paneer makhani biryani

Paneer makhani biryani

I am so happy about how our blog is getting filled with biryani recipes! I hope it is a treat for all biryani lovers. So, to add on to that long list, here is yet another fantastic combination of two of our favorite recipes – paneer makhani biryani!

I love fusion food a lot. A fusion recipe has so much of creativity, innovation and everything! We actually bring together two different foods as one recipe. This is great, right? I mean just think about bringing paneer makhani, a gravy and biryani together. This is just awesome, right?

So, this is a long due post because it has been so many months since I actually shot this recipe! I thought this was the right time to post as I came across a contest in Instagram and I thought why not share this paneer makhani biryani recipe.

There are so many combinations that are the best. One such is naan and paneer makhani combo. I am a huge fan of it. But, have you ever tried paneer makhani along with rice that is in the form of biryani.  This paneer makhani biryani is a must try recipe!

This paneer makhani biryani is a treat for all the vegetarians. I mean, why should we restrict biryani to meat alone? This biryani is so perfect that even a chicken biryani lover would fall for it. It has got so much of flavors in itself. Imagine the taste of creamy makhani gravy in every mouthful of flavorful biryani rice that you have? Awesome, right?

I seriously do not remember from where I got the inspiration for this recipe. It has been that many months. But, if I am right and if you all remember, I had posted a chicken tikka biryani, a few months back. That inspired me to try out many other fusion foods especially with biryani.

paneer makhani biryani

If you still want chicken in your biryani, then feel free to follow the same recipe and replace paneer with boneless chicken pieces. But, marinate the chicken with red chili powder, lemon juice and salt and then grill or fry it in a pan. Then, add it to the gravy. Do not add uncooked chicken.

This paneer makhani biryani has luscious and creamy makhani gravy layered with rice and then cooked on dum for some time for all the flavors to get infused. So, while making the gravy do remember that your gravy must be very smooth and silky. Always strain it after grinding to get a silky gravy.

A good and a tasty biryani requires so much of patience. I know that you need to wait. But, the end result is so worth it. The process of making this paneer makhani biryani too is comparatively long. You need to prepare the gravy, then the rice separately and then layer both and cook on dum for sometime before serving. According to me, patience is the key. Because the best flavors are brought out only in slow cooking and I love that the most.

So, enough of all these stories! Wait no more. Go ahead and enjoy this paneer makhani biryani with your loved ones! Serve it with a simple onion cucumber raita or plain yogurt with some salad by the side. Stay safe; stay healthy! Happy cooking and eating!

While you are here, do checkout my chicken biryani, mutton biryani, prawn biryani and egg biryani recipes to prepare for a weekend brunch! try my Arabian rice recipes for a feast at home. Also, do checkout my other lunch recipes too!

Has meal planning been a little bit difficult during this lockdown? Look through my No Veggies, 21-Day Lockdown Series for ideas on what to cook during this lockdown.

If you have tried any of my recipes, then tag @the_busy_apron and share it on Instagram with the hashtag #thebusyapron. Also tag @TheBusyApron and share it on Twitter with the hashtag #thebusyapron

paneer makhani biryani

Paneer makhani biryani

Abhipriya Raghav
A fusion recipe bringing two of our favorites together – paneer makhani and biryani!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 2 servings


To cook the rice

  • 1 cup long-grain basmati rice
  • 5 cups cups water
  • 2 green chilies, slit
  • 2 inch cinnamon stick
  • 2 star anise
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3-4  whole black pepper
  • 6-7 cloves
  • a strand of  mace
  • 3 green cardamom
  • 1 black cardamom
  • salt, as per taste
  • ½ tsp lemon juice

To make the barista

  • ½ cup oil
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced

To prepare paneer makhani gravy

  • 2+2 tbsp butter
  • 1+1 tsp oil
  • 8-10 cashews
  • 3 red chili
  • 2 green chili
  • 6-7 cloves garlic
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, roughly chopped
  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 green cardamom
  • salt, as per taste
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • ¾ tsp kashmiri chili powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • ½ tsp cumin powder
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • ¼ tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp crushed kasuri methi
  • 200 grams paneer, cut into pieces
  • 2+2 tbsp fresh cream

