Saturday, March 10, 2012

Vegetable Biryani - Aromatic rice with vegetables

‘Biryani’  is a savoury rice based dish made with spices, rice (usually basmati) and vegetables  or meat. In India it is made in various forms like dum briyani , pan briyani etc. It is often eaten as lunch and served with ‘Raita’ – a side dish made with yogurt and raw onions.

This is the recipe for making a vegetable briyani.


  • 2 cups basmati rice, rinsed and drained
  • 3 red onions
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons of ginger garlic paste
  • A small cup of mint leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or) as per required
  • 2 large green chillies
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1/2 cup Yogurt (curd)
  • 2 teaspoons of ghee
  • 10 cashew nuts
  • 1 tablespoon of whole black peppercorns
  • 1 cup mixed vegetables (green peas, potato, carrot, beans)
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala (or) briyani masala.

If garam masala is not available, you can use the following spices:

Ingredients for the masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
  • 1 small piece of cinnamon stick
  • 4 pieces of cloves
  • 1 small dried bay leaf


  • Boil the vegetables with a pinch of salt in a large vessel .Drain the water and keep them aside.
  • Melt the ghee in a large pressure cooker (or) pan over medium heat. Cooking directly in a pressure cooker gives the briyani an additional taste. After the oil gets heated, add 4-5 peppercorns, a small pinch of fennel seeds, cumin seeds, 2-3 cloves and the bay leaf. Roast them for about 2 mins until the fragrance comes out.
  • In a food processor add the onions and half grind them. Add them in the cooker and sauté them until light golden brown color. Next add the ginger garlic paste. Grind the tomatoes and add them to the mixture.
  • Add the briyani masala/garam masala and cook for about 10 mins till the raw flavour is gone. Instead of the briyani masala, you can make the masala from scratch by using all the ingredients mentioned above for the masala.
  • Add  ½ cup of water and mix well. Let it cook for about 5 mins. After the water gets evaporated, add the turmeric powder, mint leaves and the yogurt. Stir them in a low flame for about 5 mins. You can also add the boiled vegetables now and stir them well.
  • Pour in 4 cups water and bring it to boil over high heat. Add the basmati rice and cover the lid and put on the whistle. After the whistle gives 1 sound , turn on the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • If you do not have a pressure cooker, then add the rice and masala mixture to the rice cooker utensil and let it cook for 20 mins. Open the lid to check if it has cooked and all the water has evaporated. If not then let it cook for another 10 min.
  • To check the rice for the correct consistency, take the rice in your hand and press it between your fingers. If the rice is soft and breaks into two or more bits then it is done well. If it gets mashed too much then its overdone. This will reduce the taste of the briyani. While serving add half a spoon of ghee on top .
Your delicious Vegetable Briyani is ready to eat. Bon Appétit :)

Please feel free to share your suggestions and comments.

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  1. sema creative thought di...gave alternate suggestions to prepare it...i mean the rice cooker prepartion directions which is impressive..
    i would sometimes make a paste of tomatoes,onions,garlic pieces,decicated coconut,cashewnuts,fenugreek seeds,and would the paste along with the frying items and make it dry till water comesout and would add rice and masala items and would stir it till the water goes out...then as usual procedure 1:1 and quarter proportion o fwater for the rice...This would have a different taste di..may be u can try this alternative too..

    1. Wow good one.Thanks for the suggestion Madhu .Will let you know how it turns out :)