Plain Biryani or Kuska

Kuska is a rice dish of primarily South Asian origin made with spices, rice and ghee. I have used jeera samba rice for Kuska but you can try basmati rice as well.

Jeera Samba Rice also known as Jeeraga samba is a very aromatic rice. It has a very distinct taste, fluffs up well when cooked and south Indian biriyani’s are made with this rice.

The spices and condiments used are cardamom, cinnamon, bay leaves, coriander and mint leaves, apart from ghee, ginger, onions. The dish is served with korma, curry, dahi chutney or Raita.

Ingredients (Serves 2)

Soaking time – 30 mins
Preparation time – 5 mins
Cooking time – 20 mins
  • Jeera Samba rice – 3/4 cup
  • Onion – 1, sliced
  • Green chillies – 2, slit
  • Tomato – 1/2 big, chopped
  • Curd – 1/2 cup
  • Ginger garlic paste – 1/2 tbsp
  • Red chilli powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Coriander powder – 1 tsp
  • Garam masala – 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Coriander leaves – 1/2 cup
  • Mint leaves -1/2 cup, tightly packed
  • Water – 2.25 cups
  • Salt – as needed
  • Ghee / Butter – 1.5 tbsp
  • Bay leaf – 1
  • Cinnamon – a small piece
  • Cardamom – 1
  • Cloves – 2
  • Pepper – 1/2 tsp


  • Wash and soak rice in enough water for at least 30 mins.
  • In a pan, add butter/ ghee, bay leaf, cinnamon, cloves, pepper and cardamom.
  • Add onion, green chilli and sauté till onions turn transparent.
  • Add ginger garlic paste and fry for a minute.
  • Add tomato, salt and fry till they are mushy.
  • Add all the spice powders along with a tbsp of water if needed and saute well.
  • Lower the flame and add curd.
  • Add water, salt, mint leaves and coriander leaves.
  • Drain water from the soaked rice and add it to the pan when the water starts to boil.
  • Mix well and boil in medium flame for 3 mins.
  • Simmer and close and cook for 15 mins.
  • Switch off, open and fluff the rice.

We had it with mushroom pepper fry and onion raita and it was so flavoursome and tasty !!!

Key points

  • For jeera samba rice, the rice to water ratio that i have used here is 1:3. You can adjust the water based on the rice you use.

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