Kofta Biryani

Kofta Biryani Image © Hemant Mehta/ Getty Images
Prep: 60 mins
Cook: 90 mins
Total: 2 hrs 30 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
958 Calories
45g Fat
86g Carbs
50g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 958
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 45g 58%
Saturated Fat 15g 75%
Cholesterol 157mg 52%
Sodium 287mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 86g 31%
Dietary Fiber 5g 16%
Protein 50g
Calcium 133mg 10%
*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.)

You can make the kofta (meatballs) in this fragrant kofta biryani with chicken, lamb or beef to suit your preferences. Serve this delicious, hearty dish with a green salad and raita of your choice.


  • 18 oz. (500 g) basmati rice
  • For the Kofta:
  • 2.2 pounds (1 kilo) lamb, beef or chicken mince
  • 3 large onions chopped very fine
  • 2 tbsp. garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp. ginger paste
  • 2 tbsp. garam masala
  • 3 tbsp. tomato ketchup
  • 1/2 cup coriander leaves chopped fine
  • Salt to taste
  • For the Cooking Gravy:
  • 4 large tomatoes cubed
  • 2 tsp. coriander powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp. garam masala
  • 1 tsp. chili powder (optional)
  • 5 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp. garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp. ginger paste
  • To Garnish:
  • 1 large onion, finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp. saffron strands
  • 3 tbsp. warm milk
  • 3 to 4 tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped

Steps to Make It

  1. Wash the rice, then soak it in warm water for 30 minutes. Cook the rice until almost done. Drain remaining water (if any) and set aside.

  2. Put the minced meat, 2 of the chopped onions, 2 tbsps garlic paste, 1 tbsp ginger paste, 2 tbsp. garam masala, tomato ketchup and coriander leaves in a large bowl and mix well.

  3. Form the mixture into equally sized balls and keep on a plate.

  4. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the sliced onion in it until crispy and golden. When done, drain and remove from the oil and set aside on paper towels to garnish biryani later.

  5. In the same oil, add the remaining (finely chopped) onions. Fry till they are light brown then add the ginger and garlic pastes. Fry for a minute. Add all the spices - coriander, cumin, red chilli powder, garam masala, turmeric - and fry for 2-3 minutes.

  6. Add the tomatoes and mix well. Fry the gravy until the oil begins to rise to the top.

  7. Add 1 cup of warm water to the gravy and season with salt to taste. Gently add the meatballs now. Do not stir for at least the next 5 minutes.

  8. Stir gently so as not to break the meatballs.

  9. Cook uncovered until the meatballs are done. There should not be more than 1 to 1 1/2 cups of gravy left at the end of this stage, so continue to reduce it as needed.

  10. Soak the saffron strands in 2-3 tbsps of warm milk.

  11. Take a large, deep ovenproof dish or dutch oven (it must have its own cover) and grease lightly with cooking oil. Layer the rice and Koftas as follows: rice - Koftas - rice. End with a layer of rice.

  12. Pour the saffron infused milk all over the top of the last layer of rice.

  13. Garnish with the crispy fried onions and chopped coriander leaves. Cover the dish and seal tightly.

  14. Bake in a hot oven for 30 minutes.

  15. Serve hot with a raita and green salad of your choice.