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I am trying to make some Kachhe Biriyani (Cooked with raw meat and half cooked rice).

For that I am using following ingredients.

600 gm, Lamb
4 tbsp, Ghee
160 gm, Onion
70.00 gm, Raw Papaya
50 gm, Natural Yoghurt
300 gm, Basmati Rice

Now I cook my rice:

  1. For 5 mins to cook it to 50%.
  2. Then I mix it with meat marinade (above) and cook it for 35 mins on low flame (33% of high flame).

This is the way it has been described by a lot of cooks:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HLaLwAeAxBw
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMuedBOODTs

But following this, my Biriyani rice always gets soft and mushy.

What is wrong? Am I using too much heat? Is my meat releasing too much water?

What is different compared to other chefs using this method?

  • Do you open the lid and serve your biriyani immediately after cooking? Leaving it sealed, even for a short time, will over cook the rice. – moscafj Jul 3 at 17:49
  • @moscafj - imho with a biryani, it's not so much that it overcooks, but that you have to wait it out as it dries up again slightly, resisting the temptation to stir it - which I presume is why most biryani recipes just drop the rice on top of the meat mixture & don't stir until the very end. – Tetsujin Jul 4 at 9:17
  • @Tetsujin...I make mine in an enameled cast iron pot with heavy lid. Once, when I cooked too soon, and the family was not ready for dinner, I removed from oven and left on stove with the lid in place. 20 minutes later, it was an overcooked mess. BTW, my recipe layers the rice and meat. There is no stirring. Rather, it is flipped onto a serving platter...ideally, revealing the crusted part that was at the bottom of the pan. – moscafj Jul 4 at 10:43
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As with many dishes of this type, there are as many ways to cook it as there are cooks - but overall I think you have three things combining to make your rice mushy.

  1. You are over-cooking your rice at the start.

  2. Your burner temperature is too high

  3. Your simmer time is too short.

Basically you're driving off water but not at a pace the rice can settle to its final state, absorbing some of the oil too - or being nicely coated at least.

As a 'first fix' method, I'd start with only 2 mins boil of the rice - some chefs even kill the heat as soon as it boils.
If you have an oven, I'd switch the cook to the oven, in a pot with a well-fitting lid, 170-180° for anything from 1 to 3 hours, depending on how cooked down you want the meat. Personally, I'd go for 3 hours - that means you either need enough practise to get your water level right at the start or check it half way & add more if necessary. Don't stir it during cooking, you'll risk breaking up the rice too much.

If you still want to go with stove top, then I'd invest in a simmer ring [$£€ 5 on eBay etc] so you can spread & reduce the heat getting to the bottom of your pan. This will mean you can leave it longer without risk of it burning.

Lengthening your cook time will improve both the meat & the rice.

After comments:-
It may be worthwhile investigating different rice brands, of course, not all rice is equal.
Another option [you don't mention in the question whether you already do this] is to pre-soak the rice in cold water for 30 mins, then rinse well, before cooking.

Overall, the biryani method relies on the rice first absorbing water as it cooks, but then being infused with the oils from the meat & marinade in the later stages; through this period it will go through a slight drying stage & tend to separate better at the end of cooking.

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    I think the suggestions in this answer are great, and just wanted to add one tiny thing - if you still aren't getting the desired results with these tips, maybe try out different brands of rice. There is a huge amount of variance in quality, as well as starchy-ness, and stickiness, all which are factors that could be impacting your biryani! – mfox Jul 3 at 12:06
  • Yes, Indeed. Good quality and right type of rice greatly affect the outcome – Spyros K Jul 3 at 18:27

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