Traditional Baked Venison Biryani Recipe

I have wanted to make our own biryani for ages. I always hate the non authentic vegetable curry on the side biryani dishes you get from indian restaurants. This cooks for hours and uses the traditional pastry lid to bake in the oven. You get beautiful layers of rice and curry. I saw venison being used on saturday kitchen which inspired me to give it a go and I found this recipe by stevie parle. It was delicious and a yummy dish, if you are in a technique cooking mode and have lot’s of time, but to be honest non baked currys and rice are just as good which can be done in hour.


Spice mix

  • 1 tsp cloves
  • 1 tbsp cumin, toasted
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds, toasted
  • 3 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • ½ tsp fenugreek
  • 5 green cardamoms, seeds removed and pods discarded
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ¼ tsp turmeric


  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 2cm ginger
  • Olive oil
  • 1kg venison shoulder, off the bone, excess fat trimmed and cut into 4cm chunks
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 x 400g tin plum tomatoes, drained and roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp ground almonds
  • 400g basmati rice, soaked for 1 hour
  • 400g  plain flour
  • A small pinch of saffron threads, soaked in 50ml boiling water
  • 75g raisins, soaked and drained
  • 1 cinnamon stick


  1. Prepare the spice mix first by placing all the whole spices, except for the cinnamon, in a pestle and mortar and grind everything to a fine powder. Stir in the turmeric. Put to one side.
  2. In a pestle and mortar grind the garlic and ginger with one teaspoon of salt until you have a rough paste. Put to one side.
  3. In a large pan, heat a good splash of oil. Season the venison and brown until golden on all sides. Remove from the pan and replace with the onions. Stir well. When the onions begin to soften, stir in the garlic and ginger paste (and a dash of oil if necessary), and cook for two minutes before adding the spice mix and the cinnamon stick. Continue to cook for another five minutes, until the onions are soft.
  4. Return the venison to the pan and add the tomatoes, vinegar, yogurt and ground almonds, stirring to pick up the spices stuck on the bottom of the pan.
  5. Taste for seasoning and add enough cold water to easily cover the meat. Bring to the boil, place a lid on top, and leave to simmer for three hours, until the venison is tender.
  6. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees (fan). Drain the rice and cover with boiling water and a pinch of salt. Boil for four minutes, then drain and leave to steam in its pan with a lid.
  7. Generously cover the bottom of a large, ovenproof saucepan or biryani dish with half the venison mixture. Cover with half the rice, then the remaining venison and finally the remaining rice. Pour over the saffron water and raisins and add the remaining cinnamon stick.
  8. Place the flour in a large bowl, and work in enough cold water to make a stiff dough. Knead until you have a smooth dough, then roll out with a floured rolling pin, and use to cover the saucepan. Pinch the sides to make sure it stays tight. Place in the oven for 20 minutes, until the bread dough has turned golden. Serve in bowls.


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