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Hyderabadi biryani - vegetable rice with mint masala

28 August 2015

Award-winning vegetarian Indian restaurant Prashad shares their recipe for Hyderabadi biryani, a vegetable biryani flavoured with a mint and chilli masala.

Hyderabadi biryani, vegetable rice with mint masala
Hyderabadi biryani combines fresh mint, dried red chillies, poppy seeds and coconut

Cooking time

40 minutes




  • 250g rice (ideally Tilda basmati), soaked in cold water for half an hour

For the Hyderabadi masala

  • 20g butter
  • 2 dried red chillies, split in half
  • 3 tsp white poppy seeds
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 30g desiccated coconut
  • 8 fresh mint leaves, washed and finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled
  • 85g broccoli
  • 55g French beans
  • 6 asparagus spears, trimmed
  • 1/2 red pepper
  • 1/2 aubergine (approx. 60g)
  • 1/2 courgette
  • 30g ghee (or clarified butter)
  • 4cm cinnamon stick
  • 2 Indian bay leaves, washed
  • 5 black peppercorns
  • Seeds from 2 cardamom pods
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp medium red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried fenugreek leaves
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 handful fresh coriander, washed and finely chopped


Ghee isn't an ingredient that we use often, as it is rather rich for everyday meals but this particular biryani is known throughout the whole of India. It is special because of the unique flavours that come from the famous Hyderabadi masala, which combines fresh mint with dried red chillies, poppy seeds and coconut. It's a dish your guests won't forget.

Drain the rice and put in a large thick-based pan with 460ml of boiling water. Cover and cook on a high heat for 15 minutes. Take off the heat and leave to cool.

Melt the butter for the Hyderabadi masala in a thick-based frying pan on a low heat for 40 seconds. Swirl the dried red chillies through the melted butter, then add the poppy seeds. Add the turmeric, coconut, mint and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and stir for 1 1/2 minutes. Take off the heat and leave to cool.

Cut all the vegetables into 1cm dice. Melt the ghee in a thick-based frying pan on a medium heat for 1 minute and swirl it around the base of the pan. Stir the cinnamon into the ghee. Turn the heat up to high, then mix in the bay leaves, peppercorns and cardamom seeds and fry for 30 seconds. Stir in the carrots and fry for 30 seconds, then the broccoli (45 seconds), French beans (30 seconds), asparagus (30 seconds) and pepper (30 seconds). Add the aubergine and courgette, reduce the heat to medium, stir and fry for 3 1/2 minutes, before covering and leaving to cook for 1 minute.

Give the vegetables a good stir, add the garam masala, salt, chilli powder, fenugreek leaves and turmeric, then stir again. Sprinkle the fresh coriander on top and remove the pan from the heat. Empty the rice into the vegetable pan and gently stir through. Finally stir in the Hyderabadi masala, then cover and leave to rest for 10 minutes.

Recipe from Prashad At Home: Indian Cooking From Our Vegetarian Kitchen by Kaushy Patel, Salt Yard Books. Photography by Matt Russell.


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