Smoked Seekh Kebab Biryani

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If you have known me for a while now then you would have realised that I am totally for variations when it comes to cooking something. I cannot serve monotonous dishes for very long. This Smoked Seekh Kebab Biryani is one of the outcomes of me beating monotony.

So we celebrated Eid Al Adha last month in June 2022. Now when it comes to Eid day food then its synonym with “Biryani” as you may very well know it. But I was not in the mood of preparing it the regular way hence thought of making Seekh kebabs out of minced mutton (grounded beef in this case) as a variation to the regular mutton biryani.

Outcome: The biryani was mild not to spicy and had a nice overall smoky flavour due to the seekh kebabs. We as a family as well as our neighbours enjoyed it as it was something different to the taste buds.

Now the USP of this dish is that the seekh kebab can even be served as STARTERS/ APPETIZERS. Yes, you heard that right.

You can always make extra and even serve them as starters OR YOU COULD TURN IT AROUND ENTIRELY.


Keep reading to understand what I mean 👇.

Things to remember while making Seekh Kebabs

Mutton mince in a bowl with a skewer and seekh kebabs formed displayed on a plate
Smoked Seekh Kebabs

There are 3 important things to remember while making the seekh kebabs. Last one being optional.

  1. Brista (Crispy fried onions)
  2. Smoky Flvaour
  3. Meat tenderizer (optional)

Here’s how you do it.

How to make Brista (Crispy fried onions)

In our household and may be in most, we usually prepare a big batch of brista and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for several days. Now you need to do this only if you tend to use brista in many of your dishes every now and then otherwise its not required at all. Either ways for this recipe alone I will tell you the quantity needed.

  1. Take 2 medium size onions and cut them thinly length wise.
  2. Now in a kadai or a deep cooking pot, pour good amount of oil as the onions need to be deep fried. Make sure the flame is medium high.
  3. Once the oil is hot, add a small batch of onions and fry these until they are golden brown in colour. Keep moving them around with a strainer spoon. Tip: Always put the onions in batches to fry so that you do not over crowd the pot and moreover it gets easier to manage smaller quantities while frying thus preventing them from getting burnt (dark brown colour). Also if they do get burnt you cannot use them as they will ruin the taste of your dish, you simply need to discard them.
  4. Always remove the onions on a paper towel a tad before they are golden brown in colour because they tend to cook further when they are still hot.
  5. Once cooled store them in an airtight container or use them immediately.

How to make Raw Papaya meat tenderizer?

When we work with mutton especially in kebabs we as a family have always been using raw papaya pulp as a meat tenderizer (this is something that I have learnt from my in laws) as well as have been leaving the marination in the refrigerator overnight so that the flavors seep in.

Now you are free to use which ever meat tenderizer you are familiar with either store brought or your own preparation. However I have always used raw papaya pulp only.

Halves of raw papaya
Raw Papaya
  1. Choose a green papaya as shown in the image above.
  2. Wash the outer well and wipe it dry
  3. Then cut it into half, usually the insides of it will be white hence no seeds. If you do see any green seeds take them out.
  4. Now grind it into a mixer along with its skin
  5. Remove the pulp in an ice cube tray and place it in the freezer until formed.
  6. Remove the cubes and then you can store it in a zip lock bag for months and use it as and when required.

How to give a smoky flavour on stove top?

This method has been previously described in detail in my Smoked Butter Chicken recipe. You need to follow the same steps but remember to give the smoky flavour just before you start forming the kebabs and not when you set it aside overnight for marination.

What to do with left over seekh kebabs?

So lets just assume you decided to serve only the seekh kebabs as appetizers for your get together. You then realised that you are left with quiet a few of the kebabs. So now the question arises, What do you do with left over seekh kebabs?

The answer is simple you turn it to a “Left over Seekh Kebab Biryani” 😊

You see how well this dish can be served 2 ways or either one of the ways in a simple manner.

Recipe benefits for people suffering from food allergies

What to serve with Seekh Kebab Biryani

FAQ for Seekh Kebab Biryani

What is mutton mince?

Mutton mince is pieces of boneless mutton in grounded form

What is seekh kebab?

Seekh kebab is spiced, minced or ground meat formed using a seekh or skewer as we call it in English.

What is seekh?

Seekh is the Hindi word for what we call as Skewer in English.

Can seekh kebab be made using different ground meat?

Yes. You can try making seekh kebabs out of any ground meat you may desire. However I have only made seekh kebabs out of ground chicken and ground mutton (beef).

Can you make vegetarian seekh kebabs?

Yes, you definitely can.

Can you make seekh kebab over a grill?

Yes, you can definitely do that. However I have made it over a stove top using a grill pan and then giving it a smoky charcoal flavour.

How do you give a smoky flavour to the kebabs over a stove top?

It is very easy to do so. Please refer to my Smoked Butter Chicken recipe.

Can I substitute whole ginger and garlic to paste form?

Yes. You can substitute the whole ginger and garlic mentioned as ingredients in “Masala Paste” to 2 tbsp ginger garlic paste.

