Monday, March 9, 2009


Kushka is a kind of biriyani popular in Madras / Chennai. It is served without the meat / chicken pieces .It is something different from the ghee rice. Mainly the chicken / mutton broth will act as the the flavor enhancer here. Instead of Basmati rice , it is usually made with a rice called 'Jeeraga samba unboiled rice', which is a short grain rice with the flavor of basmati rice. This variety of rice easily absorbs the broth and makes the biriyani more juicy and aromatic. In the restaurants of Chennai, they use the chicken pieces instead of broth and retain the pieces to sell with the chicken biriyani in the end:). I used chicken broth to make this kuska biriyani.
Hubby used to buy this for me weekly once from a typical Biriyani shop. Actually it was a very small business place but famous for its authentic chef and non veg menus:)
The 'dham' style recipe I have narrated below belongs to that chef.
It is my favorite biriyani as I am not much interested in the chicken pieces in biriyani :) . Hi! Don't under-estimate my taste buds.ok. I love well marinated pieces :). So we can count this as a comfort food for people like me.

To make broth:

Chicken - 1/4 kg (with bones)
water - 2 cups
turmeric - 1/4 tsp

Wash and clean the chicken pieces. Pressure cook the chicken with water and turmeric to 5 whistles. Filter the chicken soup alone leaving behind the pieces. We can use the left over pieces to make kuruma along with some potatoes.
Otherwise use a store bought 'clear' broth (Its ok to use , if some vegetable soups are also added). But be sure that it does not contain any flour / carbohydrates in the broth, as it will make the briyani mushy.

Kushka / Kuska briyani / Plain Biriyani

Main Ingredients:
Jeeraga samba raw rice - 1 1/2 cup
Chicken / mutton Broth - 2 cups

Other Ingredients:

Red onion - 2 (medium size)
Tomato - 2
cilantro- 1 handful.
mint leaf -1 handful.
curry leaf - 1 brig
Ginger - 2 inch
Garlic - 5 pods
green chillis - 8 (uncut).
Briyani powder / curry masala powder - 2 tsp
Lemon - 1/4
Fennel - 1 tsp
bay leaves - 2
star aniseed - 1,
cinnamom stick - 2 inch
cardamom - 2
cloves - 4
ghee - 3 tbsp
vegetable oil - 3 tbsp
salt - to taste
pepper powder - 1 tsp

Step 1:
Wash the rice, drain the water. Leave it for 1/2 an hour on the sieve.

Step 2:
Heat 3 tbsp oil in a broad vessel.
Add fennel ,star aniseed , cinnamon stick,cardamom ,cloves, bay leaf .
And saute a little.
Then goes the chopped onion , green chillies . Fry till it becomes golden brown.
Then add the ginger garlic paste and fry till the raw smell goes.
Now add the chopped tomato and cook till the oil oozes out of it.

Step 3:
Now add the rice to the masala prepared and roast it till the rice gets heated .
If it needs some more oil, add the ghee now.
Add the briyani masala / curry masal powder.
Now we can see the rice trying to get fried.

Step 4:
Add the broth and let it come to boil.
Now put the required salt and lemon juice.
Spread finely chopped cilantro, mint leaf, curry leaf , pepper powder and few whole green chillies over the rice.

Ste 5:
Cover it tightly with a lid . Heat a dosa tawa and place the vessel over the tawa.
Bring to boil 10 cups of water in a vessel and place it over the lid.
(In the restaurants they add burning charcoals over the lid, to make 'dhum')
This kind of heating from top and bottom cooks the kushka evenly.
Cook it in slow fire for 90 minutes or till the biryani flavor fills the house:)

Kushka biryani is ready!

Serving suggestions:

The above said quantity can be enough for 2 people.
Serve it with chicken curry and onion raitha.

Calculate and increase the broth and rice quantity simulatuosly to make for more people.
If you are making this kushka in a bulk quantity, then you cannot measure the rice in cups. So add broth to the roasted rice, so that rice gets completely immersed in the broth and masala. Then proceed as described above.


