushed saffron.

Now cover and cook on high heat or set your instant pot to high pressure, cooking for around fifteen minutes before reducing it to low heat allowing it to simmer for another ten minutes or so.

Finally, serve your deliciously fragrant Beef Biryani recipe with plain yogurt or other side dishes like cucumber-yogurt raita or Indian-style spicy pickles.


Substitutions and Variations

 Biryani wouldn't be complete without these delectable, caramelized onions on top
Biryani wouldn’t be complete without these delectable, caramelized onions on top

When it comes to cooking, one of the best ways to experiment with flavors is through substitutions and variations. This beef biryani recipe is no exception! While the recipe ingredients are full of unique and flavorful options, don’t shy away from trying something new with this dish.

First and foremost, if you’re not a fan of beef, try substituting it for chicken or lamb. The fragrant spices in this dish go well with any meat option. Additionally, if you’re a vegetarian, skip the meat altogether and add in some roasted vegetables like cauliflower, sweet potatoes or even some diced tomatoes.

For those who can’t handle too much heat, consider replacing the garam masala with a milder spice blend like curry powder or even Chinese five spice. You could also cut back on the number of cloves and swap cardamom powder for a touch of nutmeg.

If you’re feeling a bit adventurous, try adding some unique ingredients to reinvent this classic recipe – consider swapping cilantro for mint or using coconut milk instead of plain yogurt for a creamier variation. Some people like to include raisins or cashews into their biryani for an unexpected texture that complements the meaty boldness of the dish.

Finally, let’s talk about serving options. While this recipe is delicious on its own, you can pair it perfectly with fresh naan bread or roti to turn this meal into a real feast. Or why not try adding a refreshing cucumber raita and some lime pickle as condiments? By experimenting with unique combinations of additions and substitutions you might find that your version transforms into something all your own!

Serving and Pairing

 I dare you to resist taking a bite of this mouth-watering Beef Biryani
I dare you to resist taking a bite of this mouth-watering Beef Biryani

Once your delicious beef biryani is cooked and ready to serve, you can enjoy it with a variety of accompaniments. Here are some serving and pairing options to try:

1. Raita – This is a refreshing yogurt-based side dish that pairs perfectly with biryani. You can make a simple raita by mixing plain yogurt with chopped onion, cilantro, and cucumber.

2. Salad – A fresh green salad loaded with veggies like cucumber, tomato, and lettuce is an excellent way to balance the richness of biryani.

3. Pickles – If you like it spicy, then pickles are a must-have when serving biryani. Mango pickles, lemon pickles or chilli pickle — you can take your pick!

4. Fried Indian papadum – Another popular accompaniment to biryani is papadum. These thin and crispy crackers bring a satisfying crunch to the meal.

5. Chutneys – Spicy and tangy chutneys like mint, tamarind or tomato elevate the flavors of the biryani.

For the perfect beverage pairings, consider serving a cold lassi or mango juice to balance out the heat of the spices. A cup of chai (Indian tea) would also be fantastic!

Whether you’re serving your beef biryani for lunch or dinner, these accompaniments will take your meal to another level. Enjoy this delicious dish with your family and friends!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 This one-pot wonder is packed with amazing textures and colors
This one-pot wonder is packed with amazing textures and colors

Ah, the beauty of make-ahead meals! If you’re looking for a recipe that can be prepared in advance and stored for future use, then this beef biryani recipe is an excellent choice. Simply follow the recipe instructions as listed, and once it’s done, let the dish cool to room temperature before packaging in an airtight container.

Refrigerate your packaged beef biryani and it will last up to four days. When it’s time to reheat your delicious meal, add a tablespoon or two of water, cover with foil and place in the oven at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes.

If you are worried about reheating in the oven, you can also use a microwave or stove. If using a microwave, cover with a damp paper towel and heat for 2-3 minutes at a time until hot.

For those who wish to maximize their meal prep time, consider preparing your cooked rice beforehand and storing separately from the beef biryani. This way, you can simply combine both items together when reheating.

When serving leftovers, you might notice that the flavors have melded even further together creating an even more flavorful dish! Trust me; it’s worth saving some for later.

The key to this recipe looking fresh even after storing it is to garnish your dish just before serving with fresh cilantro leaves if desired. Also, don’t forget to stir in some additional plain yogurt or green peas if necessary!

This make-ahead beef biryani recipe is an excellent example of convenience without sacrificing flavor. Try it out yourself and find out why this dish is so appealing to so many people around the world!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Get ready to take your taste buds on a flavor-packed adventure
Get ready to take your taste buds on a flavor-packed adventure

Now that we’ve gone through the ingredients list and recipe how-to for this beef biryani dish, let’s dive into some tips and tricks to ensure that you achieve the perfect results every time.

1. Use high-quality beef

To create a rich and hearty flavor in your beef biryani, I recommend using certified Angus beef or any other premium quality beef. Cut it into even cubes so that it cooks evenly.

2. Cook the rice separately

In order to prevent uncooked or mushy pieces of rice, cook the basmati rice in a separate pot before adding it to your biryani mix. Make sure the rice is cooked al dente, so that it can absorb all the flavors of the biryani sauce.

3. Soak the saffron

Before adding saffron into your biryani mix, soak it in hot water or milk for at least 10-15 minutes. This will help release its flavor and aroma, as well as add a beautiful golden hue to your dish.

4. Fry the onions evenly

Frying onions until they turn brown can be time-consuming, but it is essential in preparing a flavorful biryani. To save time and effort, use a wide pan with enough oil to allow quick and even frying of onions.

