Beef Biryani

I'm back!! I wish I was in Hawaii this whole time, but I wasn't After our Hawaii trip, I had to really start job searching. After a couple interviews I now live and work in Connecticut while hubbs and baby Mowgli are still in Chicago. I fly back to Chicago often. so I got a flu shot for the first time at work. I've avoided getting this shot in the past, assuming that my immune system is superior and oblivious to the flu virus. However, since I'm on planes so often now and since airplanes, apart from being steel tubes stuffed with humans and shot through the air at tremendous speeds, are also breeding grounds for infections with all that non-circulating air, I decided to take some precautions.

ANYWAY. I am in a loft apartment in Stamford, CT which hubbs helped me move into and decorate. The week after I moved in, my dad visited and cooked up a storm. Everything was delicious, and I enjoyed the royal treatment that week as I sat on the couch and my dad handed me plate after plate of mouthwatering South Indian delicacies. My brother Vin gets this treatment all the time because at TWENTY FOUR, he is a "baby" according to my parents and needs all the help he can with slicing apples for a snack, ironing his clothes for work, and even filling up his water bottles before a tennis match. Truly the good life.

I decided I had made enough excuses for not cooking and did a round of grocery shopping. My beloved grocery store Mariano's doesn't exist in CT, so I have to settle for lame stores like Fairway and Stop n' Shop. I'm sure I will get used to them, but I'm not there yet.

A few months ago, I bought a book called "500 best Indian recipes" or something. It of course has pictures for every recipe, or I wouldn't buy it. I'm a fan of North Indian food, and had visions of sugarplum fairies or whatever dancing in my head when I flipped through this book. If I had the self discipline to follow recipes in recipe books, a) this blog wouldn't exist and b) I would bake instead of cook. But I don't, so I saw some beef dish in there and decided to make beef biryani with the ground beef in my freezer. This is one of the quickest, easiest, most delicious (and modest) things I have ever made. Quick prep, quick cooking, one pot cleanup, and the taste is just too good. To make it vegetarian, add more veggies or tofu and leave out the beef. I realized after I made it that I can simply purchase something called "biryani masala", which probably contains a mix of the masalas I used anyway, and achieve a very similar taste with way fewer ingredients.


  • 3 tbsp canola oil
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp Kashmiri mirch masala
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • few dashes ground ginger
  • 2 medium red onions, diced
  • 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • Salt
  • 1.5 cups Basmati rice


Heat oil in a dutch oven on low heat and add all the spices. When the spices become fragrant, add the onions, increase the heat, and sautee until they soften. Next add the mixed veggies and cook them for 3-4 minutes in the spices. Add the ground beef, break it up, and stir to coat evenly with the spices. Cook covered and stir occasionally. Cook rice in your preferred method (I used a microwaveable rice cooker) and add to the dutch oven. Mix well and serve hot. This would go really well with some raita