Pakistani Beef Biryani Recipe

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I made this beef biryani yesterday; this spicy and tangy beef pilaf is a striking cuisine that everyone in my home loves. The juicy beef chunks, soft potatoes, and flavorsome rice make it a perfect dinner companion. This is so aromatic, and my neighbor always asks me to share a plate. 

beef biryani

Biryani! This is just one word for non-natives, but if you’re Pakistani or Indian, you might be aware of feelings related to this recipe. In my childhood, I often disregarded my sleep whenever my mom said, “Today, I’m making beef biryani, Nabeela,” and I eagerly waited for my biryani plate.

Many memories are attached to the Biryani; my mom always crafts this recipe on Eid and formal occasions. And from her, I’ve got this overpowering recipe that satisfies your plates. 

The beef biryani is made of “Basmati” rice, more aromatic than any other rice. Plus, small beef chunks that are super juicy and soft. For the spices, I always stick with the traditional options, but you can also use the store-bought Biryani Masala. 

There are a few facts and things that you have to keep in mind while making beef Biryani, and if you don’t pay attention to them, you will get cohesive, moist, and flavorless rice. So grab a cup of coffee and stick with this recipe to get the most out of it. 


Why This Beef Biryani Recipe Will Win Your Heart

  • Traditional Value: The roots of beef biryani are traced back to Persia (Iran). But this recipe was the favorite choice of Mughal kings and emperors. Till now, Biryani has been considered a signature dish in Pakistan and India. The traditional flavors always win the hearts of everyone. 
  • More Tangy & Spicy: Biryani is more toward the spicier side. I even guess it’s the tangiest and most spicy Pilaf dish. If you dislike your spices, I suggest you make this umami “Chana Pulao” recipe. 
  • Very Aromatic Dish: You know the classical spices used in beef biryani recipes hold a pleasant aroma; that’s why while crafting beef biryani, a mouthwatering aroma wafts in the kitchen, making me drool. 
  • More Hearty Appealing: In Biryani, the food color mostly elevates the appeal, and I often prefer the orange color, which is a traditional one. The Basmati rice looks more attractive, making this beef Biryani an eye-catching cuisine.

Level Of Difficulty 

Biryani has a medium difficulty level. But in fact, it’s not a difficult recipe if you know how much rice you must cook and how to make the beef juicy. 

Further, the ingredients used in this recipe are simple daily use spices, potatoes, tomatoes, and other such items. You just have to invest your time and focus to craft this traditional pilaf recipe. 

Just like Afghani Pulao, this Biryani has three major stages involved in making this recipe. First, boil the beef, prepare the gravy, and then steam it. With no hidden culinary tricks or hard-to-find ingredients, even novice cooks can easily make biryani.


biryani masala
  • Beef: Biryani can be made with chicken, beef, mutton, fish, and chickpeas. But here I’m using beef because it’s so much juicer and elevates the value of this dish. Nonetheless, I’m not using the modern one-pot method to cook the Biryani; I must first boil the beef separately. 
  • Basmati Rice: In Pakistan, Biryani is mostly made with Basmati rice. People often ask me about ‘Sella’ or ‘ice, ‘but I don’t redirect them to Brian. Basmati rice has a more pleasant fragrance and indulgence than any other rice. At the same time, Sella rice is mostly used for Zarda. 
  • Onion & Tomatoes: You must use both ingredients to prepare a savory gravy. Always opt for small wages of tomatoes and thin slices of onions for the recipe. You don’t need to make the paste of tomatoes because charred tomatoes look tastier in the masala of Biryani.
  • Garlic & Ginger Paste: I add garlic ginger paste to make the masala more robust and aromatic like the other traditional recipe. 
  • Potatoes & Peas: Both these ingredients are optional. I like the peas in the dish Biryani. They give a much more appealing texture. And potatoes! You know, everyone likes these soft potato wedges in Biryani. Even if you’re street biryani, you might see a plethora of potatoes on a plate. 
  • Whole Spices: This recipe requires some basic spices, including red chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, Paprika chili powder, red chili powder, and salt. The prime masala/spice that brings an authentic biryani taste is the biryani masala, and I’m sure I’ve bought biryani masala. You can also make this masala at home.
  • Yogurt: Yogurt makes the masala creamier and makes beef bites more succulent and juicy. You must use yogurt because it balances the heat from spices and produces a more balanced flavor.

