Pakistani Food Recipes/ Rice

Pakistani Punjabi Biryani w a Twist

September 22, 2016 (Last Updated: May 17, 2020)
punjabi biryani 4

Jump to the Pakistani Punjabi Biryani Recipe

It is always biryani o’ clock somewhere. I wish that was my line, but alas it is not although it did ring true when I found myself sitting on my front steps at 10 am a bowl of biryani in my hand. Punjabi Biryani for breakfast? Why not. I have a go to biryani, one that is my aunts recipe and it is pretty damn delicious so I will be honest and say that I never anticipated posting another. When I saw this recipe for Punjabi Biryani on Ainy Cooks, a website that has an impressive collection of Pakistani recipes, I decided it was a must try since it was pretty simple and seemed like a richer flavoured version of my own. I was not disappointed and have made it at least three times since then.

punjabi biryani 1

I made some changes to this Pakistani Punjabi Biryani recipe to suit our palate and my convenience (lol), but my favourite addition is the “koylay ka dum” or charcoal smoke. It is a game changer and simple enough to do. In fact my FIL was the one who taught me how.

True story.

He was amused and perhaps slightly horrified that I was adding the smoky scent to biryani, but I had very good reason to do so. See once upon a time when I used to work in Karachi one of my colleagues brought the most amazing biryanis for lunch. It became clear that I was helping myself to them a little too much when he showed up with double the amount one day because he had told his family that there was a girl in his office who loved the biryani and ate like a man. Was I embarrassed? Sure. Not enough though to stop said eating like a man. The secret ingredient, the one that made it both addictive and unusual was the charcoal smoke so I added it here. I hope Ainy won’t mind my taking this liberty with her mothers Pakistani Punjabi Biryani recipe.

punjabi biryani
4.67 from 9 votes
punjabi biryani 2
Pakistani Punjabi Biryani
Ingredients
For the Meat Mixture
  • 1 lb Chicken/ Beef/ Mutton
  • 1 large sliced onion
  • 3 large diced tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp ground/grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp ground/crushed garlic
  • 5-6 Dried plums aloo bukharay, squeeze in lemon juice when the masala is ready if you don't have any
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp Red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric power
  • 1/2 tsp crushed coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds saunf
  • 2 Large black cardamom
  • 4 green cardamom
  • 2 small cinnamon sticks
  • 6-7 whole black pepper
  • Generous handfuls of chopped fresh coriander/cilantro + mint leaves
  • 3-4 green chillies
For the rice
  • 3 cups rice rinsed and soaked.
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 2 generous tsp salt
  • Optional: Yellow food coloring a piece of coal.
Instructions
  1. Slice your onions and cook in oil in a large pot till browned.

  2. Put in the ginger, garlic and tomatoes and cook till mushy.
  3. Add the yogurt, remaining spices, meat, green chillies and mix well.
  4. If cooking chicken then add one cup of hot water, bring to a boil then simmer till tender. For tougher meats i.e. beef and mutton add more water.
  5. Add coriander leaves and mint leaves.
  6. In large pot add water, salt, vinegar to the soaked rice and boil till it is parboiled i.e. most of the grain will be translucent with an opaque center.
  7. Strain the rice when done.
  8. Layer the rice in the following order: half the rice, all the meat masala, remaining rice, sprinkle over the yellow food coloring, and leave on the lowest heat setting for 15-20 minutes. I have a glass cooktop so I am in no danger of burning my rice on the lowest setting, but please exercise caution on gas stoves!
  9. If you are doing the 'koylay ka dum" then light a piece of coal over a flame. While it is getting nice and hot place a piece of foil inside the biryani pot (on top of the rice) and drizzle with oil. Once the coal has red hot surfaces then place it on the foil and quickly shut the lid. You can do this after your biryani is ready or add it before your set the biryani over low heat for 20 minutes. Remove the foil + coal before serving.
Recipe Notes

Adapted from Ainy Cooks

More inspiration for Biryani O’ Clock

Fish Biryani

Beef Biryani

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24 Comments

  • Reply
    Anisa
    September 23, 2016 at

    I noticed this recipe once when you mentioned it on Instagram! I made it and it turned out amazing, very simple to make. I didn’t think if the koyla, must try tat next time. One question since I know you live in Ontario, which rice do you use? Yours always seem perfect, something I have yet to master. Thank you for sharing!

    • Reply
      sarahjmir@gmail.com
      September 24, 2016 at

      HI Anisa! I am so thrilled that you tried it and liked it! In terms of rice I have two go to brands. One is Falak and one is India Gate. Falak cooks quickly and beautifully so for my rice obsessed family it works well. India Gate takes a more ‘normal’ time to cook, bu t then is a little more forgiving when you are making biryanis or something. I am working on post ideas for the fall/winter – any suggestions? would love to hear what you’d like to see!

