Biriani/ Kenyan Biryani/ East African Rice

Venturing out to a new zone always needs an anchor in the form of some known or comfort tool. For me amongst food, Rice is one such anchor or comfort ingredient for me. Pairing any amount of side dishes with one good rice dish works for my family. 

Coming back to the theme, you do know we are on an exotic journey through the cuisines. And I have gone all the way upto Africa...

Swahili is the most popular language spoken in this continent. The food world is shrinking in size with all the cultures , colours and races merging in to one... I really hope that just like food, eventually all religions and races fuse up being one - human

The food in kenya exhibits the influence of India, Middle east and Asian flavors to a large extent. While the origin of Biryani is itself debatable, but back in Kenya this is attributed to the Indian ancestry.

It is nothing like the biryani we eat - neither the lucknowi nor the is not even layered but there is something about this that makes you associate with the biryani.

Go figure that out by trying this recipe....


2 cups Basmati Long Grained Rice (washed and drained)
1 cup mix par boiled vegetables (potato, beans, green peas, cauliflower)
1/2 cup paneer cubes (optional)
1 onion finely chopped
2 tomatoes finely chopped
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 tbsp tomato sauce
1 tbsp curd
1 tspn red chilli powder
1 tspn turmeric powder
1/2 tspn black pepper powder
1 tspn garam masala
1 stick cinnamon stick
2-3 cloves
2-3 whole green cardamom
1 tspn ginger paste
1 tspn garlic paste
1 pinch of saffron/ kesar
1 tbsp milk
2 tbsp butter/ ghee
salt to taste
Oil to cook
for garnish
hard boiled egg

1) Cook rice with 4 cups water with some salt and 1 cardamom. Add the juice of lemon or curd about 1 tspn while cooking to get long grains
2) In another pan , heat some oil. Add the cloves, cinnamon, cardamom. Then add the ginger garlic paste. Saute it for half a min
3) Add the onions and let it cook only till it turns pale - do not caramelise it
4) Next add the chopped tomatoes and saute it for 4-5 min. 
5) Add the dry powders, red chilly turmeric, garam masala,black pepper at this stage to aide faster water evaporation.
6) Now add the tomato puree and let it reduce down
7) Add the tomato sauce and vegetables. Add some water and cover it until vegetables are cooked
8) Add the ghee, curd and salt at this stage and let it cook until desired gravy consistency. I prefer it to be thicker.
9) When the rice is cooked, mix a part of it with saffron soaked in hot milk. Then using 
a fork mix it with the rest of the rice.Add some more ghee to the rice for extra aroma
10) Serve the rice with the gravy and garnish with pineapple, tomato, egg and lemon.

We loved this biriani as mentioed is something that will be made often at my home...



The rice is simple yet I can see a real long list of ingredients for the gravy, which will make it very flavorful. And I can see you working hard over the presentation, which I must appreciate.kudos.
Unknown said…
That sounds almost like our biriyani or pulao right and tha whole setup looks so beautiful and inviting...
Srivalli said…
The recipe sounds very nice and best is your presentation. It rocks Pradnya, great job there...
Gayathri Kumar said…
Looks like de-constructed version of our biryani. Love all the side dishes..
Kalyani said…
Subtle saffron flavour gives it lots of richness .. Liked d garnish and d cute name tags too 😊
Usha said…
haha, after reading the first 3 ingredients on your list, I scrolled up the screen to spot the veggies and paneer in the biryani. Biryani must have tasted great with the gravy and beautiful presentation.
Padmajha said…
Beautifully presented Pradnya. The Briyani sounds flavorful.For me too comfort is where the rice is :)
What an inviting Biriyani! So similar to our biriyani! I have heard from my father that many of the Kenyan recipes closely resemble our Indian cuisine.
Priya Suresh said…
Wonderful to see the Kenyan briyani, and your setup rocks Pradnya, prefect plating. Flavourful rice definitely.
Smruti Ashar said…
The biriani looks and sound like a deconstructed Biryani from India. Good change from the routine rice dishes commonly made. Looks amazing!
Suma Gandlur said…
Never knew there was a biryani recipe too in Africa though had an idea about the other Indian inspired dishes. Going by your pictures, I first thought there were no veggies involved in this biryani. :) I love how you have cooked it so perfect, each grain standing apart.
Rice looks fluffy and I can see all the grains seperated. Love the flavorful gravy.I like your presentation,it looks so neat.
Pavani said…
The long list of ingredients sure associate themselves to making biryani :-) and to the amazing flavor they impart to the dish. Lovely pick for Letter B.
Harini R said…
Wow! Indian sounding names for African dishes!!

As vaishali pointed out, there seems to be some thought going into the style of presentation. Loving the name tags :)
The list of ingredients look similar to that of our biryani but the look is different for sure. Love the whole setup. Bookmarked the recipe to try it soon.
Nisha said…
Love the set up Pradnya.. Rice is always a weakness for Indians :) :)
Srividhya said…
Amazing presentation man and love the recipe too. :-) Great
Unknown said…
Splendid presentation. IF we present biriani like this anyone will love it...
Chef Mireille said…
what a unique interpretation of biryani and the plating is gorgeous with the black plate - quite a color contrast. also I am 100% with your sentiments - we are all human!
veena said…
Lovely presentataion Pradyna. Biriani looks very inviting

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