Rabbit biryani

1 hour 5 minutes



  • 1 rabbit, whole and wild, on the bone (about 800g)
  • 630g of basmati rice, soaked for 30 minutes then drained
  • 1 tbsp of sea salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 tbsp of ghee, melted
  • 2 handfuls of onion, fried
  • 25g of mint, and coriander, chopped
  • 1 pinch of saffron, soaked in warm water or milk (this colours and flavours the rice golden. I don't like to use artificial colourings, so there's no jovial mix of fluorescent orange and yellow in my biryani)

For the marinade

  • 245g of yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp of ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 cloves
  • 10 cardamom pods
  • 1 tbsp of red chilli powder
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 green chillies, finely chopped
  • 25g of mint, and coriander, chopped
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 handful of onion, fried and crushed
  • 2 tbsp of ghee, melted
  • 1 tsp sea salt


First, joint the rabbit. Coat the rabbit pieces in the marinade and leave overnight in the fridge. The next day, remove from the fridge and let it come to room temperature before proceeding
Bring a pot of water to the boil, with the salt, bay leaf and cinnamon. Parboil the rice i.e. it should be only 70% cooked. Drain
Preheat the oven to 170°C/mas mark 3.5
In a heavy-bottomed oven-safe pot with a tight lid, place the marinated rabbit at the base of the pot. Cover with a layer of about half of your par-cooked rice. Then scatter half the fried onions, mint and coriander over. Repeat the layering, and then finally finish by drizzling ghee and the saffron liquid all over
Cover tightly (traditional purists will even seal with a blob of dough) and let cook in the oven for 45 min
When ready, uncover and fork through, tossing the succulent meat together with the golden rice to release all that steam and spicy aromatic fumes