Side Gravy for Biryani – Biryani Side dish

Side gravy for biryani

Written by Mullai

Modest, friendly and hardworking.  "Virgoans Rule"..


  1. Tammy

    Are the ingredients in the first section creating Grand Marsala…
    could you substitute a premade mix from a spice or grocery store? If so, how much would you use?

    1. Mullai

      You can try Store bought Biryani masala powder… Garam masala powder is very over powering. If using Biryani masala – use 1 tablespoon, garam masala may be 1/2 teaspoon + Coriander powder 1 teaspoon. (But remember raw coriander powder is very strong, you need to saute a little longer to get rid of the smell) Thanks

  2. Neel

    Hi Mam !!!
    Can u use regular Onion instead of shallots,
    Gravy looks lip smacking; looking forward to make this curry 👍🏻
    Thanks aloft

    1. Mullai

      Hello Neel, thanks for your stopping by, yes you may use regular onion… but you see raw regular onion is very strong, so make sure you fry them long to get rid of the smell… it may spoil the dish so fry longer. Thanks. Let me know how it turned out, share a click if via fb page or instagram.

    1. Mullai

      Some bug with table properties and it shows that way for some of the recipes in mobile mode… i have fixed it for now for this recipe. Thanks for letting me know!

  3. steve the ingredients you really blend the cinnamon and cloves and 1 star anise together ??? I thought these would go into the oil for flavour ??
    thanks.. looking forward to trying this

    1. Mullai

      Hello Steve,
      Yes you are going to grind them..but remember star anise is very strong, this spice has about 6 petal kind of pattern… use only one petal for this recipe. You need to saute well since we are grinding everything raw… Hope this helps and good luck.

          1. Lindsey

            I’m very excited to make this curry sauce today!

            I was just wondering how many grams a cup is? Some websites say it’s 128g but I think cup size is different in some countries

          2. Mullai

            Hello Lindsey,
            I just follow 1 cup = 236 to 250 ml roughly if its liquid base. I guess you are asking for curry sauce which is kind of semi thick… roughly this recipe yields 1 & 1/2 cups of gravy. You can still use the same measure and make it more gravy style by adding extra coconut milk. As this is a side gravy, its kind of spicy and mostly consumed less, if you prefer this for roti /paratha kind of flat breads then increase the coconut milk, the gravy color & consistency changes a bit but still goes well! Thanks!

  4. Mullai

    Thank you Hema and Andrea for trying out the recipes, really glad to know it came out good. I think there is an issue with the table settings and will work on it. Thanks for letting me know.

  5. Andrea

    Hi, I’ve tried this recipe with mushrooms and everyone at home absolutely loved it . It was finger licking good . Thank you for the recipe . But, recently I wanted to prepare it again and I don’t see the listed ingredients anymore .. it doesn’t show up . Can u pls post it again . Thank you !!

  6. Sumit

    Hi Mullai. Thanks for sharing the recipe. Tried it for the first time with marinated chicken and came out delicious ! Parents just loved it. Thanks again very much !

  7. shan

    Sheba, i’m the ardent fan of mullai’s recipes since 2007. Her recipes are always perfect. She especially posted this recipe for me if you see the very first comment was posted my mullai June 13, 2011 at 09:36 am. I had so many times for my family and guests, everytime it was successful, everyone liked it and they always ask for the recipe. Do follow what she mentioned in the recipe.

    If you didn’t get it right, maybe the issue was with ingredients you used bitterness from onion or overpowering ground spices. Do try the small portion and then please update your comment here.


    1. Mullai

      Hello Shah, nice to hear from you after quite a long time, guess you have been a silent visitor until yesterday. Thank you dear for being an ardent fan, really really thankful and grateful for your love, support and inspiration.

  8. Sheba

    Sorry to say this but I had a very bitter experience making this dish the day I was expecting guests. I mean it literally turned out so bitter…. that I had to throw out the whole thing! There was no way to fix it because it was beyond repair and unbelievably bitter. I suspect it’s the dried fenugreek leaves…. Needless to say, I won’t be trying out new recipes when I’ve got company.

    1. Mullai

      Sheba, sorry that it didnt turn good, but the only thing i see here which can make it bitter is when the onion is not cooked properly. The raw onion, that too strong red onion when ground can cause bitterness, that’s why i have mentioned in my recipe to finely mince or just pulse the onion… that too small onions(sambar onions) which are naturally sweet and cannot cause any bitterness. Dry fenugreek adds flavor and that too 1/2 teaspoon will not cause any bitterness. Frying the masala till the oil separates is the key… little patience at this step will yield good results. Thanks.

    1. Mullai

      Happy to hear, do share a few clicks of the recipes that you try from our site, email or send it through our FB page. Thanks again for your continued support and encouragement.

  9. Saranya

    For any recipe that I try I always check urs first and will definitely only urs if I find one.. likewise I tried this both with mushrooms and shrimp and it came out so well.. thanks a lot and lot for all ur recipes.. I always recommend my friends abt this website especially “mullais”.. thanks again

  10. sharadha

    Dear Mullai,

    I tried this gravy. Its really yummy. Its time consuming but worth it. I have liked on facebook.
    Thank you for sharing this great recipe.