Can I avoid the smoking the seekh kebabs?

Yes. Smoky flavour just adds a nice taste to the kebabs and gives it a feel of the traditional grilling using charcoal.

Can I use store brought meat tenderizer?

Yes you can. For the quantity required refer to the directions mentioned on the packet or use it as per your judgement.

Do the seekh kebabs have to be marinated overnight?

No not necessarily but doing so just give you tastier and tender kebabs. Otherwise 3-4 hours should suffice too.

If you have tried out this recipe or anything else from our blog then we would love to hear your feedback. Please give it a rating and leave a comment in the section below or tag a photo and #familyfuntech on Instagram. Thank you!

Seekh kebab biryani served in a dish alongside raita

Smoked Seekh Kebab Biryani

Smoked seekh kebab biryani is mild in taste with a smoky flavour that it gets from the seekh kebabs.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Seekh Kebab Resting Time 8 hours
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 6 People


  • 1 Skewer
  • 1 Mixing Bowl
  • 1 Mixer Grinder
  • 1 Grill Pan
  • 1 Deep cooking pot (Kadai)
  • 1 Wide Cooking Pot
  • 1 Frying Pan Small
  • 1 Colander
  • 1 Simmer Mat


Seekh Kebabs

  • 800 Grams Mutton mince Ground mutton
  • 1 ½ Tsp Red chili powder
  • ½ Tsp Red chili flakes
  • 1 Tsp Fennel powder
  • 1 Tsp Garam masala powder
  • 2 Tsp Cumin powder
  • 2 Tsp Coriander powder
  • ½ Tsp Black pepper powder
  • 2 Cubes Papaya pulp Refer to the meat tenderizer method mentioned in the post
  • Salt as needed


  • 1 ½ Inch Ginger
  • 1 Pod Garlic
  • ½ Tsp Shah Jeera
  • 2 Tsp Red chili powder
  • 3 Tsp Coriander powder
  • 1 Inch Cinnamon stick
  • 3 Cloves
  • 2 Green cardamom
  • ¼ Piece Nutmeg
  • 2 Green Chillies
  • 2 Tbsp Gram Flour Roasted

Biryani Masala

  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 3 Green Cardamom
  • 4 Cloves
  • 1 Black cardamom
  • 4 Medium Onions Cut into fine cubes
  • 4 Medium Tomatoes Cut into fine cubes
  • 3 Medium Potatoes Peeled and cut into 4 quarters
  • 3 Tbsp Yoghurt Beaten
  • Cup Fresh coriander leaves Finely chopped
  • Cup Fresh mint leaves Finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp Ghee Clarified butter
  • 1 Tbsp Oil
  • Salt as needed

For Boiling Rice

  • 4 Cups Basmati rice
  • 1 Javitri (Whole Mace)
  • 1 Star Anise
  • 1 Inch Cinnamon stick
  • 3 Cloves
  • 2 Green cardamom
  • Tsp Red food colour
  • Salt as needed
  • Water as needed


Marinating Mutton Mince for Seekh Kebabs

  • Firstly place the mutton mince on a sieve and wash it a couple of times in water until the blood drains off.
  • Let the mutton mince sit in a sieve so that excess liquid is drained of as it is very important to not have much moisture in the mince inorder to form the kebabs.
    You can even press it down on the sieve to help remove the excess liquid faster.
  • Now in a mixer grinder add all the ingredients mentioned in “Seekh Kebabs” Excluding the roasted gram flour.
    Give it a good spin until all the ingredients are well combined and the mince forms a paste. (Refer to the image in the post for knowing the consistency)
  • Transfer it in a bowl, cover it well and then leave it for marination in the refrigerator preferably overnight. If not then 3-4 hours would suffice too.

General preparation

  • Firstly before you start making the seekh kebab for the biryani, wash the rice in water and rinse, repeat this 4 to 5 times until the water comes out clear.
    This process discards the extra starch.
    Soak the basmati rice in clean water for 45 mins to an hour or so this will make the cooked rice long and non sticky. Set it aside.
  • Grind the ingredients mentioned in “Masala Paste” and set it aside.
  • Finely chop the onions, tomatoes, fresh mint leaves and coriander leaves and set it aside.

Making Seekh Kebab Mixture

  • Now in a small frying pan over low heat roast the gram flour stirring it continuously so that it doesnt burn.
    Once an aroma has released switch of the flame and transfer the flour in a bowl to cool
  • After you have marinated the mixture for the required number of hours if you see any excess liquid in the mixture bowl then do drain it out before proceeding with the kebab formations.
  • Add the roasted gram flour to the mixture and give it a good mix.
  • Make a medium size ball of the mixture and pierce it though the skewer. Press it gently to make it long and to form a seekh kebab. (Refer to image in the post)
    The size of the kebab and the thickness depends on how you want it. You could make the kebabs thicker or medium size as per your preference.
  • Place a frying pan on medium high heat. Pour some oil in it for shallow frying the kebabs. Once hot add a few batches of the formed seekh kebabs.
    Do not over crowd the pan.
  • After you see a golden brown colour on one side, lower the flame to medium heat and turn the kebab over.
    Now you need to cover it and cook for around 2 mins until the other side has achieved the golden brown colour too. (Each batch of seekh kebabs may take around 10 mins to get done)
    Once done remove them on a plate and set them aside. (Keep the same frying pan out as we will be needing it again at a later stage).
    Repeat this step until you have finished making all the seekh kebabs.

