Shorba recipe (Biryani gravy)
Shorba recipe made with onions, tomatoes, spices & herbs. One of the best veg side gravy for biryani, pulao or any flavored rice dishes. It is also known as sherva or biryani shorba & is a very common dish served in South Indian restaurant restaurants. This can be served with a fish biryani, hyderabadi biryani, chicken dum biryani, Vegetable biryani, simple egg biryani or even with a simple veg pulao.
There is a non-vegetarian version of this shorba too which I will share sometime later. I got this recipe from a chef in India who had come home to cook for my elder son’s first birthday.
He gave me both non-veg and veg versions. There is no substitute for any ingredients and to get it right we need all the ingredients in the mentioned quantities.
This biryani shorba gravy tastes light and is spicy and flavorful and tastes entirely different from the other veg side gravy dishes like potato kurma, simla mirch ka salan, mirchi ka salan and egg masala which i shared earlier.
To make shorba or sherva, we need vegetable stock that brings in real taste to the gravy. If you are not in the habit of making your stock at home, I insist you make it, instead of using store bought vegetable stock or cubes. I have personally never used the packed stocks and do not know if that tastes good for this shorba.
But making your stock is super easy and you could make it one day earlier and refrigerate it for further use. If you have only boiled potatoes water that works fine too that is how I end up making most of the times.
The vegetables that could be used to prepare the stock are peas, potatoes, cauliflower, carrots, onions, celery and I have no idea about using rest of the veggies.
Preparation for biryani gravy
1. Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a pan, add onions and chilies , fry till onions turn slightly golden.
2. Add ginger garlic paste and sauté till you get an aroma.
3. Add tomatoes and salt, fry till they turn completely mushy.
4. Add grated coconut. Fry for 3 to 5 mins without burning the mix. Set this aside to cool. Grind this to a smooth puree with 1 ½ to 2 cups of vegetable stock. You could use ice cold stock to grind the hot mix if you want to cut down the cooling time. Pour the ice cold stock in the jar first and then add the hot mix.
How to make shorba
5. Heat the same pan with some more oil, add the dry spices and fry till you get a nice smell for a min.Do not burn the spices.
6. Add pudina / mint, sauté for a min.
7. Pour the ground mix, add red chili powder, masala powder, turmeric. Mix well. Adjust the quantity of water to bring it to the consistency you desire.
8. When the mix begins to boil, add yogurt and simmer for at least 8 to 10 mins. If your gravy becomes too watery, you can increase the heat to high and evaporate the water, so it comes to the desired consistency.
If you wish to refrigerate it, for best taste, refrigerate it immediately after it cools down and before 2 hours of cooking.
Serve biryani shorba or sherva with hot biryani or pulao.
Shorba (Biryani gravy)
For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
- 2 tbsp Oil
- 1 large onion thinly sliced
- 2 medium tomatoes cubed
- 2 green chilies slit
- ¾ tsp ginger garlic paste
- ½ tsp salt (adjust to taste)
- ¼ tsp turmeric
- 4 tbsp coconut (fresh grated)
- 3 tbsps mint finely chopped (pudina)
- 1 tsp red chili powder
- 1 tsp biryani masala powder
- 1½ to 2 cups water or stock
- 1½ tbsp curd (yogurt) (avoid sour tasting one)
- 1 small bay leaf (tej patta)
- 1 strand mace (javithri)
- 3 green cardamoms (elaichi)
- 2 petals star anise (biryani flower)
- 3 cloves (laung)
- 1 inch cinnamon (dalchini)
- ½ tsp shahi jeera (caraway seeds)
- Add half the oil to a hot pan, fry onions and chilies till the onions turn golden.
- Add grated ginger garlic or paste and fry till the raw smell goes off.
- Add chopped tomatoes, sprinkle salt, fry till the mixture turns mushy.
- Add coconut and fry for 3 to 5 mins or until you get a good aroma. Cool this and blend with vegetable stock or water to a smooth puree.
Making biryani shorba
- Heat the pan again, add remaining oil. Fry the dry spices until they sizzle. Add mint and fry for a minute.
- Add the blended onion tomato mix to the pan, add red chili powder, turmeric, masala powder, and more salt if needed. Stir until everything blends well. Add more water to bring it to the desired consistency.
- Bring this to a boil, add yogurt and stir well. Simmer for 8 to 10 minutes or until the gravy reaches the consistency.
- Serve shorba or sherva with biryani, pulao.
- Mirchi bajji variety can be used for a special flavor.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.
NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)
© Swasthi’s Recipes
I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills.
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Hello, I am very happy to have found your recipes. I am starting to like this food, and your recipes are easy to follow. Today I did the Vegan Biryani with the Shorba, but the Shorba was a bit sour. I wonder if it was because I did’nt use mace or maybe because I used cumin instead of shaji jeera I don’t know. What do you think?
Wow, I cooked this with your mirch ka salan and dum veg biryani. I am so grateful for your wonderful talent that you so generously share with us.
Thank u very much Madam.
I tried it out🙂
It came out nice😋
Thanks for d receipe
Glad to know! Thank you!
Hello Swasthi, I just cooked your Shorba to go with a biriyani for my mums birthday and it was perfect. A perfect balance and depth of flavours, we enjoyed it a lot! Thank you for your blog and for sharing your recipes and, I look forward to trying more of them!
You are most welcome! So glad to know it turned out good. Thank you so much!
Basically if a recipe presented by you, I feel confident the dish will come out well this did. Thank you
Thank you! Glad to know the recipes are helping
Thanks for the recipe! Defenitily going to try it out! Quick question; does it matter much when I use dried coconut instead of fresh grated? Kinda hard to get here.
Welcome! It should be okay to use dried coconut.
Hi Swasthi ji… this is my first time, writing comments to any blog site.. I have to tell you that whenever I wanted to cook anything Special and score credits from my family and guests.. I just search recipe from your site? thanks a lot for the awesome recipes. I tried this one today and it was super hit.. everyone liked it. Just couldn’t stop myself from letting you know that I m addicted towards your cooking and your recipe has made me a better cook. Whenever I search for any recipe I just look for site which has SWASTHI’s.. I realised my whole family likes it when I follow your way of cooking.
Thanks for sharing?!
Best wishes for your continuous efforts.
Hello Gaayathri ji,
Very glad to know you! You are most welcome. So happy to know this.Thank you so much. Hope you enjoy more recipes from here.
You have explained in such a simple way that it is easily understood. The photos added step by step are very helpful to get explained. Your sincerity and honesty revels in your explanation. Thank You Very Much for taking such efforts to share your knowledge that is really very helpful.
Hello Hemant Kulkarni,
You are welcome. I do not want anyone to fail in making good food following my recipes so I do my best while I post them. Thank you so much!
I was a bit confused about how much veg stock to use, but used about 1/4 pint and then added a few more drops of water as required. This was very (very) tasty and I will definitely be trying some more of your recipes. Thank you.
You are welcome! Thanks for the mention somehow I forgot to mention it in the recipe card. But I did in the step by step photos. I will update it.Glad it turned out good.
Hello ma’am, as u mentioned earlier, for non veg method, should I substitute the vegetables to chicken/mutton, and rest of the ingredients remain the same ?
After frying the spices, add the chicken / mutton along with bones. Fry for a while and then pour water. Simmer until the meat is almost very tender. Remove the meat and then continue to cook the bones for longer. After some time, remove the bones as well. Then add the ground onion tomato masala. Follow the recipe after this step. Then add the meat during the last 3 to 4 mins of cooking. You can add as many bones as possible as it is the key to a good taste. Thanks for rating the recipe.
I have tried your recipe many times, it turns out awesome! My husband calls is ‘Kurma’ & loves that it satiates his ‘south Indian’ craving with rotis instead of rice!!!!
Thank you so much. Glad your food turns out good. Yes this is similar to kurma except we blend onions and tomatoes here.
This is my go to recipe for biryani gravy. Absolutely delicious, thank you
I have made this several times and it tastes so good. I am going to convert this to a thermomix recipe soon. Thank you
Thanks for trying and sharing the recipe
I have tried veg Biryani and veg shorba today and it came out very delicious. Thank you so much for posting these recipes
Thanks for sharing the outcome
Hi…thank u for the egg biriyani nd shorts recipe…have tried it today nd came out really well☺
Sorry that was shorba
Thanks for trying
Thanks swathi loved this shorva
I did not have vegetable stock and wanted to make this urgently. So i simply added a few cucumber cubes to the tomato mixture , and blended it ina mixie , and proceeded with the rest of the steps, The result was a lipsmacking cucumber shorba. Maybe this is not a traditional vegetable to use for the gravy, but mine was superawesome and tasted just like a restaurant biryani gravy. thanks loved the recipe style preparation.
You are welcome
Your version too is good. So glad to know it turned out good. Thank you