4.3/5 rating (18 votes)

Turkey Biryani

Turkey leftover rice

  • Heat Mild
  • Serves 6
  • Prep 20 mins
  • Cook 30 mins
Turkey Biryani

A wonderfully aromatic dish flavoured with decadent spices and baked with layers of fragrant basmati rice and a great way to use up left over turkey.

Hari says

Whether it's biryani or briyani this is a lovely dish to cook especially if you have left over turkey to use up. The sauce is rich and full of flavour and the whole spices add a delicate fragrance. By layering with the rice is makes a great all in one meal that is great served this with my red lentil dhal.

  • Ingredients
  • Method

Saffron Milk

  • 1 tsp saffron
  • 5 tbsp milk


  • Basmati rice 400g
  • 500ml water


  • 400g left over turkey, chopped into chunks
  • 4 tbsp ghee
  • 3 medium onions, sliced into rings
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 whole chillies, stabbed with a fork (optional)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 stick cassia bark (approx. 7cm)
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 6 cardamoms
  • 5 cloves
  • 2 tomatoes, finely sliced 

Making the Biryani

  • Cooked rice
  • Meat sauce
  • Caramelised onions
  • 1 bunch of fresh coriander leaves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • Saffron milk


Saffron milk

  1. Add saffron to the milk and leave it to steep and draw the colour out.


  1. Wash the rice until it runs clear then place in a pan and add water, bring to the boil and leave until water is absorbed. The rice should be par-cooked and remain slightly underdone.
  2. After a few minutes gently fork through the rice working your way to the bottom and transfer to a large bowl to cool.


  1. Heat the ghee and add the sliced onion rings and cook over a medium heat and until caramelised and a lovely dark golden brown (approx. 20 mins).
  2. Remove half the cooked onions and set to one side. Add the ginger, garlic, bay leaves, chillies, cassia bark, black peppercorns, coriander, cumin, cardamoms, salt and turmeric to the pan and stir-fry for a few minutes until fragrant.
  3. Cut the tomatoes into small dices and add to the pan, stir on a gentle heat and cook until they break down to make a thick masala sauce.
  4. Add the turkey to the pan and heat through for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and set to one side.

Making the Biryani

To make the biryani for the family you can layer it into a casserole dish as per the method below or you can use a ring to make individual portions. Place some greased rings on a baking sheet on some grease proof paper. Put a layer of rice in at the bottom of the ring with a sprinkle of ghee and saffron milk and coriander. Add the turkey masala and finish with a second layer of rice. Add a drizzle of ghee and top with caramelised onions and some coriander. Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes at 180°C then serve. 

  1. Bring the biryani together in a greased casserole dish preferably with a lid.
  2. Have your rice, meat sauce, saffron milk, ghee, caramelised onions and chopped coriander to hand.
  3. Place one-third of the rice at the bottom of the dish and sprinkle with some of the saffron milk, coriander, 1 tsp ghee and a few onions. Then spoon half the turkey sauce mixture on top of the rice.
  4. Place another third of the rice on top and sprinkle with the saffron milk, coriander, 1 tsp ghee and a few onions and the remaining turkey mixture.
  5. Finally, top off with all the remaining rice and sprinkle the rest of the saffron milk on top, dot with ghee, all the coriander and caramelised onions.
  6. Place the lid on the casserole dish and place in the oven at 180oC and cook for 30-40 minutes until piping hot and fragrant.

Served with

Delicious with a lentil dhal.

Nutritional information

Typical values* per Serving
Fat (g)6.0
of which saturates (g)3.3
Carbohydrates (g)20
of which sugars (g)2.2
Fibre (g)0.4
Protein (g)9.6
Salt (mg)0.64
*Based upon calculated values, supplied by myfitnesspal.com. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated.

Useful equipment

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“ Thank you for printing this recipe for my delicious Turkey Biryani ”


Comments (2)

  • Julia Beard

    Julia Beard

    10 January 2021 at 16:33 |
    Hi does the masala dabba come with a small spoon as well , thankyou


    • Hari Ghotra

      Hari Ghotra

      12 January 2021 at 15:20 |
      Hi Yes it certainly does Thanks Hari


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