Corn Biryani in 20 Steps – Recipe for Indian Flavoured Rice Mixed With Vegetables


Serves 3


For The Rice

  • 3 green cardamom pods
  • 1 cinnamon stick, about 2-inches long
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ghee (clarified butter)
  • 300 grams (1 3/4 cups) of Basmati rice or other long grained aromatic rice

For The Flavoured Vegetables

  • 3 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
  • 5 cardamom pods
  • 1 cinnamon stick, about 2-inches long
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 150 grams onions, (about 1½ medium sized), peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 1⁄2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 3 green chillies (uncut)
  • 2 1⁄2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 1⁄2 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 1⁄2 tsp garlic paste
  • 2 medium sized tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 1⁄2 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 100 grams potatoes, (1 medium sized), peeled and chopped into 1-inch cubes
  • 40 grams fresh coriander leaves, (1 cup), chopped (Make sure it is fresh, or else it would make the rice bitter)
  • 40 grams fresh mint leaves, (3/4 cup), chopped (Make sure it is fresh, or else it would make the rice bitter)
  • 300 grams corn kernels, (about 1½ cups)
  • 3⁄4 cup coconut milk (Scroll down for homemade coconut milk)
  • 3 tsp yogurt
  • 1 1⁄2 tsp lime juice

Homemade Coconut Milk

Scrape out all the white part of a brown fibrous Coconut. Grate it and blend it with 1 cup water. Once you get a liquid-paste, strain it using a sieve or a cloth. The first extract you get from the strained liquid is fresh coconut milk. In case the mixture is not creamy, you can add a few drops of regular milk to this, if you are not lactose intolerant.

For Garnish

  • 1 1⁄2 tbsp ghee/clarified butter
  • 1 pinch of saffron threads, soaked in 1 tbsp of warm milk
  • 50 grams onions, finely sliced, deep fried till crispy and brown
  • Cashews Sauteed in Ghee till brown


  1. Place rice in a bowl and wash under running water, gently stirring and mixing the rice with your hands, draining each time the bowl fills up. Do this 2 to 3 times till the water runs clear; then soak it in fresh water, covered, for 1 hour. Drain it after 1 hour.
  2. Take a pinch of saffron threads and soak them in a cup of warm milk. Keep aside. It will be used for the garnishing.
  3. Take a handful of cashews, wash them and soak them in a cup of water. Keep aside. It will be used for the garnishing.
  4. Once the soaked rice is ready, place a deep saucepan over medium heat, add 5 cups water, 3 cardamom pods, 1 cinnamon stick and 1¼ teaspoons salt. Let the water come to a boil, then add the drained rice – cook for 10 to 11 minutes. The rice should be soft but not overcooked. Drain it and set aside. 
  5. Boil the corn in salt water for 10 minutes. Boil the peeled and chopped potatoes in salt water separately, for 10 minutes.  
  6. Pour ghee into a large saucepan or open pressure cooker over medium heat. When hot, add cardamom pods, cinnamon and bay leaves.
  7. Once the cardamoms have plumped up nicely (about 1 minute), add minced onion to the pan and sauté till golden brown.
  8. Add turmeric and uncut green chillies to this. Stir, while adding red chilli powder to it. Sauté well, about 3 minutes.
  9. Add ginger and garlic pastes and stir well.
  10. Add tomatoes and salt. Continue to stir, and cook, scraping the bottom of the pan often so that the masala does not stick.
  11. Once you see the clarified butter/ghee separating from the masala, add the potato, stirring and coating them well for about 2 minutes.
  12. Put in fresh mint and coriander leaves too and sauté till the leaves are wilted and cooked, for about 4 minutes. Stir and scrape vigorously, to get all the bits from bottom of pan.
  13. Add corn and stir through.
  14. Pour 3/4 – 1 cup water into the pan, cover it and bring to a boil. Do this on low heat, until the potato and corn are cooked, about 10-11 minutes.
  15. Uncover the saucepan/cooker and add coconut milk, yogurt, and lime juice, stirring vigorously to mix well. Check the flavour and if it is adequately spicy/salty, and then remove from the stove.
  16. Now, take the serving dish and spread 1/3 of the rice at the bottom. Layer half the corn mixture on top of the rice. Layer this with 1/3 of the remaining rice and then spread the remaining corn mixture on top of this. Now spread the last layer of the remaining rice on top. Biryani is ready!
  17. Now, take an onion and slice about 50 grams, finely. Deep fry them in clarified butter, till they are crispy and brown.
  18. In the same pan, sautee a handful of cashews in Ghee till they are brown. Make sure to drain out the excess water of the soaked cashews from earlier.
  19. Drizzle ghee onto the Biryani in the serving dish. Pour on the saffron on top, along with the soaking milk. Top this with deep fried onions and the cashews.
  20. Serve hot with a side of flavoured yoghurt and enjoy!

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