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June 25, 2014


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Kuska biryani recipe

I am a big fan of Tamilnadu hotel style kuska biryani. Before marriage we used to have this rice from a nearby restaurant at least twice in a month during weekends. My appa calls this as”pattai sadam”. Madurai is popular for Kuska rice. In hotels, they usually serve kuska with onion raita and salna or ennai kathirikai. I love that combo.

Kuska, this term might be new to some you.I will tell you what it is. Kuskha is nothing but the plain rice cooked n flavoured with masalas without adding vegetables or meat. You can call it as plain vegetarian biryani. Usually muslim people do this for all their marriages and festivals. In urdu,”Kushk”means plain. It is very famous in Hyderabad and Tamilnadu. Thanks to Spiceindiaonline from where I got these details. In Tamil nadu, you get kuska mostly in small hotels or mess. In some big hotels, they serve chicken or mutton biryani as kuska just by removing the pieces. So my dad always buys it from vegetarian hotels.Its my long time dream to recreate kuska at home.

I  have tried several recipes but they were not satisfactory. Recently I was chatting with my reader Kirthiga devi in facebook. More than a reader, I should say she is like my sister. She calls me fondly as akka. When we were talking, I just asked her about kuska biryani and she immediately shared her recipe with detailed steps. She suggested me pressure cooker as well as Dum method. I chose pressure cooker method as I felt it easy. She also said that this is the recipe of muslim style kuska. Then, what else I need to try this??. I tried it for my lunch today. It was awesome. I got the same taste as I expected. Thank you so much kirthiga. Many people use coconut milk for kuska. But I used milk.

Friends,whenever you are run short of vegetables, do try this kuska rice. Bachelor’s & working women can make this easy rice for their lunch box during busy mornings. Its a no grinding & less chopping rice variety. Just one onion, half tomato & biryani spices is enough to prepare this delectable dish for two people. U can use either jeera rice or basmati rice as per your liking. Lets see how to make Tamil nadu style kuska biryani / plain biryani with step by step pictures.

Kuska recipe

Kuska biryani recipe

Kuska biryani recipe How to make hotel kuska biryani recipe at home easily.
Cuisine: Indian
Category: Lunch
Serves: 2
Prep time: 10 Minutes
Cook time: 15 Minutes
Total time: 25 Minutes

1 cup - 250ml

  • Jeera rice or basmati rice - 1 cup
  • Water+coconut milk or water+milk - 2 cups
To add in the rice
  • Cinnamom - 1 small piece
  • Cardamom - 1 no
  • Cloves - 1 no
  • Bayleaf - 1no
  • Mint leaves – 10 nos 
  • Ghee – few drops
To saute
  • Cooking oil - 2 tbsp
  • Cinnamom - 1 small piece
  • Cloves - 1 no
  • Bayleaf - 1 no
  • Kalpasi/black stone flower – 1/2 tsp( click here to see the picture in stepwise pics)
  • Cardamom - 1 no
  • G&G paste – 1 tsp
  • Big onion - 1 no
  • Tomato - 1/2 no
  • Green chillies - 2 nos
  • Red chilli powder – 1/2 tsp to 1 tsp (adjust)
  • Dhania powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Curd – 1 tbsp
  • Mint leaves – 15nos (chopped)
  • Coriander leaves -  2 stalks (chopped)

  • Wash the rice and take it in a bowl. To this rice,add the spices mentioned under”to add in rice” . Add equal quantity of water+milk or water+coconut milk and soak the rice for 10-15 minutes. i.e. Rice and water+milk ratio should be 1:2.( you can soak only in water too if you don’t want to add milk or coconut milk)
  • In the mean time, finely chop onions,tomatoes,mint leaves and coriander leaves.
  • Then in a pressure cooker base, heat oil and add all the spices, saute for a second.
Kuska recipe step1
  • Then add onions, g&g paste and saute till raw smell leaves it.
  • Add tomato pieces and saute till mushy. Now add red chilli powder , dhania powder and saute for sometime.Kuska recipe step2
  • Add mint leaves, coriander leaves. Mix well. Now add the curd, soaked rice with water and spices.
Kuska recipe step3
  • Add the required salt. Check for taste and pressure cook in low flame for one whistle or 10 minutes. Open the lid after the steam is released. Mix with a fork once. Check whether rice is done else add 1/4 cup of water and allow it to cook for 1 whistle in high flame or keep it for 3-4 minutes in high flame.
Kuska recipe step4
Serve with onion raita and Enjoy !


