Mamta's Kitchen

Biryani/Pulao/Pilaf Rice From Leftover Curries

Biryani from Leftover Curry

Mamta Gupta


Picture here is of a biryani from leftover chicken curry.

This dish uses any left-over curries, vegetarian or non-vegetarian and it is very easy to make. One of my favourites is Matar paneer (Peas and Cheese Curry). Amounts are approximate. Serves 4

Edited April 2018


  • 1 cup basmati rice (leftover, cooked rice can also be used)

  • 3-4 cups water to boil rice

  • 3=5-6 mint leaves

  • 1 tsp. salt

  • 2 cups of any left over curry like chicken, lamb, mutton, pork, prawn, fish, vegetable, kidney beans, matar paneer or chickpeas.

  • 1 large or 2 small onions, peeled and thinly sliced

  • 2-3 tbsp. oil

  • Salt to taste (curry already has salt)

  • A few strands of saffron, soaked in 2 tbsp. warm water. If you don't have it, use ground green cardamom seeds instead, which also give a lovely aroma.


  1. Wash and soak rice for 10-20 minutes. drain and keep aside.

  2. Boil water in a pan, along with mint leaves and salt.

  3. Add rice. Boil briskly until rice has 1-2 grains remaining when pressed between a finger and thumb.

  4. Drain in a colander. Wash under running cold water. Otherwise rice will keep cooking and will become sticky. Keep aside.

  5. Heat oil in a pan and fry onions until brown, see picture. Drain and keep aside.

  6. In the same pan, with the remaining oil, add your chosen curry and 1/3rd of the onions. Heat it through. You can add some frozen or pre-boiled mixed vegetables here. Keep aside. Now you are ready to assemble the biryani.

  7. Butter an ovenproof dish.

  8. Place half the rice in the pan and spread it evenly. Sprinkle half of the saffron strands in water

  9. Cover it evenly with the prepared curry.

  10. Spread the remaining half of the rice on top evenly.

  11. Sprinkle the remaining saffron in water.

  12. Spread the fried onions evenly on top.

  13. Cover with a sheet of doubled aluminium foil and heat in a pre-heated oven at 180-200C for 20-25 minutes, until heated through. You can cover it with a cling film and heat in a microwave oven on full power for 4-5 minutes.


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