Soya Kheema Biryani
Recipe type: Main dish, Biryani
Cuisine: South Indian, Chettinad
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
Recipe for South Indian Style Soya Kheema Biryani. The kheema balls fried in air fryer instead of deep frying. Healthy recipe. Measurements Used - 1 Cup = 250ml
For Cooking Rice
  • 2 Cups long grain Basmati Rice
  • 3 Cups Water
For crushed ginger garlic
  • Use half of the crushed Ginger Garlic for kheema balls and the other half for gravy.
  • 15 cloves garlic
  • 3 inch piece ginger
For the Kheema Balls
  • 2 teaspoon Vegetable Oil
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 2 green chillies finely chopped
  • 2 cups soya chunks
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Turmeric
  • ¼ cup chopped coriander leaves (roughly 5 sprigs)
  • ¼ cup chopped mint leaves (roughly 15 leaves )
  • 1 Egg (or) 2 Tablespoon Besan Flour
For the Gravy
  • Spices - 2 each of cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, star Anise and bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon Vegetable Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Ghee
  • 2 Onion, chopped
  • 3 green chillies
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup yogurt
  • 1 cup water
  • Juice of 1 lime
For layering the Biryani
  • handful of chopped coriander leaves
  • handful of chopped mint leaves
  • 2 tablespoon ghee
For Cooking Rice
  1. Wash the Basmati rice gently 2-3 times in running water. Soak Basmati rice in water for 20 minutes. Drain the water and set aside. In a pressure cooker, cook for exactly 2 whistles or 5 minutes. Switch off the flame and place the cooker under running water to release the pressure in the cooker.Once the rice is cooked, fluff up the rice and let it to cool.
For the Kheema Balls
  1. Grind the ginger and garlic in a small mixie without adding water. Set aside. Heat oil in a pan and add in the onions, finely chopped green chillies and half of the ginger garlic mixture. Fry till the onions are soft.
  2. When the onions are cooking, soak the soya chunks in water for 3-4 minutes. Drain the water and run it in a mixie / blender until the soya chunks becomes a paste / kheema. Add up-to a cup of water while grinding. Now drain the water in a strainer.
  3. Add in the drained soya kheema, salt and turmeric. Mix well to combine. Add in the chopped coriander leaves and mint leaves and switch off the flame. Combine well.
  4. Break an egg and add it to the kheema and mix well. You can add 2 tablespoons of besan / gram flour if you are a vegetarian and want to avoid eggs. Make little balls and place in the air fryer. Set the timer for 15 minutes and fry the kheema balls in 200 degrees Celsius temperature.
For the Gravy
  1. Heat oil and ghee in a pan and add in the spices. Let the spices plump for 30 seconds. Add in the onions. Fry for 2-3 minutes. Add in the sliced green chillies, turmeric and the remainder of the crushed ginger and garlic. Fry for a minute. Add in the tomatoes and fry for a minute. Add in the chilli powder, salt and yogurt. Fry for a minute more. Add in a cup of water to the pan and let it come to a boil. Add in the kheema balls and the lime juice. Gently mix to combine. Switch off the flame.
For layering the Biryani
  1. Add half of the kheema ball gravy on the bottom of a wide pan. Form a second layer with half of the cooked rice. Add a hand full of chopped mint leaves and chopped coriander leaves. Repeat once again. Top it with two tablespoon of ghee.
  2. Now, Cook the layered rice mixture in a rice cooker for 10 minutes. If you don’t have a rice cooker, heat a dosa pan on the stove and put the biryani bowl with a tightly covered lid on top of the dosa pan and allow it to cook on low flame for 15 minutes.
  3. Once its cooked, gently fluff up the biryani.
Recipe by Kannamma Cooks at