Vegetable biryani

Vegetable Biryani is a rich and exotic rice dish and famous in India and other countries. This vegetable Biryani is for my vegetarian friends and Iam posting this for New Year 2012 celebration. This is pakki Biryani style, where vegetables are cooked in gravy first, and then rice is layered on top and cooked on dum (simmer). Vegetable Biryani gets cooked fast and is easier than the meat biryani. First gravy is cooked then 3/4th cooked rice is layered and given dum (simmer). Vegetable Biryani is a one pot dish, no need to make any other side dish, just raitha (curd and onion mixture). For vegetarians, can cook with paneer, soya chunks, and can add any vegetables you like.

Ingredients

  • Ghee/oil – 1/4 cup
  • Bay leaves – 2
  • Black cardamom – 1
  • Green cardamom – 3
  • Black cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Cinnamon stick – 2 (1 inch each)
  • Cloves – 4
  • Staranise – 2
  • Onion (sliced) – 3
  • Tomato (chopped) – 2
  • Ginger and garlic paste - 2 tbsp
  • Mint – 1 cup or handful
  • Coriander leaves – 1/2 cup
  • Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
  • Coriander powder – 1 tbsp
  • Garam masala – 1 tsp
  • Chilli powder – 1 tbsp
  • Curd – 1 1/4 cup
  • Green chillies (slit) – 4
  • Carrots (sliced) – 2
  • Cabbage (shredded) – 3/4 cup
  • Potato (medium) – 2
  • Peas – 1/4 cup
  • Beans – 12
  • Salt - as per taste
  • For cooking rice

  • Rice – 2 cups
  • Water - 4 cups
  • Salt - as per taste
  • Black cardamom – 1
  • Black cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Layering/garnishing

  • Coriander leaves (chopped) – 1/3 cup
  • Mint – 1/2 cup
  • Fried onion
  • Saffron colour – a pinch
  • Lemon juice – 3 tbsp
  • Ghee – 2 tbsp

Method

  • Cut carrot, beans and potatoes, into chunk pieces, keep it ready.
  • Slice or shred the cabbage, keep it ready.
  • Chop mint and coriander leaves roughly and tomatoes into chunk pieces.
  • Wash the rice and soak in water for 30 mins.
  • Preheat the vessel with ghee or oil, when hot, add sliced onions and all the whole spices cook till onions are golden colour and fried well.
  • Add ginger and garlic paste, stir for 1min.
  • Add potatoes, beans, mix well.
  • After 2min, add mint and coriander leaves, stir well for 1min.
  • Add chopped tomatoes, chilli powder, coriander powder, garam masala, turmeric powder, mix well, and cook for 3min.
  • Add cabbage and mix well, cook for 2min, keep stirring in between.
  • Add curd, and peas mix well, close the lid and cook for 15 min min, on medium flame, stir in between.
  • Can add 1/2cup water, if there is not enough liquid to form gravy.
  • After 15min, add salt, simmer the flame, and cook for 10min by closing the lid.
  • After 10min, all the vegetables are cooked well; gravy has left oil/ghee.
  • When it is simmering cook the rice and keep it ready.
  • Cooking rice

  • In mean while, cook the rice 3/4th with required amount of water (4cups to 5cups) and salt, keep it aside.
  • Take a vessel add required amount water and all the spices, allow it to boil for 2min.
  • Add soaked rice in the boiling water and cook till it is 3/4th cooked.
  • When you press the rice with your 2 fingers, rice in between it, rice will be still hard not soft and the grain will be long than its usual size during cooking, that time drain the rice and keep it aside. If you want you can add few whole spices in it also (cloves, green cardamom, mint and coriander leaves) and 1tbsp oil.
  • Cook the rice when you simmer the gravy or can be made in advance and kept aside.
  • Mixing gravy and rice (layering)

  • Before layering, take a bowl add colour and lemon juice mix well and keep it ready.
  • Take some gravy with vegetables and keep it aside.
  • Now, first layering, put some rice on vegetable gravy in the vessel with few fried onions on top, then second layering, put vegetable gravy with vegetables, which you kept aside, spread evenly, then rice again, put all other ingredients now, saffron colour and lemon juice mixture, fried onion, mint and coriander leaves, spread evenly.
  • Drizzle some 2tbsp ghee on top of the rice, spread evenly and close the lid tightly and simmer it for 25 to 30min, or till the rice is fully cooked. We call this process as a dum also, as rice is cooked in simmer. Switch it off, let it rest closed.
  • The tip for the biryani is ready, while simmering (dum), after few minutes, a good aroma and flavour comes from it.
  • While giving dum or simmering you can keep a flat tava below the vessel and simmer it to avoid the burning of rice.
  • After 10 to 15min, open the lid and take the biryani out with a wider spoon, mixing slowly from one side only. Mix it from downwards, from sides, so that gravy and rice is mixed well.
  • As soon as you open the lid you can see that full flavour and aroma comes from the biryani.
  • Serve with raitha (curd mixture) and boiled eggs.

Notes

  • Can reduce the chillies, if you do not eat spicy food or your chillies are very hot.
  • While cooking the rice can add few drops of oil, while draining wash it under cold water to keep the rice grain separate.
  • The gravy quantity should be such that, it should be enough for the rice, when you mix it.
  • Carefully divide the salt quantity, for the gravy and rice also. Divide the salt quantity and put, it will be easy for you.
  • Whenever I grind 300gms ginger and 300gm garlic paste, I have grounded with whole spice. View my ginger and garlic paste recipe.
  • Saffron (kesar) can be used instead of colour or can just like that sprinkle on Biryani.

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