Ultimate Guide to Biyrani

What is Biryani?

Every culture has a specialty dish with complex carbohydrates, protein, and flavors.

For Indian culture, that dish is biryani! It is a blend of rice, meat, vegetables, nuts, eggs, and Indian spices that create different layers of flavor, texture, and depth. Is your mouth watering yet?

With origins dating back to Persia or Arabia, this dish has become popular among the Indian subcontinent, as well as the surrounding areas. Biryani itself is said to stem from the word biryan (to fry).

It is also said to come from the translation of “fry before cooking,” which obviously is very accurate when we think of biryani. Today, we’ll be talking about everything you need to know about this beloved dish, including recipes, best rice, spices, and where to buy your own biryani cooking pots!

By the end of this article, you’ll be a biryani expert! Let’s get started!


The Best 6 Biryani Cooking Pots

This cooking pot has a 6.5 liter capacity for all your biryani cooking needs! It is abrasion and corrosion resistant, so you’re able to stir all your ingredients mess and hassle free.

Although not oven safe, it is perfect for any stove top to mix in rice, spices, and meats. Everyone loves this cookware because it is reliable, and makes perfect biryani dishes every single time!

The product dimensions are 9” x 8” x 4” and weighs about 5 pounds.

The Futura pot is made with Indian cooking in mind! This pot is 8.62 inches in diameter, with a 4.06mm thickness. The lid holds water on the top, with the underneath part to condense steam.

You’ll get tender and moist food with this pot, guaranteed! It also is dishwasher safe, but may change color according to a fan. Everyone loves that it will last for years because of its amazing quality, and it is well-built!

All in all, its sleek black color design will compliment any kitchen utensils and additional cookware!

This lightweight pot will pack a punch with the amount of food you can cook with it! Whether you want mutton or chicken in your biryani, this pot won’t have ingredients stick to the bottom of the pan nor burn.

The product dimensions are 8.85” diameter with a thickness of 3.25 mm. The pot also comes with a stainless steel lid. Do keep in mind that this product is not dishwasher safe, but the overall look and design of the pot embodies India!

It is a beautiful cooking pot for a very affordable price! Dinner is served!

This pot made by Commercial Chef is the perfect addition to your kitchen! It features a thick cooking pot to insulate heat for faster and more even cooking.

It is a versatile pot that can be reseasoned with scouring from time to time. You can use this for making biryani rice over stove top, or even go the unconventional route and bake your food! Most fans do recommend stovetop cooking, however, so keep that in mind when using this pot!

Overall, this 6.6 inch size cast iron is great for searing your meats and making delicious biryani, every time!

First of all, what a cute and practical red pot! This is a 5 quart pre-seasoned cast-iron dutch oven, where the lid is also a skillet! You can make a personal sized biryani in the lid pan or go all out with the bigger pot.

Either way, you are bound to make a delicious and tasty meal to enjoy! This pot is hand-wash recommended, and makes for a perfect table presentation when eating dinner with friends or family.

It is a durable pot and everyone loves it because it’s the most convenient and practical pot they purchased. For this price, it’s an amazing value!

These cute pots make a great addition to any household! M Cooker pots feature premium cast iron material and is coated with an white enamel interior layer. The pot overall is non-stick and has a design with a circulating shower lid.

This is a perfect biryani pot, or you can even make different types of Indian food with this dutch oven pot. It is a must have upgrade for your kitchen! Everyone loves this pot because it is easy cleanup, and even cooking all around!

It’s the perfect size for a small family, a group of friends, or double date. The inside diameter of the pot is 9.4 inches. With the cute colors available, this pot is an obvious no-brainer!

Best 6 Biryani Cookware Sets

These cookware sets are for those that love to cook meals for entire families or parties! You can make multiple biryani dishes for those with particular palettes, or you can cook curries or roasted vegetables to serve alongside your beloved dish. Whether you’re a new house owner, living on your own, or need a starter set, these pans are trusted to last for years. Here’s the best 3 in the market right now!  

This 13 piece cookware will take care of everything between biryani, stews, soups, and meats. If you’re especially set on having matching cookware, this is definitely the set for you!

Circulon has TOTAL nonstick, with raised circles to reduce all surface abrasions. These cookware sets are hand-wash only, and will heat up quickly. Perfect for couples, young families, or a house warming gift! Don’t miss out on these!

