Go Back
5 from 14 votes

Paneer Biryani

Paneer Biryani or Cottage Cheese Biryani is a popular rice-based main course dish cooked with paneer (cottage cheese), long grain (basmati) rice and exotic spices.
Prep Time20 mins
Active Time1 hr
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Biryani Recipes, Paneer Recipes
Yield: 3 people
Author: Amrita


  • 200 gm Paneer (Cottage Cheese), cut into rectangular 11/2 inch blocks
  • 2 cups Basmati Rice
  • 1 no Onion, medium
  • 3 nos Onion, medium
  • 1 inch Ginger pieces
  • 8-10 nos Garlic, pods
  • ½ cups Tomato Paste
  • ½ cup Yogurt
  • ½ teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • ½ teaspoon Red Chilli Powder
  • teaspoon Coriander Powder
  • 2 inch Cinnamon Stick
  • 4-5 nos Cloves
  • 1-2 nos Bay Leaf
  • 4 to 8 nos Whole Black Peppercorn
  • 3 to 4 nos Green Cardamom
  • 2 nos Mace
  • 2 nos Star Anise
  • 2 teaspoon Biryani Masala Powder
  • 3-4 tablespoon Milk
  • a pinch Saffron
  • 3-4 drops Yellow Food Color (optional)
  • 2-3 tablespoon Ghee or Clarified Butter
  • ¼ cup Refined Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 teaspoon Lime Juice
  • ½ teaspoon Garam Masala Powder


  • Wash and soak the rice for 20 minutes. Boil water and add half of the whole spices into the boiling water.
  • Later add the rice to cook  until 75 to 80% done. Drain the water and spread the rice in big plates so that they don't stick with each other. Allow it to cool. Sprinkle little salt on rice at this point of time.
  • If you have kept the paneer in refrigerator, then keep it in warm water for 10 minutes and then cut into blocks of your desired shape.
  • Heat oil and saute the paneer blocks with garam masala powder and salt.
  • Once they are cooled down, marinate them with lime juice.
  • In a blender take onion, ginger, garlic, green chilli and coriander leaves and make a smooth paste and keep aside.
  • Soak the saffron strands in warm milk for sometime.
  • Now heat oil and add the sliced onions, fry them with salt and sugar until crisp and brown.
  • Take out the fried onions and keep aside.
  • In the remaining oil, add ghee and in the oil-ghee mixture add the remaining whole spices.
  • Next add the paste of onion, ginger, garlic, coriander and green chilli.
  • Cook until the raw smell goes away.
  • Add dry spice powders (turmeric, red chilli, coriander and biryani masala powder) and salt to taste. Mix them well.
  • Now add tomato puree and cook until raw smell disappears.
  • Finally, add beaten curd and stir continuously for few minutes to avoid curdling. At this time lower the flame.
  • Add the sauteed paneer cubes into the masala and mix them lightly so that paneer blocks remain unbroken.
  • It is time to layer your biryani. You can do it in a big vessel when you are making large batch. For small batch either you can assemble in a vessel or just in a microwave safe bowl so that you can heat it in microwave before serving.
  • For layering, grease the vessel and put a bottom layer of paneer with masala. Next spread cooked rice and add saffron-soaked milk, and some fried onions. Again put a paneer layer and thus follow the same layering for two to three layers. 
  • Now close the lid of the vessel and keep it on hot iron skillet for 10 minutes before serving. Serve with curd, salad or raita