Vegetable Biryani

Vegetable biryani is a fravorful Indian vegetarian rice dish made from layers of basmati rice, spices and medley of vegetables lof your choice, like potatoes, cauliflower, carrots, peppers or peas.

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Serves 4

For the vegetables:

  • 2 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 4 small potatoes, pealed and cut into half
  • 1 cup of fresh peas (optional)
  • 1 carot, peeled and diced (optional)
  • 2 cups chopped couliflower florets
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 - 5 green cardamom seeds
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped finely
  • 2 tbsp grated fresh ginger
  • 2 green chilies
  • 1 onion
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp poppy seeds
  • salt to taste
  • 2-3 tbsp butter or vegetable oil

For the Rice:

  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1 dried chili
  • 2-3 tbsp butter
  • 2 bay leaves
  • about ½ cup cashewnuts to garnish
  • 1-2 carmelized onions to garnish
  • salt to taste
  • 2 cups water

How to make Vegetable Biryani:

  • Rinse the rice in several changes of water and let it soak for 10-15 min. Drain thoroughly.
  • Grind or pound the fennel seeds, turmeric, cardamom seeds, cinnamon, cloves and poppy seeds.
  • Blend in liquidizer with garlic, ginger, green chilies and coriander leaves.
  • Heat the oil or butter in a pan. Add half the onion and fry until golden.
  • Add the blended spices, the bay leaves and tomato and continue to cook, mashing the tomato under the back of a wooden spoon to make a thick paste.
  • Pour the water, add the carrots, potatoes, peas and 1 tsp salt (or to taste) and bring to the boil. Simmer for about 15 minutes, unti the potatoes are cooked and sauce is thick.
  • Heat the butter or oil in a pan, add the chopped onion and bay leaf. Fry until onion is golden.
  • Add rice.
  • Pour on enough boiling water (2 cups) over the rice and cook covered for 10 minutes.
  • Then turn off the heat and leave, coverered for 5-10 minutes until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender but not soft.
  • Stir the vegetables into the rice and heat through. You may add some salt to taste.
  • Fry the cashews nuts in a oil for few seconds (optional). Place the rice in serving dish. Decorate with cashew nuts, carmalized onions and coriander leaves. Don't forget about serving raita with it.

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