These nonstick ceramic aluminum pot set is to die for! Its cute pink color will lighten and brighten any kitchen, or you can opt for a striking white design to really start a conversation. These scratch resistant pots are easy to clean, and are safe for a temperature up to 536 degrees fahrenheit.

It’s perfect for those that are constantly cooking. Biryani every day? Yes way! The product comes with 2 casserole pans 9.5” and 11” with 1 glass lid for each, one 11” frying pan, one 6.3” sauce pan with glass lid, and 9 pieces of kitchen utensils.

We recommend this product for a single person, couple, or those that want to add additional pots to their collection. Super high quality, how could anyone resist?

If you prefer the look of a vintage or classic home, this set is definitely up for grabs! It is as useful as it is beautiful; it comes with aluminum cookware, cast iron cookware, ceramic bakeware, bowls, and cooking tools - so everything is all included in this set!

You can use the casserole dish for all of your biryani needs, and people say its the best pans that they ever owned! The quirky mint color on the pans are perfect for any kitchen, guaranteed!

The Pioneer Woman cookware has many additional pot and pan add-ons that will compliment these pans. They are hand wash recommended and will satisfy any cooking needs you have. Don’t sleep on this set!

This 9 piece cookware set will make you feel right at home! With a chic and simple design, this cookware will compliment everything from your countertops to your utensils.

Colors include basil green, brown sugar, sienna red, and twilight teal. The pots have stylish and durable diamond-textured nonstick interiors that are great for every stove top except induction. All pots have stainless steel handles and are oven safe up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.

They will get hot with heat so be careful when touching handles. Other than the handles getting pretty hot, the cookware overall is very durable and beautiful.

These copper induction pans will surely make a statement in the kitchen. It’s suitable to all stovetops (yes, including induction,) and you’ll be able to admire these high quality pots and pans while cooking up a delicious meal.

The set comes with 2 saucepans, 1 frying pan, and 2 sized glass lids with a steam vent. People love these kinds of pans because of the non-stick guarantee, so it’s fun to cook and even easier to clean up!

If you love the look of classic black and stainless steel cookware, look no further! These hard-anodized cookware will retain and control heat, and is warp-resistant. Talk about durability! Everyone loves this set because it’s heavy, study, and great quality!

Overall, Breville products are easy to clean and they look amazing. One important thing to note is that the handles tend to get hot while cooking, so silicone pads are a must have for this cookware set!

The size of the frying pan is also on the smaller side, so keep that in mind with how much biryani you’d want to make at once! For such a respectable brand, the price is right!  

Best 2 Aluminum Biryani Pots

This elegant and beautiful biryani pot is made with a hard aluminum body, which will ensure long lasting cookware for many years to come. The Prestige pot comes with Ebonite handles, so you can easily pick it up after cooking your dishes.

It can be used on both induction and gas tops. Reviews love it because it cooks fast with less time, so whether you want to make biryani or other tasty Indian dishes, this is the pot for you!

This is the perfect pan for roasting, pickling, deep frying, and cooking your biryani! It is 13.2” wide with a 9” height. You’ll find Aluminum Kadai in most Indian homes, and it's ready to make many dishes and memories!

This pot features a wide mouth with a deep center, so you can cook with less water and oils. It heats up quickly and reaches a high temperature. You can use this pot on induction stove, and it is recommended to wash by hand.

Everyone who has purchased this pot loves that it heats up evenly and has a hefty weight to it. It’s perfect to sear and fry your meats, then add some rice and your garnish. You’re all good to go!

Best 4 Biryani Pots with Glass Lid

This is an 11” pan with a 4.5 liter capacity for all your stovetop cooking. This beautiful stainless steel pot has a matte finish and a glass lit to look at all the contents of your food. The glass lid has a shatterproof feature, along with silicone coated handles for maximum protection!

AVACRAFT takes pride in their lifetime guarantee, should anything happen to your pot over time! Fans love this pot because the size is perfect for any dish you can think of!  It has a heavy feel to it, but still feels light enough for people to carry comfortably.

Cook some delicious veggie biryani, and don’t be afraid to experiment with this pan!