How To Prepare Homemade Pakistani Biryani Masala

If you’re not keen on pre-packaged spice blends, no worries; you can prepare your own Biryani masala home. My mom is also a traditionalist and likes the old-fashioned ways of making spices at home. And if you’re a you’re, you can easily make this masala using these ingredients. 

  • 2 – 3 Cardamom 
  • 1 Black Cardamom 
  • 1/2 tbsp Coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tbsp Cumin seeds (Zeera)
  • 1 Star anise
  • 1/4 tbsp Paprika powder (Kashmiri red chilies)
  • 1/4 tbsp mace spice 
  • One bay leave
  • 1/4 tbsp fennel seeds
  • One cinnamon 
  • Two cloves 
  • 1/4 Turmeric powder
  • 1/4 Black pepper powder

Blend all these ingredients in a food processor, and you will get fresh homemade Biryani masala. And if you’re ayou’rebuff like me, just grab the store-bought masala and skip these steps. 

How To Prepare Beef Biryani?

  1. Boil The Beef: This is time-consuming, but you must compromise to get the juicy and spongy meat bites. I’m using a pressure cooker to boil the meat. Add 1.5 liters of water, turmeric powder, salt, and bay leaves to the cooker along with the beef. Pressure cook the beef for 50 minutes on medium flame. 
boil the beef
  1. Sauté The Onions: Now, let’s make out Biryani gravy. First, heat the oil in a pan and sauté the onions until golden brown.
  1. Add Garlic, Ginger Paste, & Tomatoes: Once the onions get golden, add the garlic and ginger paste and stir it for a minute. Keep the heat medium-low to prevent the onion from being burned. After a minute, add tomatoes and a splash of water to decompose them and simmer for 1 minute. 
add garlic ginger paste
adding tomatoes
  1. Add Spices: Let’s bloom spices. Add all the ground spices to the gravy. Also, add a small amount of water to prevent the spices from burning. Mix all the medley for at least one minute, and then add half a glass of water to thicken the gravy. At this stage, the more you stir, the deeper the flavor of spices will be throughout the Biryani. Keep the flame medium and stir for two more minutes. 
adding spices
  1. Add Potatoes & Peas: Throw all the potatoes in the curry and mix them perfectly to blend spices with potatoes. I’m adding water to speed up the decomposing processor potatoes. Let them simmer for 3 to 4 minutes.  
adding potatoes
At this point, you can toss in the peas if you have them. I’ve boiled some peas and basmati rice in one pot. It took me around 10 minutes to boil both these ingredients. 
  1. Simmer The Meat In Gravy: Now the meat is ready to blend with spicy biryani gravy. Toss the beef into the gravy and mix it well. Stir thoroughly to ensure the spices infuse perfectly with the beef, making it juicier. After 2 minutes, add the yogurt and close the lid for 1 minute; now, the moisture from the yogurt makes the beef even more tender and succulent. 
adding yogurt
  1. Again, Simmer For 5 Minutes: I know you love softer and juicy beef chunks. Simply add half a glass of water to the gravy, toss some green chilies, and simmer it for 5 minutes on a medium flame. 
Again, Simmer For 5 Minutes:
  1. Steaming (Dum): Our last and most crucial step. For steaming, place a griddle (tawa) on a low heat, and transfer the wok/pan over it. 
dum steaming
add food colors
  • Add the drop of oil in a pan to prevent gravy from sticking at the bottom.
  • Add one-half of the gravy to the pan. 
  • Now layer with one-half of the rice. 
  • Next, add the other half of the gravy to the layer of rice. 
  • Add the remaining rice to the gravy. 
  • Grab a spoon and add the food colors on various spots over the rice. Now close the lid and wait for 10 minutes.

Nabeela’s Pro Tips For Making Real Juicy Beef Biryani 

There is always more room for improving this recipe. And I’ve tested numerous things to make it more tangy and flavorsome. Here are some of my tips that you should follow to get better results. 