  11. Srividhya

    Great recipe. This is the only dish that I make alongside parota now. 🙂 i fried the onions n garlic to avoid raw smell and added pepper salt fried eggs..

  12. sridevi

    mullai, all ur recipes are awesome. whenever i try grinding spices even
    for chettinad receipes am getting kasappu taste.. same happened for
    this dish..can u pls help.

    1. Mullai

      Sridevi, if the masala is not cooked or if the onions are not cooked fully then you get this Kasappu taste. 1. Make sure the ground onion is cooked well till you get rid off the raw smell. 2. Always try to use small onions that way they are not as strong as the big onions. 3. Do not grind the onions to a fine paste, mince it. 3. Grinding raw spices can cause kasappu, make sure its sauteid well, slow roasting and then grinding can help too. 4. Too much fresh fenugreek can cause this effect. Hope this helps. Thanks.

      1. sridevi

        mullai, thanks a lot for such a wonderful detailed reply:) i learned
        cooking only from ur site:) keep adding more receipes for ur fans like





  15. Jahnavi

    Great recipe! Its hard to find one for the serva online for some reason. Tried this yesterday with some variations- I also blended all the ingredients (incl tomato), poured the whole thing into about 4 spns of oil. I let all the water evaporate until oil separates and then added some mutton stock and water and let it simmer for a few more minutes. Turned out great! Thank you! Only note is that I could have added more cloves/ cinnamon

  16. Anu

    Hi Mullai,

    Tried this today…however i cld not find fenugreek leaves and omit it out from the list and it turn out well..thanks for the recipe, it was easy..

  17. Ravi

    Hi Mullai,

    Are the 15 “small onions” mentioned in the Ingredients-2 chinna vengayam/sambar onions or shallots that you get in american/chinese grocery stores. It looks shallots in the second photo. Please clarify. Also, I don’t have kasuri methi leaves. Will not using it make any difference to the taste?

    1. Mullai

      Sambar onions/chinna vengayam which is also called as pearl onions can be used, shallots (typically in American grocery stores are slightly big in size) are fine too… if they are really big then cut down to 7-8 count. You can even use regular onions (1 count) but you have to fry for longer time to get the raw smell off it,if you mess/ under cook then it spoils the whole dish. Kasuri methi is for added flavor, skip if you don’t have. Hope this helps. Thanks.

  18. viji

    Dear Mullai,
    I tried the gravy. It was so tasty. Please, can you teach me how to make same masala taste channa which they serve in Chennai. Thanks for sharing your talent with us.


    1. Mullai

      Glitter, you can make with regular onions too but then you have fry little longer to get rid of the raw smell. I would say about 1 cup of chopped onions should be good for this recipe. Thanks.

  19. Sudha S

    Hi Mullai,

    Tried this with mushroom and had with Roti and also rice..came really awesome.much appreciated at home.
    Measurements ellam pakka…Adhu eppadi ippadi kalakureenga..?
    I have always tried ur recipes with the measurements u specify and it has never gone wrong..always hit only…thanks for ur great work.,..

  20. Nirupama

    Hai Mullai
    I am Nirupama , Your site is very useful for the beginners and also aragurai samayal like me..Weekly Once or twice i am trying ur dishes, came out very well.. that too your dishes looks very tempting and delicious to cook and eat… Thats shows ur passion in cooking. i cant find more spicy fish curries. if u can kindly upload.
    Thanks a lot Mullai
    Keep going

  21. Anitha Ravindran

    hi mullai,

    Today i made paneer paratha, vegetable biryani and the side gravy of the biryani, chana masala and pakoda for dinner party. Everything came out superb. I little bit scary to invite friends for lunch, now i thought i am good in cook because of u. I am specially thanking u for ur wonderful work.

    Now a days if i tried anything new means my hubby isn’t scary because i told him this is mullai special.

    Thanks a lot

  22. Cappuccino

    Mullai, tried and cameout superb. Had with rice and dosas sema taste. Perfect for biryani’s…Thanx again for posting it for me dear.

  23. Thamizh

    Made the side dish yesterday. It was amazing Mullai. We had it for Idlis. Added milk and water to adjust the gravy consistency.

  24. jlakshmi

    Thanks Mullai, always wanted to make this gravy and mine was never close to the restaurant taste. Sure to include this next time I make Biriyani. Going to add some cooked Mutton elumbu

  25. Vaishnavi

    Mullai Ma’am,

    I hosted a party on sunday for 10 guests and most of the recipes were yours. Did Palak Paneer, Zunka, Veg Biryani from your version and the accolades that I got were great. I shared your site as the source. Oops…a bit late on this kurma but never mind…will do this during the next party as a side for biryani…..Thanks a lot for your hard work and passion…

  26. Cappuccino

    Mullai i’m really glad that you posted this recipe especially for me…Thanx a loooooooooot. Will try sooooon. Thanx again dear.

  27. Mullai

    Cap, Ithu ungalukkaga!! Neenga keta all -purpose kara saramaana kuzhambu. I know that you are vegetarian, but if you are by any chance an eggetarian then boiled eggs pair well with this gravy. Try and let me know. Thanks.

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