This non-stick pan is a must have in the kitchen! With a tempered glass lid, you can easily watch your food cook right before your eyes!

This is a medium sized pot, so it’s perfect for anyone living on their own, or for people that need a specific pot in their collection.

Just throw your ingredients in here, and you can make yourself a one pot meal! Super easy, super convenient!

This is an eco friendly pot, which is PTFE Lead and Cadmium Free. It is also induction stovetop friendly, so you can cook everywhere with it!

People love this pot because it is lightweight, yet durable, so you can be assured that your cookware will last many years! Everyone loves that its a well made pot. One thing to note is that the steamer on the lid can burn your wrists, so let the pot cool down or avoid the steamer when opening!

There is also a limited lifetime warranty with this product, so don’t miss out on the easiest cooking experience there is!

T-Fal is one of the best brands for Indian food because all pots and pans are made with quality materials. This stock pot is perfect for even heat conduction, and is made with heavy gauge aluminum.

It is also dishwasher safe, so there is no worries when you want a quick and easy cleanup. You can make biryani rice with this pot with its 8 quart capacity, or try out some new recipes. Either way, this pot will be here with you throughout thick and thin recipes!

Best 2 Biryani Pastes

This paste is perfect for biryani beginners! It has a medium heat that really combines the flavor of poultry and rice.

 You can use these pastes along with spices, or use it to replace the yogurt. Overall, this is a delicious flavor that is loved by all!

Inside this paste mix is a mixture of red chili pepper, garlic, lemongrass, thai ginger, and spices; don’t let the name fool you, you can use this easily in some biryani dishes for a kick of flavor!

Perfect for those that love thinking outside the box and trying something different each time. Talk about yum!

Biryani 101 

Since biryani is an all-in-one-pot type of meal, here’s some of the ingredients you need to know about the dish and different cooking styles: 

Best Rice for Biryani

The main component for biryani is rice; in India and parts of South Asia, the most popular type is basmati. It is a variety of long and slender grained rice that is aromatic in flavor.

Regional variations for biryani also use native grain rice, like zeera samba, kaima,  or jeerakasala. You can find these types of rice throughout stores such as Whole Foods, Costco, Albertsons, Ralphs, Safeways, Trader Joe’s, or your local Indian grocery store.

The online store Madurai Foods will carry the less common rice, such as “Seeraga Samba,” and other ingredients to make the perfect biryani dish

Everything Else in Biryani:


You can switch up recipes with chicken, beef, goat, or prawns - all depending on your preference. Coastal cities along the Arabian Sea generously use seafood, and chicken is typically traditional worldwide. 


This helps make your meat tender and add a sweet-and-savory balance in your biryani. Most yogurt marinades used are spiced yogurt, or even a cilantro yogurt sauce. Another delicious marinade used is coconut milk. 

Now that you have an idea of what goes in your biryani dish, you can either follow a family recipe, or create a new one as you go! There is no right or wrong to making your biryani with the amount of meat, spices, and rice you can choose from. Now, let’s jump into recipes for making the components of biryani!

How to Make Biryani Rice

Before we jump in to this recipe, it is important to keep note that there are so many different variations. People love to eat this as their main dish, or sometimes others want to serve it alongside curry. Here is a standard biryani recipe! 

Serves 3-4


  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1.5 cups of water
  • 2 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter), or oil of choice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cloves of lavang 
  • 4 whole black peppers
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 green cardamoms
  • 2 pieces of mace
  • ½ tsp. Caraway seeds
  • 4 garlic cloves, ½ inch ginger, crushed and minced into a paste
  • 1 tablespoon chopped coriander 
  • 1 tablespoon mint leaves
  • 1 tsp. Saffron strands (about 20 pieces)
  • 1 tsp. Lemon juice
  • Salt 
  • 1 thinly sliced onion
  • 15 cashews
  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • Mint leaves to garnish 

Making the rice: (pot method)

  1. Rinse basmati 2-3 times in water
  2. Let basmati soak for 30 minutes
  3. Drain
  4. Head oil/ghee in a pressure cooker / saucepan 
  5. Add caraway seeds and whole spices and saute until fragrant
  6. Add ginger + garlic paste, corriander, and mint leaves
  7. Saute until garlic paste is cooked and warm through
  8. Add soaked rice and saffron
  9. Stir through 
  10. Add water, lemon juice, and salt for taste
  11. Pressure cook for 6-7 minutes
  12. If cooking in a pan: cover pan with a lid, and cook until rice is done