  • Ensure the rice is not overcooked because too much soft rice sticks together after the dum (steaming), and make a Risotto (khichdi).
  • Always opt for small beef chunks instead of larger bites. Must add yogurt to make the beef juicer and tender. You can also do the marinating if you have got some extra time. 
  • Don’t overcook the gravy because it tastes more bitter and robust after steaming. Also, add the water to maintain the subtle consistency and to decompose the potatoes and beef. 
  • Add Aloo Bukhara (plum) to the gravy for a savory taste. Or even if you have Aloo Bukhara Chutney, simply toss 1 tbsp of it in the gravy.


Yes, you’re using chicken or mutton instead of Biryani. I know for a UK and US resident, it would be challenging to find halal beef meat. So instead of it you can use the chicken. Here is my full chicken biryani recipe.

You can store the beef biryani in the refrigerator for two days. Upon reusing, simply reheat it gently on a stovetop. Also, add a few drops of oil to a pan before reheating it. Stir through while reheating to prevent Biryani from sticking at the bottom. 

I don’t prefer to use a Instant-Pot for making this recipe. Because the basmati rice becomes duller and softer in it, you can boil the beef separately in an instant pot if you don’t have a pressure cooker. 

How To Serve Beef Biryani?

The best thing that pairs perfectly with Biryani is the Rita. You can easily prepare Rita using yogurt and cumin seeds. After a bite of spicy Biryani, the heat always irritates your palates, and the Rita is the only thing that will soothe them. 

Also, you can serve Shami kebabs, Mint Chutney, crystal lettuce, or any other type of Salad with this Biryani. 

Other Rice Recipes

beef biryani

Pakistani Beef Biryani Recipe

Beef Biryani is a spicy and tangy beef pilaf is a striking cuisine that everyone in my home loves. The juicy beef chunks, soft potatoes, and flavorsome rice make it a perfect dinner companion. This is so aromatic, and my neighbor always asks me to share a plate. 
No ratings yet
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 35 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian, Pakistani
Servings 6


  • ½ Kg Beef
  • 2 Onions
  • 3 Tomatoes
  • Potatoes
  • Half Bowl Peas
  • 4 tbsp Yogurt
  • 1 tbsp Garlic paste
  • ½ tbsp Ginger paste
  • 3 Green chilies 
  • Lemon (optional)
  • 1 tbsp Paprika chili
  • 1 tbsp Red chili powder
  • 2 tbsp Turmeric powder (1 for boiling beef and 1 for gravy)
  • tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp Coriander powder
  • 3 tbsp iryani Masala (Store-bought)


  • First, boil the beef in a pressure cooker. Add 1.5 liters of water, 1 tbsp turmeric powder, and 1 tbsp salt. And pressure cook the beef for 50 minutes. 
  • I know beef takes longer to cook. That's what's another stovetop; let's let our biryani gravy. For this, first, sauté the onion in oil, but don't don't. Make them brown. 
  • After the onions turn golden, add garlic and ginger paste and stir for a minute. Maintain medium-low heat to avoid burning. Add tomatoes and a splash of water, simmer for a minute.
  • Now, bloom spices in gravy. Add ground spices and a little water to prevent burning. Mix well for a minute, then add half a glass of water to thicken. Stir continuously on medium heat for 2 minutes.
  • Add potatoes to the curry, and perfectly mix them with spices. Pour half a cup of water to speed up the cooking process. Simmer for 3-4 minutes until potatoes soften. Now, add peas if available. I've already boiled peas and basmati rice in one pot, and it took me around 10 minutes.
  • Now, the meat is ready to blend with spicy gravy. Transfer the beef from pressure cooker to the pan. Stir to infuse spices, making it juicier. After 2 minutes, add yogurt and close the lid for 1 minute.
  • For that tender, juicy beef you love, just pour half a glass of water in the gravy, throw in some green chilies, and let it simmer on medium heat for 5 minutes.
  • Our final and crucial step: for steaming, place a griddle (tawa) on low flame and transfer the pan. Add a drop of oil to prevent sticking. Pour half the gravy, layer half the rice, add the remaining gravy, and top with the remaining rice. Add food colors and close the lid for 10 minutes.


Keyword Beef Biryani, Indian Biryani, Pakistani Biryani
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