Overview and history

Biryani comes from the royal kitchen of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah, the last king of Lucknow who was forced to leave his kingdom by British. That time, due to circumstances the king reached in Calcutta(the old name of Kolkata) with his closed associates and lived in the Metiabruz-Garden reach area till his last breath. During that time all the delicacies of their royal cuisine including biryani slowly reached Bengalis palate through the Awadhi or Lucknowi cooks and their eateries.

This way Kolkata was first introduced with this exotic dish “Biryani”. As  Bengalis are always great admirers of good food so we easily welcomed this dish. As all know, Bengalis are a great fan of aloo and most of our vegetables couldn’t make without it. So after seeing Bengalis’ immense love towards potatoes, Awadhi cooks started making their biryani with aloo to attract more Bengali customers. Though in traditional Lucknow or Awadhi biryani, there is no use of aloo or potatoes. In spite of being the same taste and flavor as Awadh biryani, our Kolkata biryani got a completely different identity for making it with aloo. When the potato is added to this recipe it’s easily enlisted in our Bengali cuisine forever.

This Kolkata style biryani is pure bliss to almost all Bengalis. Our Kolkata biryani is popular for its combined flavor of kewra water, mitha attar, ghee and garam masala, a piece of butter-soft potato, and juicy succulent meat which makes it different from others. Not only for its flavor even mixed of the milky white and jaffrani yellow textured long rice grains.

Preparation and methods-

  1. Mutton- cleaned and must cut into large pieces(100g) each.

Mutton for biryani

2.fried onion – onions should be fried till browned add a bit salt so that it take less time. You can use ghee or refined oil for frying.

Birista fried onion

3. Fried aloo( Potato)- Large potaoes cut into quater. Fry on medium flame until potatoes are browned from each sides.

Aloo fried

4. Biryani masala


  • 1.25 g (6 pcs) Green cardamom
  • 1 g (1 pc) Black cardamom
  • 1.5 g (¾ tsp) Cloves
  • 1 g (3 cm stick) Cinnamon
  • 1.2 g (½ pc) Nutmeg
  • 1.75 g (2 pcs) Mace
  • 2.5 g Shahi jeera
  • 2 g Kabab chini
  • 2 g (½ tsp) Fennel seeds
  • 3 g White pepper (whole)
  • 1.75 g (½ tsp) Black pepper (whole)


  • Grind the whole spices mentioned above in a grinder.
  • Note- you can buy biryani masala from market but the taste not remain the same.

Biryani masala

Note- There is one more thing you can do that you can use biryani masala(from market) combining with your homemade grinded garam masala. There is nothing to worry if you won’t find any of the item mentioned above, you can use this combination {biryani masala(market)+ garam masala} as well.
Note- For more flavour and aroma you must use grinding stone(sil batta). And if you don’t have use electrical grinder.

5. For the rice

  • ‍1.25 g (6 pcs) Green cardamom
  • 1.5 g (2 pcs) Black cardamom
  • 7 g Cloves
  • 1 g (6 cm stick) Cinnamon
  • 7 g Fennel seeds
  • 3 g Bay leaves
  • 3 kg Water
  • 45 g Salt
  • . 1 tbsp ghee
  • Place the spices in the given proportions on a small square of cheesecloth. Tie them with a piece of twine to form a bag.
  • In a large pot, take 3 kg water. Add 30 g salt and ghee to it.
  • Add the bag of spices to the water and allow it to come to a boil then add rice till its cooked about 80 percent. But in case of chicken rice should be cooked upto 90 percent.

Rice boiled with spices

6. Marinating mutton-

  • ‍100 g Yoghurt
  • 10 g Ginger paste
  • 10 g Garlic paste
  • 20 g fried onion or birista
  • 8 g coriander powder
  • 6 g cumin powder
  • 8 g Biryani masala
  • 5 g Kewra water
  • ½ tsp Red chilli powder
  • 20 g Salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • Coriander leaves
  • Mint leaves
Method –
  • Marinate mutton with all the ingredients given above and left aside for 2 hrs minimum or over night for more taste and flavours.

Steps for matinating Marinated mutton

Process of making kolkata biryani –

  • Take a pressure cooker put 8 to 9 tbsp oil or ghee, put the whole marinated mutton.
  • Stir continuously until the mutton and the marination release oil or ghee.
  • Add salt as according to taste, add potatoes to the bottom of the pressure cooker.
  • Add 150 g water and pressure cook it on medium-low heat for 30 minutes. Allow the steam to release naturally for another 15 minutes before opening the lid of the pressure cooker.
  • After that seperate the meat and potato in seperate plates.

Mutton cooked

Preparing for assembly

  1. This is the order in which you will need everything.
  • Bay leaves
  • Cooked mutton pieces
  • Cooked potatoes
  • Alubukhara(optional)
  • Fried onion or birista
  • Rose petals (if using)
  • Biryani masala
  • Grated khoya
  • Lime juice
  • Saffron and yellow food colour mixed in 20 g warm milk
  • Rose water, kewra water, and meetha attar mixed in 180 g warm milk
  • Ghee(melted) or oil

Assembly and dum-

  1. Set the biryani’r hnari or pot you are using for dum on low heat. Grease it with ghee.
  2. Lay bay leaves in a single layer to cover the bottom of the pan. These will impart an aroma and provide buffer against burning.
  3. Place the mutton pieces in a single layer, and the potatoes on top of the mutton. Don’t place potatoes too close to the edge or you might accidentally cut into them while serving.
  4. Strew alubukhara, birista, and rose petals evenly.
  5. Take half the stipulated amount of biryani masala and khoya kheer, and spread evenly. We will use the remaining half in the next layer.
  6. Now add the lime juice and gravy of mutton.
  7. Now rice, a ladle at a time, and spread it directly in the pan. Repeat this until half the rice is added to the pan.
  8. On top of this first layer of rice, spread the remaining biryani masala and khoya kheer. Also spread the saffron+colour mixture evenly.
  9. Now the rest of the rice and add it to the pan. Flatten it gently.
  10. On top of the second layer of rice, add milk mixed with the aromatics. Also add melted ghee, making sure to drizzle it near the sides of the pan too.
  11. Cover the pan with heavy-duty aluminium foil (if yours is thin, use double layers), sealing the sides well so that no steam escapes. Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid. If you don’t want to use foil, you can also seal the lid with a wet flour dough.
  12. Set the pan on dum on medium-low heat for 30 minutes. Turn of the heat and allow it to rest another 15 minutes before serving.

Thank you❤️



By admin

Myself Gourav chatterjee I done my graduation from Institute of Hotel Management and completed my MBA from GPTDC Hospitality pvt. Limited. I worked in devyani international limited as manager and now im persuing my training from ITC panchwati kolkata. Im also a food blogger and the love for food from my side is never ending. I want to explore each and every cuisine in the world.

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