Qimah ki Tahari

Tahari is a kind of one dish meal made with mutton pieces+rice, or minced meat+rice and masalas for flavor. In this technique, the meat is cooked in seasonings and masalas and later water is poured in to the gravy in which rice is added and it is all cooked together until the rice is done. For this, one has to learn the perfect ratio of water and rice so that the rice does not end up like an over cooked mushy mess.

Qimah ki Tahari is different than Biryani. In Mutton or Chicken biryani, Mutton or Chicken is layered along with half cooked rice and finished in the oven until the rice completely done; whereas in Tahari, rice is cooked on dum in the gravy containing Minced meat or Mutton pieces.

Qimah ki Tahari, served along with tomato chutney

I like Qimah ki Tahari along with ‘Tomato Chutney’. On our Saturday’s trip to the Niagara Falls, we had Qimah ki Tahari and Tomato chutney for lunch. After a very long drive when we reached there, my hubby was so hungry, we quickly had Tahari and set out to enjoy the beautiful landscapic view of the Falls.

Qimah ki Tahari – Minced Meat with Rice Casserole
Serves: 6-7


Ground Lamb lean meat – 500 gms
Yellow Onion – 1, large, sliced
Canola Oil – 5 tbsp
Green Chillies – 4, slit in middle
Ginger garlic paste – 1 1/2 tbsp
Tomatoes – 3, finely chopped
Red chilli powder – 1 tbsp
Salt – 2 1/2 tbsp
Garam Masala powder – 1 tsp
Yogurt – 1/2 cup
Green Cardamoms -4
Cinnamon sticks – 2
Caraway seeds/Shah Zeera – 1 tsp
Water – 5 cups
Rice – 3 cups
Cilantro – 3 tbsp, finely chopped


1. Wash and soak the rice in fresh cool water sufficient enough to remain 5 cms above the level of rice.
2. Wash ground meat along with sliced onions well and drain the water completely in a very fine mesh strainer.
3. In a large saucepan at medium heat, add three tablespoons oil and green chillies, cinnamon stick, cardamom, caraway seeds and ginger garlic paste. Let it splutter and fry. In a minute. Add the drained onions+ground meat and also add red chilli powder, 2 1/2 tsp salt, garam masala powder, tomatoes and stir well and let it cook for 10-15 minutes until you see oil floating on top. Add the yogurt and mix well. Let cook for 2-3 minutes. Add cilantro and mix well.
4. Add the water and let the mixture come to a boil. As soon as it begins to boil well, add rice and mix well. Let it come to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to simmer and cover with a lid. Let it cook till very little water remains. Keep checking it every now and then, and give a gently stir everytime. Add a few splashes of water if you feel you need more water for the rice to cook. Once the water is mostly dried up, close the heat, but leave the saucepan on the hot stove so that a nice steam forms. Let the dish rest for 15-30 minutes. Serve warm.

Suggested Accompaniments: Enjoy this ambrosial one-dish meal along with Dahi ki Chutney or Baghare Baingan or Mirchi Ka Salan or Tomato Chutney.


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9 Responses to “Qimah ki Tahari”

  1. Sounds good Mona. This is quite a simple, yet complete recipes. Just some raita to go with it, would be fulfilling

  2. Dear Mona,

    I love your recipes – so very accurate, so detailed. I believe personally when publishing or tellin some one a recipe – one should able to blindly follow it and it should replicate what you make and your blog sets one such perfect example. I recommend your blog to all my friends who love cooking including me!!!

    Keep up the good work.

  3. This is not authentic Tahaari. I have my doubts on this recipe..:(

    Fatima, this is my mother-in-law’s recipe. I will be happy to go though your recipe for Qaeema ki Tahari. Do share your version with me. ~Mona

  4. Monaji,

    How much ginger garlic paste goes into the dish?

    Seeki, I apologise for the typo, Just updated the post. ~Mona

  5. Sorry Mona, this Tahari recipe does not look like the original to me. We make a lot of Tahari at home and its the recipe that our maid used to make from her native. It uses meat and no yogurt in it…thanks

    Af, this is my family recipe which I learnt from my elders. Please send me your version, I will be happy to go through it. ~Mona

  6. Mona, it goes like this:

    pressure cooker your meat pieces with salt,tumeric and garlic/ginger with a little bit of water. In a heavy bottom pan, start frying some onions till golden brown, then add tomatoes, salt, red chili, turmeric, garam masala, green chillies and fry to a paste then add water (to the ratio of the rice). bring the water to a boil, add your meat, lemon juice, cilantro and mint. Add the rice last, and let it cook till done. you can also add whole garam masala with bay leaf!

    Af, Jazakallahu Khairun. ~Mona

  7. is ur cup size the rice cooker cup size?

    Farah, 1 cup=250ml.

  8. Hi Mona,

    Thank you for sharing his lovely and so simple to make dish

    In hour ago I cooked Tahari using your recipe as a loose guide as I did not have a coupe of ingredients and as I believe its best to cook with “a feel”, with an andaaz. its definitely more fun and its the right way to cook food, especially Indian.

    I made a veggie version of Tahari with Quorn, a veggie keema: http://www.quorn.us/products/61/grounds
    I added whole garam masala instead of the powdered version, tomato paste instead of fresh and deleted the onions as I did not have either fresh tomatoes or onions handy. Even after making these changes, the Tahari came out tasting marvelous. I can well imagine how supreme it must taste if I stuck to the original recipe.

    I have observed that a number of Indian recipes , on other sites as well as yours, mistakenly call Shah Jeera Caraway seed in English. Shah Jeera best refereed to as Black Cumin as this excellent website on spices explains: http://gernot-katzers-spice-pages.com/engl/Buni_per.html
    Caraway seed have a completely different flavor and are often used in making Rye Bread and are more associated with German and Scandinavian cuisines.
    The above mentioned website is one of my key resources when it comes to spice and their various names in different languages.

    I look ahead to further explore and cook some amazingly yummy foods.

    Thanks once again for sharing some your family recipes.

  9. Zayna Haider Says:

    Did you drain the rice before adding it to the meat? I assume you did.

    Zayna, there is no need to drain the rice, the rice cooks in the water on dum and absorbs all the water. this is a different method of cooking rice.

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