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Recipe: Kesari murg kofta biryani

It’s not as complicated as it looks, and it’s worth the effort too! Try it

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Kesari murg kofta biryani
  • Category:  Main Courses
  • Cuisine:  Asian
  • Preparation time:   30 minutes
  • Cooking time:   45 minutes
  • Total time:  1 hour 15 minutes
  • Serves:  4-6
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  • For murg kofta

  • 400g chicken mince
  • 15g garam masala powder
  • 150g broken cashew nuts
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup sultanas
  • 1/2 cup coriander, chopped
  • A pinch saffron, dissolved in 3 tbsp of hot milk
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper

    For the biryani

  • 150g whole garam masala
  • 100g ginger, julienned
  • 100g green chillies, julienned
  • 600g basmati rice, washed and soaked in water for 10 minutes
  • 4 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
  • 300g onion
  • 300g yogurt
  • 250ml fresh cream
  • 200ml milk
  • 150g coriander, chopped
  • 50g mint, chopped
  • 25g garam masala powder
  • 1 tsp saffron, dissolved in 2 tbsp hot milk
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 50g onions, thinly sliced and fried until crispy
  • 3 tbsp cashews, fried until golden brown
  • Salt


  1. To prepare koftas or meatballs, preheat oven to 180°C. Mix together all kofta ingredients and divide into lime-size portions. Shape each portion into small balls and place in a single layer on a baking tray. Bake in the preheated oven for 2-3 minutes.
  2. To prepare biryani, in a pan, bring 3 litres of water to a boil. Add salt and half the garam masala, ginger and green chillies. Strain rice from soaking water and add to water. Cook until par boiled.
  3. Meanwhile, in a separate large pan, heat ghee and add remaining whole garam masala, ginger, green chillies along with onion.
  4. Sauté until onion is golden brown, then add yogurt, cream, milk and salt. Keep stirring until gravy thickens. Add koftas and stir in half the coriander and mint.
  5. Cover and simmer on low heat until koftas are completely cooked and oil begins to appear on the side of the pan.
  6. Strain rice and add to pan with koftas. Sprinkle remaining coriander and mint along with garam masala powder, saffron infused milk and lemon juice. Mix gently, cover with a tight lid and let it cook on low heat for 10 minutes.
  7. Garnish with fried onions and cashews. Serve with raita.