This paneer biryani is a quick and easy one-pot veggie meal that's ideal for a weeknight dinner. Golden bits of paneer are mixed in a Tikka Masala flavoured rice for a homemade biryani that's so much tastier than takeaway.
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Paneer biryani is a deliciously comforting meal that's easy to make and just the perfect treat for those moments you want something light yet super flavourful.
My paneer tikka biryani is by no means authentic, but it's a great one-pot meal that's perfect for feeding a crowd in a hurry.
I use shop-bought Tikka Masala curry paste to speed things up, but the result is very yummy, and the flavour pairs great with crispy paneer.
You can tweak this paneer tikka biryani recipe as you wish by adding extra veggies or playing with spices. It's just the perfect veggie recipe to make your own!
What do you need to make paneer biryani?
Olive oil — I typically use olive oil in this recipe because that's the one type of oil that I always have in the kitchen. Any other vegetable oil, such as canola or sunflower, would work just as well.
Paneer — A key ingredient in lots of veggie Indian dishes, paneer is a soft, mild cheese that's normally unsalted. It's an excellent addition to curries and biryani dishes because it does a great job at absorbing flavours. I like to fry the paneer until slightly crispy for this tikka biryani.
Onion and red pepper — I keep it simple with onion and red pepper in this biryani, but you can also add any other veggies you want, including green beans, peas, mushrooms, cauliflower and broccoli.
Garlic, ginger and chilli — These form the flavor base of the biryani, so try to use fresh versions if possible.
Tikka Masala curry paste — I used the Tikka Masala spice pace from Patak's for this biryani. It's a milder spice paste with balanced flavours, and you can use more than three tablespoons if you want.
Long-grain rice — Basmati rice is an excellent choice for biryani, but any other type of long-grain rice is also a good option here.
Baby spinach — This is optional but highly recommended because it adds extra brightness and vitamins to the biryani.
How to make it?
In the same pan, fry the onion and red pepper for 3-4 minutes until softened. Add the garlic, ginger and green chilli and continue to cook for another minute until fragrant.
Add the Tikka Masala curry paste and cook for a further minute. Next, stir in the rice and toast it for 1-2 minutes, stirring often to coat in the onion mix.
Add the vegetable stock, stir to combine, then bring to a simmer. Put the lid on the pan, lower the heat, and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the rice has soaked up most of the liquid.
Stir in the baby spinach and cooked paneer and continue to cook with the lid on for 1-2 minutes. Sprinkle with fresh coriander and serve with naan bread and your favourite chutney.
Recipe notes and tips
- This paneer biryani will keep well in the fridge for up to three days. Reheat it in the microwave or oven until piping hot.
- You can also freeze this biryani but preferably do so without the paneer.
- There's no need to presoak the rice for this biryani, but you can give it a quick rinse before adding it to the pan.
If you liked this easy paneer biryani, you might also like some of my other easy recipes with paneer:
- Light Paneer Curry
- Palak Paneer Makhani
- Easy Paneer Jalfrezi
- Paneer Korma Curry
- Red Lentil Coconut Dahl with Spicy Paneer
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 200 g (7 oz) paneer, cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 red pepper, sliced
- 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
- 1 small green chilli, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons tikka masala curry paste
- 300 g (10.5 oz) long grain rice
- 1 litre (4 cups) vegetable stock
- 100 g (3.5 oz) baby spinach
- Fresh coriander, to garnish
- Heat the olive oil in a large, deep pan with a lid and fry the paneer for 4-5 minutes over medium heat, until slightly crispy. Remove the paneer from the pan and set it aside.
- In the same pan, fry the onion and red pepper for 3-4 minutes until softened. Add the garlic, ginger and green chilli and continue to cook for another minute until fragrant.
- Add the tikka masala curry paste and cook for a further minute. Next, stir in the rice and toast it for 1-2 minutes, stirring often to coat in the onion and spices mix.
- Add the vegetable stock, stir to combine, then bring to a simmer. Put the lid on the pan, lower the heat, and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the rice has soaked up most of the liquid.
- Stir in the baby spinach and cooked paneer and continue to cook with the lid on for 1-2 minutes. Sprinkle with fresh coriander and serve with naan bread and your favourite chutney.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 360Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 42mgSodium: 584mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 14g
Nutritional information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator.