Shorba recipe (Biryani gravy) - Swasthi's Recipes (2024)


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.

Shorba recipe (Biryani gravy) - Swasthi's Recipes (1)

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.

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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.

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2. Add ginger garlic paste and sauté till you get an aroma.

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3. Add tomatoes and salt, fry till they turn completely mushy.

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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.

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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.

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6. Add pudina / mint, sauté for a min.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Recipe card

Shorba recipe (Biryani gravy) - Swasthi's Recipes (17)

Shorba (Biryani gravy)

Shorba is a side dish which goes well with biryani, pulao and any flavored rice dishes. This is a simple South Indian style vegetarian biryani gravy made with spices, herbs and basic ingredients.

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For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card

Prep Time5 minutes minutes

Cook Time25 minutes minutes

Total Time30 minutes minutes



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
  • tbsp curd (yogurt) (avoid sour tasting one)

Whole spices

  • 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.


  1. 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)

Nutrition Facts

Shorba (Biryani gravy)

Amount Per Serving

Calories 114Calories from Fat 81

% Daily Value*

Fat 9g14%

Saturated Fat 1g6%

Sodium 93mg4%

Potassium 109mg3%

Carbohydrates 8g3%

Fiber 3g13%

Sugar 2g2%

Protein 1g2%

Vitamin A 245IU5%

Vitamin C 5.6mg7%

Calcium 40mg4%

Iron 1.2mg7%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Tried this recipe?Mention @SwasthisRecipes or tag #swasthisrecipes!

© Swasthi’s Recipes

Shorba recipe (Biryani gravy) - Swasthi's Recipes (18)

About Swasthi

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. More about me

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Shorba recipe (Biryani gravy) - Swasthi's Recipes (2024)


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