  • Rice takes longer time to cook in milk + water combo. So add more water and less milk if you want it to be quickly done.
  • U can add 1/4 tsp of fennel seeds while sauting spices. Its optional though.
  • Kuska I had tasted from hotels looks reddish orange in color. I think they add orange food color. But I used only red chilli powder to bring this color. So add food color if you wish.
  • For variations, you can add coconut milk instead of plain milk OR use water alone.
  • Remember the ratio of rice n water should be 1:2 even if  you soak for 30 minutes.
  • If you use jeera rice, soak only for 15 minutes else rice will turn clumpsy after cooking. If you soak for more time, add 1.5 cups of water instead of 2 cups.


Easy n tasty Kuska biryani is ready ! 

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jaya's recipes said...

Never heard of this looks usual nice presentation

Baskaran said...

Looks yummy and a pleasing colour too.Thanks for the useful cooking tips. Have bookmarked your recipe and shared in my fb page

Chitra said...

Thank u Baskaran sir :)

Motions and Emotions said...

This is very looks delicious

Unknown said...

Looks Great.. My method is little different.. will try ur method very soon & inform you dear..

Chitra said...

Thanks yaar.Sure ,try this version :)

Torviewtoronto said...

flavourful biryani

Unknown said...

Love this plain Biryani...... very well presented!

Sangeetha Nambi said...

I can feel the aroma here !

great-secret-of-life said...

I love this rice.. My mum does this too..

Hema said...

I make something similar to this, but with more tomatoes, would love to try this version..

Unknown said...

thats very new to me.. never heard abt them . good insight abt the dish. well made n presented too..

Kurinji said...

colorful and delicious kuska...

Kaveri Venkatesh said...

Though I have heard a lot about kuska I have never tried it..looks delicious

harini said...

delicious.i thought kuska is a non.veg item .dear would u please post recipe for brinji and kurma.which is famius in chennai small hotels and in weddings.i am a diehard fan of it.thanks in advance

Chitra said...

Thanks Harini. Even I wanted to try it :)

Unknown said...

Hi chitra tried ur kuska receipe today. Turned out very well, it was little bit spicy for me though.
Thank you

Unknown said...

Also tried ur easy nei appam was also turned very well.first time I made a crispy bs soft nei appam.thank you

Chitra said...

Thank u so much.Please reduce chilli powder next time :)

Chitra said...

Thanks a lot for trying and taking time to write here :)

Rewd said...

I tried this recipe, it was very delicious , thank you :)

Chitra said...

Thank you Rismiya :)

Kavitha said...

Chitra, I tried this recipe. It taste great.

Kavitha said...

Chitra, I tried this recipe. It taste great.

Chitra said...

Thank you Kavitha :)

Unknown said...

I tried this recipe ... It tastes delicious ... u Chitra 😊

Chitra said...

Thank u so much :)

Anusha Madhavan said...

Awesome recipe Chitra- Simple yet so flavorful!
Love this Kuska and also your Veg. Pulao/Biriyani. Both taste delicious and also smell great(during cooking and eating) which is important for biriyani.

Thanks for sharing!! Hoping to try more from your Biriyani collection and I think you should try to publish it.

Chitra said...

Thank you so much Anusha :) Do try my other biryani recipes. Hope you will like it.

Unknown said...

I have tried other versions of kuska before but after trying your version today I bet it is the best. I paired it with salna (from your space) and had a yummy lunch as traced by my daughter with her finger in her plate after eating .. what more can I say :) .. my hubby too complemented as "idhu dhan real kuska" and thanks to u and kirthiga devi

Chitra said...

Thanks a bunch for your great feedback. You made my day :)