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Cranberry Kheema Biryani

Christmas is here almost and I wanted to make a very festive dish for you all. Atleast this will feature in my Christmas Dinner this year. Cranberry Kheema Biryani is going to be a great addition to your dinner table. No festivities can be complete without a Biryani, isnt it? And this Cranberry Kheema Biryani will make your Christmas or any celebration perfect.

The tartness from dried cranberries, mixed with the minced meat and spices and rice filled my home with such great flavours while making this dish. I created this dish in collaboration with Tilda Basmati and I used Tilda Grand Extra long Basmati Rice which makes the perfect long grain Biryani. You can always use regular Basmati to make Biryani but this is extra long and each grain cooks seperate and can be enjoyed better. Tilda uses DNA fingerprinting to test their Basmati rice for purity, as they believe only Pure Basmati has that tantalizing flavour and magical aroma. Broken grains that release starch and make the rice clumpy are removed to ensure a light, fluffy texture in any Tilda packaging. It is simply full of natural goodness and combined with a few simple cooking steps, it will always be perfect pure grains.

I have written down the entire recipe of this Biryani for you along with photos of every step. Mind you, Biryani is a work of labour and cannot be attained in a quick version. It is love, hard work, time and good ingredients that make it taste heavenly. I hope you give this Cranberry Kheema Biryani a try and let me know how you enjoyed it.

I paired this Biryani with a simple, refreshing, Cucumber Raita. What would you like to pair with it?

Cranberry Kheema Biryani

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Resting time 30 minutes
Servings 4 people


Main ingredients

  • 400 g Tilda Grand Extra long Basmati Rice
  • 4 tbsp ghee divided
  • 2 large red onion chopped
  • 3 green chilli chopped
  • 1 large tomato diced
  • 2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 2 tbsp Greek yoghurt
  • 8-10 cashewnuts
  • 10-15 dried cranberries
  • 250 gms minced lamb meat you can use any minced meat of your choice
  • 10 g coriander and mint leaves chopped
  • 1 tbsp kewra water optional


  • 2 tsp Biryani Masala
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 3 tsp salt divided
  • 4 green cardamom
  • 3 cm cinnamon stick
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 dry bay leaf
  • 2 star anise
  • 4 black peppercorn
  • 2 black cardamom
  • Pinch of saffron soaked in 100 ml warm milk


  • Wash the rice and soak it for 20-30 mins. Later add 1000 ml water and 1 tsp of salt and few drops of oil and cook the rice upto 70%. Drain the excess water and spread the rice in a bigger container so that it doesn't continue cooking and get sticky.
  • Meanwhile as the rice is soaking, in a pan add 1 tbsp ghee and add half of the sliced/chopped onion and fry them on medium flame. This will make the onion crunchy and can be used for extra flavor. You can always fry them in oil as well, but ghee makes it taste better.
  • In a heavy pan, add 2 tbsp of ghee and add cinnamon, cardamom (green and black), cloves and bay leaves and saute on medium flame. After 2 minutes add the rest of the chopped onion and cook them for another 5 mins and add the ginger garlic paste. Stir everything well and cook for another 5 mins and add the chopped tomatoes (tomato puree can be used as a substitute as well). After 5 more minutes add the minced lamb and cook till its fluffed (well cooked).
  • Add 2 tbsp of yoghurt along with turmeric, red chilli powder and biryani masala and let it cook on a medium flame, soon oil starts separating. Add some chopped mint and coriander leaves and handful dried cranberries.
  • Check for seasoning and add salt accordingly. Remember the rice has been cooked with salt as well. Remove this mixture to a bowl and let it rest while we assemble the biryani layers.
  • In the same pan or a Dutch oven, start layering the biryani. Start first with rice, followed by the minced meat. Dont add everything at once, it is like making a lasagna but with rice.
  • Add some of the fried onions and cashew nuts and more dried cranberries at the end of every layer. Keep adding the layers. And finally on top add the left over ghee. ans make two not too deep holes in the layered rice and add the saffron and kewra water.
  • Wrap a kitchen towel around the lid of the pan and put it on the pan and let it cook on low flame for 20 mins. This is called cooking under 'dum' or steam and that's why its called Dum Biryani. If the rice is getting stuck at bottom of the rice, you could add a tbsp of water.
  • And after 20 mins, check the rice using a fork and not too vigorous movements. And your biryani is ready. Serve it warm with raita

Spice obsessed girl who likes to spread her love for food through recipes and more. Bringing India little closer to you through this website.

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