Braised Hare Biryani

A classic Indian banquet dish made the traditional way by Atul Kochaar
By Atul Kochhar
Braised Hare Biryani
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes plus 2 horus marinating
  • Effort: hard


For the onion paste

  • 6 onions, finely sliced
  • vegetable oil, for deep frying
  • 1 tbsp yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric

For the biryani

  • 1 tbsp ginger- garlic paste
  • 200 g natural set yogurt, beaten
  • pinches turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • bunches coriander leaves, finely chopped
  • 5 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 whole dried red chillies
  • 5 cm piece cassia bark or cinnamon sticks
  • 4 cloves
  • 6 green cardamom pods
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 500 g basmati rice, washed and drained
  • 1.5 litres water
  • bunches mint leaves, finely chopped
  • pinches garam masala
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp mixed nuts, (almonds and cashews) deep-fried until golden
  • 1 tbsp raisins
  • handfuls crisp fried onions
  • pinches saffron, dissolved in 100ml warm milk
  • pinches ground green cardamom

For the raita

  • 200 g natural set yogurt
  • 50 g dried apricots, roughly chopped
  • 50 g walnuts
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted
  • 1 tbsp coriander, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp mint, roughly chopped
  • pinches salt


1. For the onion paste: deep-fry the onion slices until crisp and deep brown. Blend to a fine paste with the yogurt and turmeric.

2. For the biryani: marinate the hare in a mixture of the onion paste, garlic and ginger paste, yogurt, garam masala, turmeric, salt and a little of the chopped coriander. Put in the fridge for at least 2 hours to marinate.

3. In a heavy bottomed pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil and gently fry the dried chillies for 1 minute. Add the hare in its marinade, turn down the heat to its lowest setting and cook for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Meanwhile heat the remaining oil in another pan. Add the cassia, cloves, cardamom, cumin, and peppercorns; fry until they begin to splutter. Add the rice, stirring to coat in the spiced oil, and fry gently for 1-2 minutes. Cover with the water and bring to the boil. Cook for 12-15 minutes until the rice is almost cooked, but still retains a bite.

5. Drain the rice and spread out on a tray to cool. Pick out cassia, cardamom and cloves.

6. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4.

7. Brush a heavy bottomed pan with butter and add the cooked hare in a single layer. Sprinkle over a little of the chopped coriander and mint. Cover with a 3cm deep layer of rice and sprinkle over half the garam masala, knobs of the butter, half the nuts, raisins, fried onions and more herbs. Drizzle half the saffron milk over the top. Add another layer of the rice

8. Sprinkle over the remaining fried nuts, raisins, fried onions, garam masala, butter and saffron milk and the ground cardamom. Cover and seal tightly (traditionally dough is used to seal the rim as you don't want the steam to escape). Transfer to the hot oven for 20 minutes. Remove, stir gently and sprinkle with more mint and coriander leaves. Serve hot with the raita.

9. For the raita: mix all the ingredients together.

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