      • Reply
        Anisa
        September 29, 2016 at

        Thank you so much for replying back! I’ll have to check out the rice, I think I’ll pick up a bag of India gate and give it a try. Suggestions for fall/ winter posts for me would be comfort foods, desi or otherwise. Thank you so much for asking!

  • Reply
    salmadinani
    September 26, 2016 at

    I love biryani in general even though I’ve only made my moms recipe. I will have to try this one too!

    • Reply
      sarahjmir@gmail.com
      September 26, 2016 at

      Thanks Salma! am sure your moms is delicious!

  • Reply
    Ainy
    September 27, 2016 at

    Oh i am so glad Sara that you have tried my recipe. I am grateful to you.

    • Reply
      sarahjmir@gmail.com
      September 29, 2016 at

      No, I am grateful to you for putting together this outstanding collection of recipes!

  • Reply
    Eraj
    September 28, 2016 at

    This looks so good! You’re very brave to do the koilay ka dum 🙂 also I have to comment on how perfectly done your rice looks, every time! Mine ends up a mushy starchy glob if basmati at least 9 times out of ten :/

    • Reply
      sarahjmir@gmail.com
      September 29, 2016 at

      Know thy rice Eraj know thy rice! My mother cooks with almost double the water when she makes pulao, I used about 1 1/4 times or 1 1/3 times depending on the brand of rice! Also koylay ka dum is a game changer. For real

      • Reply
        Eraj
        June 18, 2018 at

        Sarah, I *found* the guy whose biryani you used to chow down! 😂

        • Reply
          sarahjmir@gmail.com
          June 20, 2018 at

          You have no idea how happy that made me! Now if you could find the recipe for that biryani then … actually, I don’t even have the words!
          Also SO excited to hear you’re moving. Let me know if I should scare some neigbours away. If you tell Asif I said that he may make comments about how that would not be so hard for me hehehe

  • Reply
    Shumaila
    October 9, 2016 at

    This sounds and looks great and that charcoal smoke sounds like a great addition. I am pinning this even though I too have a biryani recipe, but no harm in trying a recipe that is similar to one that made you eat like a man 😉

    • Reply
      Shumaila
      October 9, 2016 at

      By the way I just noticed your tag line- baker by birth, cook by circumstance- LOVE IT!

      • Reply
        sarahjmir@gmail.com
        October 11, 2016 at

        Thanks so much!

    • Reply
      sarahjmir@gmail.com
      October 11, 2016 at

      hahaah I hope you enjoy it! I am going to try yours too!

  • Reply
    Inzamam
    June 23, 2017 at

    Punjabi Baryani is my favorite dish & last night i made it with my moms and enjoy.
    i am start a blo related to pakistani recipe where you find sindhi, punjabi and balochi baryani. Shareing a link ( https://pakistanirecipespoint.wordpress.com/ ).

    • Reply
      sarahjmir@gmail.com
      June 24, 2017 at

      wonderful to hear it! will definitely follow your blog to see what delicious things you’re making!

  • Reply
    Kylie
    November 16, 2018 at

    This recipe looks awesome . How much water did you use for the rice ?

    • Reply
      sarahjmir@gmail.com
      November 27, 2018 at

      Hi Kylie! Sorry for the late reply, but tend to put loads of water, boil the rice and then drain the excess water out. If you are trying to cook with the exact right amount of water then it is 1.5 times the rice you have in which case please put a tsp of salt for every cup of rice. Since I put more than twice the amount of water than rice I use more salt because it gets drained out. Happy Cooking!

    • Reply
      Sana
      April 18, 2019 at

      Plan on making this tomorrow but wanted to quickly check first… If I’m increasing the amount of meat to 2 lbs and keeping rice at 3 cups, do I double the spices, tomato etc for the meat mixture?

  • Reply
    Hamna
    November 27, 2018 at

    Hi! I know it’s an old Post but iihope you do see this comment. why did you add vinegar to the water? I want to make this for my family, haven’t ever made biryani before and I don’t have a go to biryani recipe either, so I’m a bit nervous about the vinegar

    • Reply
      sarahjmir@gmail.com
      November 27, 2018 at

      Hi Hamna! So this recipe is from another food bloggers mother, but I have seen vinegar put in biryani before and some people will say they are doing it for the taste and some people will say it gives you a better quality of cooked rice. If you want to skip it you totally can 🙂 SO excited to see how this turns out for you!

  • Reply
    Duaa Qamar
    May 17, 2020 at

    Oil, is your dad going to tell the people to add oil? Rather your angels?
    Please be fair to the people you are teaching 👏🏻🤦🏻‍♀️

    • Reply
      sarahjmir@gmail.com
      May 17, 2020 at

      Hi Duaa! I have edited the recipe to say that people should brown the onions in oil because you are right there may be some people who would try to brown it without any liquid or oil. I appreciate you pointing out the error, but the dad and angels comments were a little unnecessary. Thanks.

    Penny for your thoughts?