Quick Aloo Biryani

Hyderabadi aloo biryani is a quick & easy recipe aka Dum biryani made with baby potatoes. I get a question asked frequently, what is the difference between Biriyani and Pulao?
Pilaf or Pulao, as it is known in the South Asia and the Indian Subcontinent, is another mixed rice dish popular in Indian, Pakistani and Middle Eastern cuisine. Opinions differ on the differences between pulao and biryani, and whether there is a difference between the two at all.

According to Delhi-based historian Sohail Nakhvi, Pulao tends to be (comparatively) plainer than the biryani and consists of either vegetables or meat cooked with rice. Biryani on the other hand contains more gravy (due to the use of yakhni in it), is often cooked for longer (hence yielding more tender meat or vegetables) and with additional condiments. Pratibha Karan states that while the terms are often applied arbitrarily, the main distinction is that a biryani comprises two layers of rice with a layer of meat (or vegetables) in the middle; the pulao is not layered.

Colleen Taylor Sen lists the following three distinctions between biryani and pulao:

Biryani is the primary dish in a meal, while the pulao is usually a secondary accompaniment in a larger meal
In biryani, meat and rice are cooked separately before being layered and cooked together. Pulao is a single-pot dish: meat and rice are simmered in a liquid until the liquid is absorbed. However, some other writers, such as Holly Shaffer (based on her observations in Lucknow), R. K. Saxena and Sangeeta Bhatnagar have reported pulao recipes in which the rice and meat are cooked separately and then mixed before the dum cooking.
Biryanis have more complex and stronger spices, compared to pulao. The British-era author Abdul Halim Sharar mentions this as the primary difference between biryani and pulao: the biryani has a stronger taste of curried rice due to a greater amount of spices.

Quick Biryani
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
25 mins
Recipe Creator: Bhavna
  • Baby potatoes 10
  • Ghee 2 Tablespoon
  • Oil 1 Tablespoon
  • Whole spice 2 Teaspoon
  • Turmeric powder 1 Teaspoon
  • Red chili powder To Taste
  • Coriander cumin powder 1 Tablespoon
  • Chopped onion 1 Onion
  • Chopped coriander leaves 1/4 Cup (4 tbs)
  • Chopped mint leaves 2 Tablespoon
  • Ginger paste To Taste
  • Garlic paste To Taste
  • Biryani masala 2 Teaspoon
  • Curd 1/2 Cup (8 tbs)
  • Cashew 1 Tablespoon
  • Raisin 1 Tablespoon
  • Basmati rice 1 Cup (16 tbs), soaked
  • Warm water 2 Tablespoon
  • Saffron 1 Pinch
  • Water 1 1/4 Cup (20 tbs)
  • Fried onion 1/4 Cup (4 tbs)
  1. 1. In a pressure cooker, pour in about a cup of water, put the steaming basket and place potaoes. Put the lid on and cook for 3-4 whistles.
  2. 2. Prick the potatoes with fork.
  1. 3. In a pot, heat ghee and oil together, add in the whole spices, allow to sizzle. Add turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander cumin powder and the chopped onions, saute for a couple of minutes.
  2. 4. Add coriander, mint , biryani masala and curd, stir and cook for another couple of minutes.
  3. 5. Add in the potatoes, cashew and raisin, saute for few seconds.
  4. 6. Add rice and water, cover and cook for about 20 minutes.
  5. 7. In a small bowl, mix together warm water and saffron.