  13. Rice grains should be cooked well and should not be mushy. Don’t stir often
  14. If you think the water is drying out the rice, feel free to add more hot water
  15. Cover and let the rice cook until done

Garnishing Your Rice: 

  1. As your rice is cooking, heat your oil in a small pan
  2. Add sliced onions and fry until golden
  3. Add salt
  4. Remove and drain to get rid of any excess oils
  5. Using the same pan, roast cashews until golden-brown
  6. When serving your dish, garnish the biryani with the fried onions, cashews, and mint leaves

Now, you can serve your dish with curry, naan, or eat as is! 


Stove Top Biryani Recipes

After learning a basic biryani dish, you can then experiment with the marinades and meats we talked about earlier.  Here are some of the best biryani recipes from different regions of India and the surrounding area! We also included some beloved spice or marinade recipes that you can use in place of spices/yogurts from other recipes! 

Chicken Biryani

This is a tasty and aromatic Pakistani or Indian dish -- perfect for big gatherings such as weddings, parties, or holidays! It does have a longer side of preparation, but once you taste it, you’ll know it was worth the wait! This dish is served with chicken, and uses a great variety of spices and yogurt mixed in. 


Pakistani Lamb Biryani

This recipe is from Ambreen Hasan, and features lamb as their meat. With the amount of spices, you’ll be able to taste the depth and flavor of the dish. This dish will serve 6 people, so you can eat it for dinner or bring it to a housewarming party. Delicious and gets the conversation started! 


Vegetable Biryani

Calling all our vegetarians! This tasty dish gives off a vibrant color and uses potato and carrots instead of your traditional chicken or lamb. It does have one hour of prep time, so it’s a fun activity to do with a loved one or small group of friends. Try this one out to win over the hearts of your veggie loving friends and family!


Yogurt Salad for Biryani

This is a very unique recipe that calls for apples, onions, cucumbers, and jalapeno. It will give your biryani both sweet and spice flavors. People even love eating the yogurt by itself! After this recipe, you can store it in the fridge for a while, and replace any other biryani recipe that uses “yogurt/marinade”. Enjoy! 


3 Best Instant Pot Biryani Recipes

If you love all in one pot cooking, these are the recipes for you! You can make authentic and delicious instant pot biryani in less than two hours with most of these recipes. Give them a try if you want to relax or have hands-off kind of dinner! 

Chicken Biryani

My Heart Beets has an amazing chicken biryani recipe, and yes, it only takes about an hour to cook! Wow! Even looking through the pictures of her cooked recipe is making all our mouths water, so what are you waiting for?! As always, feel free to double on ingredients for a bigger family, or add and remove spices as you like. This recipe serves about 4-5 people. You can also look around her article for other variations of biryani for some variety!


Easy Instant Pot Vegetable Biryani

Calling all veggie lovers! With fragrant spices, herbs, and vegetables in this recipe, you won’t be missing out with this dish! Even those that can’t eat plain vegetables will be blown away by the flavor you can taste in biryani. Some fans even tripled the ingredients using the same method of cooking time, and it turned out perfect. Even if you are a meat lover, give this one a try, it just might surprise you! 


Shrimp /Prawn Biryani

We’re covering all our bases here, so if you are close to the ocean and love fresh seafood, this shrimp biryani will turn heads at any event! You can have all the flavor, with half the work. Who said that cooking can’t be this easy?! Chef Anu has a passion for food - and definitely is keeping busy people in mind when she creates her recipes. She has advice to soak the biryani to bring out every flavor in the food, and you’re good to go! 


We’ve got everything you need to know about biryani in the ultimate guide to biryani, including recipes, best rice, spices, and where to buy your own biryani cooking pots! #biryani #indian #indianfood #indiancooking #indianrice #indianbiryani #biryanirecipe #indianrecipes
We’ve got everything you need to know about biryani in the ultimate guide to biryani, including recipes, best rice, spices, and where to buy your own biryani cooking pots! #biryani #indian #indianfood #indiancooking #indianrice #indianbiryani #biryanirecipe #indianrecipes

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