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biryani plate with almonds, raisins, and sliced boiled eggs
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5 from 4 votes

Beni's Biryani

Spicy, Assyrian rice full of meatballs, chicken, potatoes and more!
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Assyrian, Middle Eastern
Servings: 12 people
Calories: 616kcal



  • 1 lb. ground beef or turkey
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. curry
  • 1 tsp. allspice
  • 1 small onion (minced)

Other Ingredients:

  • 2 medium onions
  • 5 medium red potatoes
  • 2 T biryani spice mix
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • 1 T salt (divided)
  • ½ cup vegetable oil (divided)
  • 1 rotisserie chicken
  • 2 cups green peas
  • 4 cups jasmine rice
  • 1 pinch saffron threads
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. cardamom
  • 1 tsp. turmeric (divided)


  • 4 boiled eggs
  • ½ cup slivered almonds
  • ½ cup raisins


  • Mix all meatball ingredients and form into small, ½" meatballs. Fry in 1 T vegetable oil, until browned. Set aside.
  • Slice onions and sprinkle with 1 tsp. biryani spice. Fry in 1 T. vegetable oil until caramelized. Add to the meatballs.
  • Peel and dice potatoes and sprinkle with 1 tsp. salt, 1 teaspoon biryani spice, and ½ tsp. black pepper. Fry in 3 T. vegetable oil, until the potatoes are cooked all the way through and golden brown. Add to the meatballs and onions.
  • Shred the meat off the rotisserie chicken and sprinkle with 1 tsp. biryani spice and a ½ tsp. turmeric. Add to the meatballs and vegetables. Mix in the green peas and set aside.
  • Wash and strain the rice. Add the saffron to a ¼ cup hot water and allow to soak.
  • Meanwhile place the rice in a large pot, along with the chicken broth, remaining salt, and 2 tablespoons vegetable oil.
  • Mix in the remaining biryani spice, along with the cinnamon stick, cardamom, and turmeric. After the saffron has soaked for a while, strain the liquid into the rice and mix in.
  • Bring the rice to a boil, then decrease the temperature to low and cook the rice until tender, approximately 30 minutes. Remove the cinnamon stick.
  • Layer the rice and chicken/vegetable mixture in a large pot until both are used up.
  • Heat, covered, over a very low flame, to allow the flavors to meld together for 15 minutes or so.
  • Fry almonds and raisins in 1 T oil until golden in color.
  • Boil and slice eggs. Serve over the rice, along with the almonds and raisins. Serve with a side of salad.


  • Although I prefer the taste of Jasmine rice, Basmati rice might be a better option because it cooks a lot faster than Jasmine rice.
  • Biryani is usually served in a large platter. Sliced boiled eggs decorate the parameter of the plate, while toasted almonds and raisins are sprinkled in the center, or on the side.
  • Once you have your serving on your plate, you are to top the rice with an Assyrian salad known as "zalata."
  • I love to pour some of the salad dressing over the entire plate. It really brightens the flavor of the dish.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 616kcal | Carbohydrates: 73g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 23g | Sodium: 910mg | Fiber: 5g