BM #131 Week 2 Day 1 - 

This week I shall highlight some special Biryani varieties which have been popular at home. 

We have discovered our love for Gongura Paneer Biryani when a local restaurant started serving it on weekends. But after enjoying it for a couple of times, we felt that the biryani was a tad too oily for our comfort. So I started to think how to recreate it at home. 

The challenge for me was how to source the gongura leaves during the off season months. Then I thought to try using the store bought Gongura Pickle. So that is how I recreated this delightful Biryani. 

This is not a sponsored post but I am recording the brand names of the Gongura Pickle (Telugu Foods) and the Biryani Masala (Shan Bombay Biryani Masala) I used.

The spiciness of the Biryani can be adjusted by the amount of Pickle used.

Ingredients - 

To Marinate Paneer - 2 tsp Oil, 1/2 tsp Turmeric, 1 tsp Biryani Masala (store bought), 1/2 tsp Salt, 1 tsp Kashmiri Chili Powder, 1/2 tsp Garam Masala , 1/4 cup Yogurt, 1.5 cups cubed Paneer
For Boiling Basmati Rice
Boiling Water 8-10 cups 
Oil 1/2 tsp
Cloves 3-4
Cinnamon 1 inch piece
Cardamom 2-3
Salt 2 tsp
Basmati rice 3 cups
For the Biryani
Oil 3 Tbsp + 1 tsp of Ghee
Onions sliced 1/2 cup
Ginger-Garlic Paste 2 tsp
Cloves 4-5
Cinnamon 2 inches
Cardamom/Elaichi 3-4
Star Anise 1 
Shahjeera 1 tsp
Japatri / Mace 1 strand
Salt as needed
Turmeric 1/2 tsp
Mint and Coriander leaves 2-3 handfuls
Gongura Pickle (Store bought) 1/4 cup (adjust as needed)
Biryani Masala Powder 1 tsp
Fried Onions handful (Store Bought)

Method Of Preparation -

Marinate the paneer - Mix all the ingredients listed under 'To Marinate Paneer' in a deep dish or in a ziploc bag. Toss and set aside for at least 30 minutes.

Wash and soak basmati rice and set aside for 30 minutes.

In a heated pan add 3 tbsp of oil + 1 tsp of ghee, sauté sliced onions, ginger-garlic paste, cloves, cinnamon, elaichi, star anise, shajeera, japatri, salt, and turmeric.

After the onions are sautéed well add 1/4 cup of gongura pacchadi, salt, coriander-mint leaves, biryani masala powder and the marinated paneer. Cook well on low heat. Remove half the mixture into a small bowl and reduce the heat. 

In a huge pot boil water adding cloves, cinnamon, elaichi , oil and salt. When it comes to a rolling boil, add the drained rice and cook on high heat for 10-12 minutes.

When the rice is 80% cooked, drain the water and gently spread the rice on top of the paneer gongura mixture in the pan. Top it with mint-coriander leaves, fried onion. Add in the the paneer gongura mixture set aside in a bowl and the remaining rice with some more fried onions and coriander-mint leaves. 

Cover and cook on the lowest heat setting for about 10-12 minutes. Remove from fire and allow about 10-15 minutes for the flavors to blend. 

Fluff gently just before serving with Raita.


Preparation Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Serves 5-7 


  1. Srivalli Says:
  2. Oh my, that's really one creative dish Harini, would love to make this for myself. As for using pickles, that's so wonderful and useful too when we have pickles on hand. Can't wait to make this myself.

  3. Radha Says:
  4. Wow! A tasty biriyani! I used to make with fresh leaves. Using the store bought pickle is a great idea! Love this recipe.

  5. Rafeeda AR Says:
  6. I actually like the addition of a green to the biriyani. Sounds like a good way to get them in especially for kids... The biriyani looks delightful...

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