Biryani With Goat Meat

Biryani With Goat Meat

The Spruce / Christine Ma

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 2 hrs
Total: 2 hrs 30 mins
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
468 Calories
17g Fat
38g Carbs
39g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 468
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 17g 22%
Saturated Fat 2g 12%
Cholesterol 96mg 32%
Sodium 321mg 14%
Total Carbohydrate 38g 14%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 39g
Vitamin C 8mg 38%
Calcium 80mg 6%
Iron 7mg 41%
Potassium 777mg 17%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Biryani is a pleasure to behold and eat. Fragrant long-grained rice is layered with meat or vegetables that have been cooked in a mixture of spices. It's a one-dish meal that is delicious served with yogurt raita and kachumber salad.

This biryani recipe features goat meat but can also be made with chicken, mutton, or mixed vegetables. Follow the same instructions for chicken or mutton if you choose to use them instead. 

Biryani is made in a large vessel called a handi (basically a deep pot with a nicely fitting lid). The latter part of the cooking process involves putting the biryani under "dum" or pressure. You can do this by sealing the dish (see how below) and putting it under the hood of your preheated barbecue or in the oven and leaving it there for about 20 minutes. 


  • 2 1/4 pounds (1 kilogram) goat meat, preferably leg, cut into bite-size pieces

  • 2 tablespoons garlic paste

  • 2 tablespoons ginger paste

  • 6 tablespoons sunflower, canola, or vegetable oil, divided

  • 2 large red onions, finely chopped

  • 30 to 40 large curry leaves

  • 2 green chilies, optional

  • 2 tablespoons coriander powder

  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

  • 1 tablespoon garam masala

  • Salt, to taste

  • 2 cups hot water, divided

  • 50 grams (1 3/4 ounces) tamarind root

  • 700 grams (3 cups) basmati rice

  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced, for garnish

  • 2 drops orange food coloring, optional

  • 2 drops green food coloring, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Biryani With Goat Meat ingredients

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  2. Put the goat meat with the garlic and ginger pastes in a large bowl and mix well to coat the meat with the pastes. Set aside for 20 minutes.

    goat meat with garlic and ginger paste in a bowl

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  3. While the meat is marinating, heat 3 tablespoons cooking oil in a large, deep pot or pan over medium heat. Add the finely chopped onions and fry until translucent.

    onions cooking in a pan

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  4. Add the curry leaves and green chilies, if using, and fry for 1 minute.

    curry leaves and green chilies cooking in a pan with onions

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  5. Add the powdered spices (coriander, cumin, turmeric, and garam masala) and salt to taste and mix well and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir often to prevent burning.

    spices added to the onion mixture in the pan

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  6. Add the marinated meat. Stir well and often and cook until the meat is browned.

    marinaded meat in a pan

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  7. Add 1 1/2 cups of hot water, stir, cover, and simmer until meat is tender. Keep checking at this stage as you do not want the meat overcooked and soft.

    water added to the meat mixture in the pan

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  8. While the meat is cooking, make the tamarind puree. Put the tamarind in a plastic or glass bowl and pour 1/2 cup of hot water over it. Allow the mixture to stand for 5 to 10 minutes.

    tamarind in a bowl with water

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  9. Strain the tamarind and water mixture through a sieve (do not use a very fine sieve) into a bowl to get tamarind puree.

    tamarind and water mixture

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  10. Add tamarind puree to the curry when you feel the meat is almost done. Stir well. Once the meat is cooked, set it aside and prepare the rice.

    curry cooking in a pan

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  11. Put the rice in a colander and wash under running water until the water runs clear. Place in a large, deep cooking pot (preferably one with handles).

    rice in a pot

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  12. Add enough water to fully cover the rice, usually at least 4 inches over the surface of the rice. Add 1 teaspoon of salt (or to taste). Bring the rice to a boil.

    rice and water in a pot

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  13. Cook rice until almost done. (To determine when it has reached that stage, remove a few grains from the pot and press between your thumb and forefinger. The rice should mostly mash but will have a firm, whitish core.) Turn off the heat and strain through a colander and set aside.

    cooked rice in a colander

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  14. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a pan and fry the thinly sliced onions until caramelized and golden brown. Drain and set aside on paper towels for later use.

    cartelized onions on a paper towel

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  15. If you are using the food coloring, divide the rice into 3 equal portions and put into separate dishes. Add the orange food coloring to one portion of the rice and the green food coloring to another portion of the rice. Leave the third portion white. With each portion, mix the rice until all the grains are well colored. Set aside for 10 minutes.

    rice with food coloring

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  16. Mix all 3 portions of rice together in a large bowl.

    different colored rice mixed together in a bowl

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  17. Preheat the oven or grill to 350 F/180 C and grease a deep dish or pot (which has a well-fitting cover). Evenly layer the cooked rice and the meat (with its gravy) in the dish to form at least two sets of layers (rice-meat-rice-meat-rice). Garnish with the caramelized onions.

    rice and caramelized onions in a pot

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  18. Cover the dish tightly. If your dish does not have a cover use two layers of aluminum foil (shiny side of both layers facing down toward the rice) and secure onto a dish with baking string. If you are using a handi (a deep pot with a nicely fitting lid) which has a flat rim, you can seal it by making a firm dough with flour and water and pressing this over the joint of the handi's rim and cover. Place the dish in the oven and cook for 20 minutes.

    red covered pot

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  19. Turn off the oven or barbecue and let the dish sit in the oven or barbecue until you are ready to eat. It's important that you only open when you are ready to serve. The way to serve biryani is to gently dig in with a spoon so you get through the layers.

    Biryani With Goat Meat

    The Spruce / Christine Ma