Boiling Basmati Rice

  • After you have soaked the basmati rice for 45 mins to an hour its then time to boil it.
  • Fill a cooking pot with ¾ level water in it and place it on high heat.
  • Now add the Javitri, Star Anise, Cinnamon, Green Cardamom and Cloves. Let it boil until the water is hot and bubbling. Then add salt as needed.
    1 Inch Cinnamon stick, 3 Cloves, 2 Green cardamom, 1 Javitri (Whole Mace), 1 Star Anise, Salt as needed
  • Once the water is bubbling add the rice to it (make sure you have discarded the water in which it had been soaking)
    4 Cups Basmati rice
  • Boil the rice until its nearly done but not to soft as we will then be simmering it with the biryani masala.
  • Once done switch of the flame and using a colander drain of the rice water and set the rice aside.
  • Take a mixing bowl and divide the rice into 2 batches. Leave 1 batch in the colander itself and the other batch in the mixing bowl. Adjust the salt as needed
    Salt as needed
  • To the rice in the mixing bowl we will be adding food colour.
    Now this depends on what kind you have. If you have a liquid one use it on the rice and run a fork through it so that it spreads well and not all grains get covered in the colour.
    Now if you are using a colour in the powder form. Then mix it in water and then pour it around the rice kept in the mixing bowl and then run the fork through it.
    ⅓ Tsp Red food colour

Making Biryani Masala

  • Place a wide cooking pot on medium high heat.
    Pour the oil and ghee in it.
    1 Tbsp Oil, 2 Tbsp Ghee
  • Once its hot add the bay leaf, cloves, green cardamom and black cardamom.
    Fry for around 2 mins until a nice aroma has been released.
    1 Bay leaf, 3 Green Cardamom, 4 Cloves, 1 Black cardamom
  • Now add the finely chopped onions and fry them until they turn soft and translucent.
    4 Medium Onions
  • Now add the potatoes and continue frying them for 5 minutes.
    3 Medium Potatoes
  • Lower the flame to medium low heat and add the “Masala Paste” that you had ground earlier.
  • Keep frying by adding very little water at a time. Fry this until the oil starts to appear on the top.
  • Once you see the oil floating on the top, add a little water until ¾ of the potatoes are submerged in it. Then cover the cooking pot with a lid and cook until the potatoes are a little more than ¾ cooked.
  • Now you need to turn the flame to low and add the beaten yoghurt.
    Mix well and let it cook for around 5 mins until the yoghurt is well combined.
    3 Tbsp Yoghurt
  • The biryani masala needs to be thick and not watery. If there is quiet a lot of water in your masala then turn the flame to high heat and dry it off.
  • Add half quantity of the freshly chopped mint and coriander leaves to the masala before you turn it off
  • Now the frying pan in which you had fried the seekh kebabs earlier place that on medium low heat.
    Take a little of biryani masala and add it to the frying pan.
    Then add the seekh kebabs that you had set aside in batches to this masala and fry carefully for few mins.
    (We need the seekh kebab to get some biryani masala flavour in them and vice versa)
  • Once done switch of the flame of the cooking pot and frying pan.

Layering the Rice and Biryani Masala

  • Now in the cooking pot which has the biryani masala, add a few pieces of the seekh kebabs.
  • Now add on top the half batch of rice which was kept in the colander. Spread it evenly.
  • Sprinkle some salt as needed, some freshly chopped mint and coriander leaves and pour some ghee (optional). Cover with a lid.
  • Now add the remained coloured rice over it. Spread evenly. Sprinkle the left over coriander and mint leaves.
    And then place the left over seekh kebabs. Pour some ghee (optional)
  • Place a simmer mat on high flame and wait for it to become hot. Once the simmer mat is hot, set the flame to low heat.
  • Put the cooking pot on top of the simmer mat. Make sure the cooking pot is covered with a lid and if it does have a small hole for the steam to escape then cover that hole up with a foil piece.
  • Let the entire dish steam for around 20 to 30 mins until you see all the vapors collected beneath the lid.
  • Once done you can then serve it hot with some raita and pickle on the side.


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4 responses to “Smoked Seekh Kebab Biryani”

  1. Holly Avatar

    Love it! You doing amazing recipes, going to try this one when the kids are back to school and I have more than 5 mins to be able to cook with having a child clinging to my legs to be fed xx

    1. One Life Several Stories Avatar

      😁 oh yes, this recipe in particular for sure requires some amount of time. If you are in a hurry then try this 👉

  2. Amy Avatar

    5 stars
    Wow! I feel like I’ve learnt so much from this post. The FAQs were also a really great touch!

    They sound delicious too!

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