Aligarh Style Beef Biryani

This broth based biryani is incredibly aromatic and flavourful without being spicy. It has been a part of every special occasion for me growing up in Aligarh.

A rich beef broth, tender pieces of meat, aromatic rice and those caramelised strands of onion. This Aligarh style biryani is a celebration in its own. Not only by it’s taste, it also wins by its appearance. It brings those festive feels to the table that every event needs. It isn’t spicy (as in hot) but is incredibly aromatic and full of flavors.

I use an Instant Pot to quicken the cooking process. It makes the beef very tender and is very convenient to use.

Biryani or Pulao?

Some might say that this is pulao and not biryani. But this is what we grew up eating as Biryani in Aligarh. Every wedding, every function, every events has to have it. It is what biryani meant for us. And honestly, who even cares what the technically correct name is? As long as it is delicious, humko to khaane se matlab (we only care about eating), right?

Can I Make This Biryani Without an Instant Pot too?

Yes, you can make it in a pressure cooker or a normal pot too. It will take almost double the time for the beef to tenderise if you are using a regular pot. You might also have to add some more water to cook the rice.

Ingredients Needed for the Recipe

Do not be intimidated by the long list of ingredients. We will be breaking the recipe in easy steps so you can easily follow it.

Additional ingredients not pictured: White onion, green chili

Notes about ingredients:

  • Use beef with bones as the bones bring a lot of flavor to the broth.
  • Ginger-garlic paste: I used my homemade ginger and garlic paste blend which contains both in the same quantity. If you are using separate ginger and garlic paste take 1 Tbsp of each.
  • You can use a spice strainer if you do not like whole spices in your biryani.

Other recipes you might like to try on Eid

Watch the video instructions below to follow the recipe easily

Aligarh Style Biryani

A rich, broth based biryani that isn't spicy but incredibly aromatic.
Prep Time 7 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 6 people

Equipment

  • Instant pot

Ingredients
  

For marinating beef

  • 1 kg beef with bones
  • 1 Tbsp fennel seeds (saunf) powder
  • 1 Tbsp coriander powder
  • 2 Tbsp ginger-garlic paste (if using separate use 1 Tbsp each of ginger and garlic paste)
  • ½ cup yogurt (beaten)

Whole spices

  • 6 green cardamom
  • 3 black cardamom
  • 1 (5 cm) cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves

Other ingredients

  • 1 big white onion
  • ¼ cup ghee
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 500 ml (2 cups) water
  • 400 grams (2 cups) basmati long grain rice
  • 1 green chili
  • 2 tsp kewra water
  • a few drops/ pinches of orange food color

Instructions
 

Marinating beef

  • Add all the ingredients together and rub the beef pieces with the marinade. Leave it to rest on the counter until needed.

Combining whole spices

  • Combine all the whole spices together in a bowl so they are ready to be added later.

Slicing onion

  • Slice the onion thinly and evenly.

Making broth

  • Set the instant pot on sauté mode on high. Once hot, add the ghee. Once the ghee melts add the sliced onion and fry until it turns golden brown. Keep stirring so it fries evenly. It will take about 5-7 minutes. Once the onion turns golden brown turn off heat and take out the onion from the pot, leaving the extra ghee inside.
  • Set the instant pot again on sauté mode (high) and add the whole spices. Sauté for 1 minute then add the marinated beef. Spread the beef all over the pot and don't stir for 3 minutes. Then cook until all liquid has gone and oil appears on the surface. Stir occasionally. It will take about 15-20 minutes for this step.
  • Add the salt and water and give it a good mix. Cover with the lid and set the valve to sealing position. Now set the instant pot on pressure cooking mode (high) for 30 minutes.
  • Wash the rice thoroughly until the water that comes out of it is clear. Soak into room temperature until needed (about 30 minutes).
  • Once the instant pot timer for 30 minutes goes off, release the pressure by turning the vent on venting position. Open the lid carefully. The broth is ready.

Adding rice

  • Set the instant pot on saute mode and add the rice (drained completely), along with the chili that you split half lengthwise. Give a gentle mix and let it cook uncovered for 5 minutes. Put the lid on (vent on sealing position) and set the instant pot on pressure cook for 3 minutes.
  • Once 3 minutes are up, release the pressure and open lid immediately.

Coloring

  • In a small bowl mix together kewra water and orange color until well combined. Pour this mixture in spots onto the biryani with the help of a spoon. Cover and let rest for a minute.

Serving

  • Transfer the biryani on a serving dish (use a wide spatula to prevent rice from breaking). Garnish with the fried onion that were reserved earlier. Serve with boondi raita and green chutney.
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