Kuska Recipe | Plain Biryani Recipe

Kuska – Basmati rice cooked in dum with a spicy gravy.


Kuska is nothing but biryani cooked without any vegetables or meat. They are usually served with kurma and raita. There are so many recipes out there for this mouth-watering flavored rice. This is one of the recipes that I follow. Here basmati rice is cooked in dum with a spicy gravy. This recipe uses curd, lemon juice and doesn’t use tomatoes. If you fall short of time, you may pressure cook the biryani. Here is the recipe to make delicious kuska.

recibites_iconTamarind means ‘Indian date’ in arabic.

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Aloo Dum Biryani
Mushroom Dum Biryani
Tomato Dum Biryani

Kuska Recipe:

Cuisine : South Indian
Category : Rice varieties
Makes : 4 servings

Preparation Time : 15 min
Cooking Time : 40-45 min

Kuska – ReciCode

Grind ginger, garlic, cardamom. cloves, cinnamon, green chillies, black pepper to a fine paste → Heat oil + ghee in a pressure cooker → Add bay leaf, fennel seeds → Fry for 2-3 sec → Add sliced onions, slit green chillies, mint leaves → Sprinkle salt & saute till translucent → Add chopped coriander leaves, ground masala → Saute till the raw smell goes → Add red chilli powder → Fry for 1-2 min → Add well-beaten curd → Cook till the oil separates → Add water, salt → Let it boil → Add basmati rice (soaked in water), chopped coriander leaves, lemon juice → Cover the cooker with a tight fitting lid & keep a vessel filled with water (preferably hot) on top → Cook on low flame for 25-30 min → Switch off the flame → Open the lid after another half an hour → Mix carefully and serve hot!

1 cup : 240 ml


  • 2 & 1/4 cup Basmati Rice
  • 5 big Onions, sliced
  • 2 Green Chillies, slit
  • 1 cup Chopped Coriander Leaves
  • 1/2 cup Mint Leaves
  • 1 tsp Red Chilli Powder
  • 1/2 cup Curd
  • 1 tsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 tsp Fennel Seeds
  • 6 tbsp Oil
  • 1 tbsp Ghee
  • Salt as required

  For masala:

  • 3″ piece Ginger
  • 15 cloves Garlic
  • 3 Cardamom
  • 3 Cloves
  • 1″ piece Cinnamon
  • 2 Green Chillies
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper

How to make Kuska?

1. Grind all the ingredients required for masala to a fine paste, by adding a little water.

2. Wash the basmati rice twice and soak in water now. Heat oil and ghee in a pressure cooker. Add bay leaf and fennel seeds. Fry for 2-3 seconds.
3. Add the sliced onions, slit green chillies and mint leaves. Sprinkle some salt.

4. Saute till the onions become translucent.

5. Add 1/2 cup chopped coriander leaves and ground masala paste.

6. Fry till the raw smell goes off completely.

7. Now add the red chilli powder.

8. Fry for 1 or 2 minutes.

9. Beat the curd without any lumps and add to the masala.

10. Saute till the oil separates. There should be no raw smell in this gravy.

11. Add 2 cups water and salt.

12. Let it boil. Check salt and add if required.

13. Drain the water from the basmati rice and add the rice to the gravy. Sprinkle the remaining coriander leaves.

14. Add the lemon juice.

15. Mix everything well.

16. Cover the pressure cooker with a lid that closes tightly. Keep a flat bottomed vessel filled with water (preferably hot) on top. No steam should escape from the cooker. You can also seal the edges with wheat flour / maida dough if steam escapes through the gap.

17. Cook for 25-30 min over low flame.
18. Switch off the flame and let it rest for another 30 min. Do not open the lid before that. When kept covered, the flavors blend with the rice very well.
19. Open the lid and mix the biryani carefully taking care not to break the rice. An extremely delicious kuska or plain biryani is ready to be enjoyed !


  • Cooking the gravy till the oil separates is important for the biryani to be tasty.
  • If you fall short of time, you can pressure cook the biryani for two whistles over medium flame.
  • Curd should be thick and not too sour. Beat the curd well before adding.
  • Seeraga samba may be used instead of basmati rice.
  • Soaking the basmati rice in water helps to get long grains of rice after cooking.
  • Cook the biryani atleast an hour before serving. The resting time is essential for the flavors to blend well. So it gets better with time.


Happy Cooking!


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