For the biryani

  • handful of chopped mint leaves
  • handful of chopped coriander leaves
  • 2 tbsp warm milk
  • a few strands of saffron


Pre-preparations for the biryani

  • Wash and soak the rice in enough water for 30 minutes. In a bowl, take warm milk and add a few strands of saffron and let it sight for 15-20 minutes.
    paneer makhani biryani

To cook the rice

  • In a kadai, add 5 cups of water and the whole spices listed under 'To cook the rice' and bring it to a boil.
    paneer makhani biryani
  • Drain the water from the soaked rice and add it to the kadai. Cook the rice until 85% done.
    paneer makhani biryani
  • Strain the rice using a strainer and let it sit for 5 minutes. Later spread the rice in a plate and set aside.
    paneer makhani biryani

To prepare the barista

  • Add 1/2 cup oil to a wide pan and let it heat. Add the thinly sliced onions when the oil is hot and fry them on a low-medium flame till it turns golden brown in color.
    paneer makhani biryani
  • Drain all the oil from the fried onions using a strainer. Reserve this oil for future use.
    paneer makhani biryani

To prepare paneer makhani gravy

  • Add 2 tbsp butter and 1 tsp oil to a kadai on medium heat.
    paneer makhani biryani
  • Add green chilies, red chilies and cashews to the kadai.
    paneer makhani biryani
  • Add garlic and ginger and saute for a few seconds.
    paneer makhani biryani
  • Saute onions until it turns translucent.
    paneer makhani biryani
  • Add the chopped tomatoes along with some salt and saute for a few seconds.
    paneer makhani biryani
  • Add the spice powders and the salt. Mix it well with the other ingredients. Add some water, cover the kadai with a lid and cook till the tomatoes turn soft.
    paneer makhani biryani
  • Turn off the heat and let the mixture cool down. Once cool, transfer it to a mixer grinder along with 1/4-1/2 cup water and grind it to a smooth paste. To a kadai on medium heat, add the rest of the oil with 1 tbsp butter.
    paneer makhani biryani
  • Add the ground mixture to the kadai along with ¼ cup water and let it come to a boil. Add the crushed kasuri methi and cream to it. Mix well and add the paneer pieces. Let it cook for a minute or two. Turn off the heat.
    paneer makhani biryani

Layering the biryani

  • In a heavy-bottomed vessel, add half the gravy along with some paneer pieces, fried onions and some chopped mint and coriander leaves. Add 1 tsp of fresh cream too.
    paneer makhani biryani
  • Add half of the par-boiled rice and spread gently over the gravy.
    paneer makhani biryani
  • Add the other half of the gravy along with the paneer pieces, some fried onions, coriander and mint leaves. Top it with a tsp of fresh cream.
    paneer makhani biryani
  • Layer it with rest of the par-boiled rice. Top it off with rest of the fried onions, coriander and mint leaves.
    paneer makhani biryani
  • Splash the saffron milk and some oil that we reserved from frying the onions (barista). Meanwhile heat a tawa on medium flame. Cover the biryani vessel with an aluminium foil and then the lid. When the tawa is hot, lower the flame and keep the vessel over the tawa for the dum process.
    paneer makhani biryani
  • Let it dum cook for 10 minutes. Turn off the flame, remove from heat and let it rest for 10 more minutes. Serve hot with some raita on the side.
    paneer makhani biryani


  • Do not cook the rice through. Cook just until 85% done.
  • While par-boiling the rice, use green chilies according to taste.
  • Use the oil used to fry the onions in the biryani. This oil is infused with flavors and tastes great.
  • While layering the biryani, you can also add rose water or kewra water for some extra flavors.
  • Let the makhani gravy be semi-thick and not too thin.
  • For a silky smooth gravy, you can even strain it after pureeing it.
  • You can omit the onions while making the base makhani gravy. But the onions add so much body and flavor to this biryani.
Keyword biryani, dum biryani, indian, paneer, paneer makhani, paneer makhani biryani, rice