Biryani Sauce

Not the best photograph, but it tasted good

So, I love a good biryani dinner. Usually chicken. The first time I went to an Indian restaurant with friends was when I moved away from home to live in Middlesbrough. I remember going to the Royal Bengal or Bengal Tiger (I can’t remember the exact name but I think it was near the bus station, so if you were in Boro’ in the early 80s and you know the one I mean, do let me know). We didn’t go too often, because we were hard-up students, but when we wanted an Indian meal, that’s where we’d go. Usually after having a night out at the Student Union or Centrefolds the night club.

And the first meal I ordered was a chicken biryani because it was a name I recognised from my mum’s home cooking and seemed like a safe bet. The biryani from the restaurant was different to the one we have at home, but still tasted good enough.

I’m guessing it could be a little complicated to cook biryani from scratch, so I take a short cut and usepataks-biryani-paste Patak’s biryani paste. It comes in a jar and you just add tomatoes, rice, chicken and water. Then cook. However, unlike the restaurant biryani, or my mum’s, it doesn’t come with a accompanying sauce. So, I’ve decided to make my own sauce and it turned out pretty good. I’ll try making a biryani one day but for now here’s the recipe for the sauce:


  • 1 small onion, chopped or sliced
  • 5 cloves of garlic, crushed or finely chopped
  • Half teaspoon of ginger powder/paste
  • Chopped chilli (I used just one)
  • Half teaspoon of cumin powder
  • Half a teaspoon of cinnamon powder
  • 6 peppercorns
  • 3 cloves
  • 2 cardamom seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of fenugreek
  • Half teaspoon of curry powder
  • Quarter teaspoon of haldi (turmeric)
  • 200g of chopped tomatoes
  • Half cup of water
  • Half a block of creamed coconut
  • Pinch of salt
  • A few corriander leaves


  1. Fry the onion in ghee or oil for five minutes
  2. Add the garlic for a minute
  3. Grind all the spices together (the ginger, chilli, cumin, cinnamon, peppercorns, cloves, cardamom, fenugreek, curry powder and haldi) and then add to the pan and fry for another minute or two
  4. Add the chopped tomatoes and bring to the boil
  5. Add the coconut and salt
  6. Add the water based on how thick or dark you want the gravy
  7. Add the corriander leaves at the end of cooking.




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