Yasmeen said...

Spicy and flavorful plain biryani:)

Gita Jaishankar said...

I love kuska, I can have all time just with raita...delicious...may be I should prepare it this weekend :)

Cham said...

I like kushka too, somehow it is simply delicous without meat!

Poornima Nair said...

Never had this before...looks very tempting...

Varsha Vipins said...

Grt one..I can bet on the taste,as its cooked in the broth!!..:)

Deepa Hari said...

Kuska looks great Viki...even i like biryani sans meat...good one.

Preety said...

this is new to me..looks good though..

Unknown said...

I have heard of kushka but never tried.It looks delicious :)

gtyuk said...

khuska briyani makes me hungry! I never knew that there was a variety like this.
i've never noticed thisname " kushka"

all I want is to eat briyani hahahha. we also have our favorite briyani restaurants and stick with them whenever we go for briyanis.

Shama Nagarajan said...

am hungry here..send me the plate

Anonymous said...

This name 'kushka' am familiar with..but the recipe is new...lovely.

Asha said...

Looks lovely. Great for vegetarians to try Biryani flavor without having to use meat. Looks delicious! :)

Finla said...

Looks yummy.

Malar Gandhi said...

I love kushka...well said about short grain rice, truly is incorporates all the flavours, right!

For some reason, I cudnt see the pictures...maybe my net is too slow here...will visit again, later!

Priya Suresh said...

Needless to say its one of my fav dis...Simply superb!!

Gita Jaishankar said...

Please trail back to my blog. I have something waiting for you :)

Indian Khana said...

More like bringi...I love this too...looks wonderful

Vibaas said...

Have something for you here :

Indy Money said...

Wow!! You are amazing. I love your recipes. I tried some of yours. All are successful :) btw, Can you please tell me how to make Veggy kushka?

Anonymous said...


During my search i came across your blog,its really interesting to see it.Even if smeone never entered into the kitchen so far,can also prepare excellent food through ur blog.You can extend ur blog.

We ll support you ever.

Thanks & Regards,

Vikis Kitchen said...

Thank you all for the kind words.
We can prepare vegetable kushka also, by extracting soup from the following vegetables ....Tomato 1, green beans - 5, cabbage - 50 gm. Use this soup instead of broth. The above said quantity is for 3 people.
Anonymous: Thanks Lavanya for the kind support. Such words only inspire me to blog:) Cheers, Viki.

Anonymous said...

sorry for late reply,i am engaged with some work in recent days,send me ur mail ID.I ll pen down.Thanks for ur posting,keep posted.

We are there to support always.

Best Wishes,

lavanya said...

sorry for late reply,i am engaged with some work in recent days,send me ur mail ID.I ll pen down.Thanks for ur posting,keep posted.

We are there to support always.

Best Wishes,

meera said...

hi viki.. Can I use store bought chicken broth instead of homemade cos i have it now and wanna make some use of it... Will there be any change in the taste...? waiting for your reply....:)

Vikis Kitchen said...

Meera: Sorry for the late reply. Sure you can use the store bought chicken stock / broth / soup cubes. But reduce the salt in rice, as the manufacturer adds more salt in them. Actually I use knorr brand soup cubes often and next comes the chicken broth. It will taste the same or more better too. Happy cooking.

Unknown said...

hi viki,

which brand biryani masala did u use? is it ok if i use shan biryani masala?

Unknown said...

hi viki,

which brand biryani masala did u use? is it ok if i use shan biryani masala?

Unknown said...

hu viki,

can i use kalijira rice for this kuska as i don't get seeraga samba rice here in US. how to cook it i mean soaking, water ratio etc..?

Vikis Kitchen said...

Unknown:you can use Kali jeera rice also. Soak it for 10 minutes in ordinary water before cooking. Water ratio is same.
Shaan briyani masala will be good too. If possible you can use any Tamilnadu masala powders also.