5. Don’t skimp on spices

Spices like cumin seeds, cinnamon sticks, cloves, cardamom powder, and garam masala are what give biryani its unique flavor profile. Be generous when adding these spices to your mix, but make sure they don’t overpower each other.

6. Let it Rest

After cooking your beef biryani mix or following instant pot instructions, I highly suggest allowing your dish to rest for at least 10-15 minutes before serving. Giving the flavors time to harmonize will enhance the deliciousness of it.

By following these valuable tips, you’ll be able to produce a perfectly seasoned and balanced beef biryani recipe that is both flavorful and fulfilling!


Before we wrap up, let’s address some questions you may have about this delicious Beef Biryani Recipe. From substitutions to cooking methods and serving suggestions, these frequently asked questions will help you make this dish to perfection. So, let’s clear any doubts you might have and get ready to enjoy the flavors of this aromatic dish!

What is the secret ingredients of biryani?

Spicing up your biryani can be a game-changer in terms of flavor. If your spice cabinet is lacking, fear not. Adding garam masala powder or chat masala, or simply throwing in extra green chillies can do the trick. While black cumin and saffron add a unique aroma and taste to biryani, starting with basic spices like cumin, turmeric, pepper, and cinnamon can still yield delicious results in Indian cooking.

Which cut of beef is good for biryani?

According to Ghulam, Muslim cooks and butchers categorize meat based on the type of dish it will be used for. For example, they may refer to cuts from the chest, shoulder and forelimbs as the “biryani cut,” or cuts that include the lean thigh meat as the “qorma cut.”

What is the secret of biryani taste?

When it comes to making a fantastic dish, one crucial factor is to use high-quality ingredients. Your taste buds will thank you when you use fresh, high-quality produce. Additionally, when making a flavorful rice dish, ensure to cook your rice and meat separately. Overcooking the rice will make it sticky, and no one likes mushy rice. Instead, aim for perfectly cooked rice that has the perfect texture and consistency.

The type of rice and cooking method used are also essential to achieve the perfect dish. Opt for the best quality rice you can get your hands on and pair it with the cooking method that brings out the best in its flavor profile. One crucial ingredient in a tasty meal is fried onions. When cooked to perfection, they provide sweetness and a slight crunch that elevates any dish.

Another factor to consider is adding extra moisture, but it’s important not to go overboard with it. Strike a balance to ensure that your rice, meat, and vegetables are infused with just the right amount of moisture to prevent it from tasting too dry. Additionally, the right utensil or pot is necessary for optimal results. A pot or utensil that doesn’t distribute heat evenly can ruin a dish.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, keep a watchful eye on the cooking time. Stick to the recipe’s guidance to avoid undercooking or overcooking the rice, meat or vegetables. In summary, follow these tips to make a memorable dish that is flavorful, satisfying and sure to impress.

What meat is traditionally used in biryani?

When preparing a biryani, it is common to include marinated meat as the protein base. Depending on the region, this may be chicken, goat, mutton, lamb, beef, or even seafood such as shrimp.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, is there anything more satisfying than a warm and spicy bowl of beef biryani? With this easy and flavorful beef biryani recipe, everyone can experience the exotic flavors and aromas of Pakistan in the comfort of their own home.

This beef biryani is perfect for weeknight dinners, family gatherings or entertaining guests. With a combination of fragrant spices like saffron, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves, tender sirloin beef cubes, green peas and cilantro garnish, this dish will impress everyone at the table.

Whether you’re an experienced cook or just starting out with Pakistani cuisine, this recipe can be easily adapted to your taste preferences. From Urdu-style to Hyderabadi-style to Malabar-style, you can customize your biryani to your liking by adjusting the amount of spices used or adding/substituting ingredients.

So what are you waiting for? Try out this delicious beef biryani recipe today and experience the joy of cooking and eating something truly special. The satisfaction of enjoying a homemade meal that is both easy and full of flavor is something we could all use more of in our lives.

With proper preparation instructions laid out so neatly in each recipe step, including substitutions and variations to aid any home cook in modifying this dish according to their preference; we strongly believe that anyone recreating Ehud’s recipe will get the same delicious results each time. So go ahead and give this beef biryani recipe a try!

Beef Biryani

Beef Biryani Recipe

I got this recipe from an app on my iphone. Note the picture has the rice under the beef biryani instead of in it. My husband likes it that way but it should be mixed in.
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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 6 hrs
Course Main Course
Cuisine Fusion
Calories 608.1 kcal


  • 2 1/2 lbs sirloin beef (cut in 1 1/2-inch cubes)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, grated
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 onion
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 cups cooked rice
  • 1 cup green peas (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro
  • salt and pepper


  • In a plastic bag, mix flour, salt and pepper. Add cubes of beef and shake until meat is well covered.
  • Saute beef with oil in a large pan.
  • Put meat in slow cooker.
  • Saute sliced onion in the pan until slightly colored. Add crushed garlic and spices, and cook for 3 minutes.
  • Put in slow cooker, add yogurt and water and mix well.
  • Cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours.
  • Add cooked rice, green peas and saffron. Cook for 30 minutes.
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 218gCalories: 608.1kcalCarbohydrates: 35.1gProtein: 41.2gFat: 32.4gSaturated Fat: 13.2gCholesterol: 131.9mgSodium: 123.1mgFiber: 2.2gSugar: 4.1g
Keyword Asian, Indian, One-Dish Meal
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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