How to Cook Rice for Biryani

by Rita Kennedy

Biryani is a rice-based dish popular in northern India and in parts of southern India, particularly around the city of Hyderabad. It is made up of either meat or vegetables in a richly flavored sauce, with the rice cooked alongside the curry in the same pot. As the biryani incorporates rice, Indians traditionally serve the meal with bread. You may also find raita – a yoghurt-based dip with cucumber intended to cool the spiciness of the biryani – served as an accompaniment.

Wash the rice carefully. You can do this easily by holding a sieve filled with the rice under the faucet or by placing the rice in a bowl of cold water and moving it around with your hand, replacing the water as it becomes cloudy. Whichever method you use, wash the rice until the water runs clear.

Place the clean rice in a bowl filled with cold water and leave it to soak for 30 minutes.

Partially fill a saucepan with water, add a pinch of salt and bring it to a boil once the rice has soaked for 30 minutes.

Drain the rice from the cool water and add it to the boiling water.

Bring the saucepan back to a boil and cook the rice on a high heat for between five and seven minutes. The rice will finish cooking in the biryani sauce, so you only need to bring it three-quarters of the way to fully cooked at this stage.

Drain the rice using a sieve or colander and add it to the rest of the biryani. Cook the biryani according to the recipe you’re following.

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About the Author

Rita Kennedy is a writer and researcher based in the United Kingdom. She began writing in 2002 and her work has appeared in several academic journals including "Memory Studies," the "Journal of Historical Geography" and the "Local Historian." She holds a Ph.D. in history and an honours degree in geography from the University of Ulster.