Of Donne Biriyani and becoming a life long foodie…..

After being banned from the kitchen it was a lark being able to step in with strict instructions from the dear old ‘mater’ not to exceed 30 minutes. So feeling like Jamie Oliver in his 15-minute meals I was trying to figure out what to whip up for a quick but good Sunday meal. With a kilo of fresh chicken sitting atop the kitchen counter along with mint leaves and lemon, donne biriyani seemed the obvious choice. Deciding to chance it further I opted to prepare Nagarjuna style Chilli Chicken. Well suffice to say both the dishes turned out so good that the family requested an encore and that’s what we had a few days later, but this time it was Mutton Donne Biriyani. I seem to have got the technique right as they requested an encore again.

Having had enough of biriyanis and Indian food I have been egging dear family to eat out a bit, and here is what it resulted in.

Food Reviews 😀

Meanwhile for those curious about the Donne Biriyani. Here you go. Most readers may be familiar with Andhra style Hyderabadi Biriyani and the Mughlai Dum Biriyani. In fact most of the takeaway joints specialise in one or both of these styles. Both these Biriyanis are made using Basamati Rice or long grained, fragrant rice. Donne Biriyani, however, is a Maratha style Biriyani made with jeera sambha rice and there in lies one of its secret and extremely popular in Bangalore.

I discovered Donne Biriyani when my brother trotted home one fine Sunday morning with a stack of white boxes and delicious mouth watering fragrance in his trail. The boxes contained Chickpet Donne Biriyani. Spicy, hot and flavorsome we became addictive to the Donne Biriyani. There are quite a few popular eateries such as Naidu’s Donne Biriyani, Huliappa’s Donne Biriyani and of course what I prepare at home now 😛

Donne means a leaf bowl made from the Arecanut Palm Leaf. The Biriyani is usually served in these bowls giving it that special aroma. The biriyani is spicier than the Hyderabadi Biriyani and not as rich. I checked the net not too hopeful of finding the recipe coz my brother assured me the Donne Biriyani was a closely guarded secret but luckily the Internet is the guardian of secrets so I came upon Vidya’s  and Muktha‘s blogs which gave an elaborate recipe for the Donne Biriyani. After lots of trials and experiments here’s my version. Quick and easy this will take less than 30 minutes and enough for a family of four. Bon Appetit!



Chicken: 1/2 kilo

Jeera Rice: 2 cups

Steamed Rice (Sona Masoori): 1 cup

Bay leaves: a few

For the green paste:

Onions: 1 big or 3 small cut into chunks

Garlic: 10 pods

Green Chillis – 8

Cloves, Cinnamon, Cardamom: 5/1 stick/4

Javitri (Mace)- 1 flower

Mint leaves-  from 4 sprigs

Coriander leaves – from 3 sprigs

In a pan, heat a tablespoon of oil and roast ingredients above. Grind to fine paste.

Additional Ingredients: Juice from half a lime, spoon of Kasuri Methi (dry methi leaves)

Method: In cooker, heat 2 tablespoons of oil. Add bay leaves and roast for 30 sec.  Pour ground paste and roast till you get the fragrance of spices. Add chicken pieces and marinate over low flame. Add 1/4 tsp garam masala, 2 pinch of turmeric, 1/4 tsp of Dhaniya powder. Add rice. Pour water till the rice and chicken are covered. (Rice to water proportion: 3 tall glasses of water to 3 cups of rice. Remember jeera rice doesn’t require too much of water else it will take lumpy). Add juice from half a lime and a spoonful of kasuri methi leaves. Add salt to taste. Stir once. Close cooker and cook for 5-6 whistles.

Serve hot with boiled eggs, sliced onions and lemon wedges.

P.S: The above was the easy version. For those with time and patience, the mutton biriyani follows the same recipe. Only difference: half cook mutton before hand and use the mutton broth instead of plain water while cooking the biriyani. The half-cooked mutton is added in the same stage as the biriyani and instead of using plain water the mutton broth can be used which adds more flavour and richness to the biriyani.


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