3.6/5 rating (62 votes)

Mushroom Biryani

South Indian Mushroom Biryani

  • Heat Medium
  • Serves 6
  • Prep 20 mins
  • Cook 30 mins
Mushroom Biryani

Hari says

Biryanis are an absolute skill to get right and I have tried a fair few in my time. This South Indian style biryani is very different to the classic Biryani in how it is cooked and put together. Some may argue that it's not actually a biryani at all, which I do understand because unlike a traditional biryani it's not a dish of alternating rice and masala layers.

The South Indian biryani is cooked more in the style of a pilau with the rice cooked in the masala. Not being a purist, I think it's a fabulous dish and the flavours are just as fragrant. I love using slightly different spices in this dish (especially the star anise) to add the aniseed notes that are so delicious.  

I have kept it simple using chestnut mushrooms, but you can really go to town and use whatever combination of mushrooms you like.


To buy the main ingredients for my Biryani, check out my curry kit here.

  • Ingredients
  • Method


  • 200g basmati rice


  • 2 to 3 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp fennel
  • 3cm piece of cassia bark
  • 2 cloves
  • 3 green cardamoms
  • 2 strands of mace
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 star anise
  • 10 curry leaves
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 6 cloves of garlic, crushed in a mortar-pestle
  • 7cm ginger, crushed in a mortar-pestle
  • 1 or 2 green chillies, finely chopped
  • 1 tomato, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • ½ tsp garam masala powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 250g chestnut mushrooms, cut into chunks
  • Handful mint leaves, chopped
  • Handful coriander leaves, chopped



  1. Rinse basmati rice in running water till the water runs clear of starch. Soak the rice in enough water to cover it and leave for 30 minutes. Then, drain the rice and keep aside.

Mushroom Masala

  1. Heat oil in a deep pan, then add all the whole spices - fennel, cumin, cloves, bay leaf, cassia, green cardamoms, star anise and mace.
  2. Stir in the curry leaves and fry the spices until fragrant for a few seconds, then add chopped onions and saute until they are translucent.
  3. Add the minced ginger, garlic and green chillies and cook until the garlic cooks through.
  4. Add the chopped tomatoes and saute for about 10 minutes. 
  5. Add the coriander powder, turmeric powder, garam masala powder, red chilli powder, black pepper and salt.
  6. Once fragrant and the tomatoes have broken down into the masala, add the mushrooms and half of mint and coriander leaves. Cook on a low heat for 6 to 8 minutes.
  7. Stir and add about 200ml of hot water. Bring the mixture to a simmer.
  8. Add the rice and the remaining mint and coriander and stir through. Season with salt.
  9. Reduce the heat and cover the pan with a lid. Cook for 10 minutes.
  10. Once the water has been absorbed, check the rice is cooked. If it still has a bite, you can add a little more water and leave to cook with the lid on for a little longer.
  11. Once the rice is cooked through, allow the rice to sit for 5 minutes.
  12. Remove the lid and fluff the rice.

Served with

Delicious with a lentil dhal.

Foodies100 Index of UK Food Blogs

Nutritional information

Typical values* per Serving
Fat (g)23
of which saturates (g)9
Carbohydrates (g)43
of which sugars (g)7
Fibre (g)5
Protein (g)17
Salt (mg)485
*Based upon calculated values, supplied by myfitnesspal.com. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated.

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