Vegetable biryani is a flavorful and aromatic Indian dish made with fragrant rice and a mix of vegetables and spices. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to make vegetable biryani:
For the Rice:
2 cups basmati rice
4 cups water
1 bay leaf
4-5 whole cloves
4-5 whole peppercorns
2-3 green cardamom pods
Salt to taste
For the Vegetable Mixture:
Assorted vegetables (such as carrots, peas, potatoes, beans), chopped
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1-2 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup chopped mint leaves
1/4 cup chopped coriander leaves
1/4 cup fried onions (optional, for garnish)
Oil or ghee for cooking
For the Biryani Masala:
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 cinnamon stick
3-4 green cardamom pods
4-5 whole cloves
1-2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon ginger paste
1 teaspoon garlic paste
1 teaspoon red chili powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
Salt to taste
1. Prepare the Rice:
Wash the basmati rice thoroughly under cold water until the water runs clear.
In a large pot, bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add the rice, bay leaf, cloves, peppercorns, green cardamom pods, and salt.
Cook the rice until it's about 70-80% cooked. The grains should be firm, not fully cooked. Drain the rice and set aside.
2. Prepare the Vegetable Mixture:
In a large skillet or pot, heat some oil or ghee over medium heat.
Add the cumin seeds, cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, cloves, and bay leaves. Sauté for a minute until fragrant.
Add the sliced onions and sauté until they turn golden brown.
Stir in the ginger and garlic paste. Cook for a couple of minutes until the raw smell disappears.
Add the chopped tomatoes and cook until they soften.
Add the assorted chopped vegetables and cook for a few minutes.
Add the red chili powder, turmeric powder, and salt. Mix well.
Stir in the plain yogurt, mint leaves, and coriander leaves. Cook for a few more minutes until the vegetables are partially cooked.
3. Layering the Biryani:
In a large, heavy-bottomed pot or pressure cooker, start by spreading a layer of the partially cooked vegetable mixture at the bottom.
Add a layer of the partially cooked rice on top of the vegetable mixture.
Sprinkle some garam masala over the rice.
Repeat the layers until you've used all the rice and vegetable mixture. You can also drizzle some saffron-infused milk or food coloring mixed with milk on top of the rice for an optional color effect.
Top the biryani with fried onions (if using).
4. Cooking the Biryani:
Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid.
Place the pot on a low flame and cook for about 20-25 minutes. You can also place a tava (griddle) under the pot to diffuse the heat and prevent direct contact with the flame.
Alternatively, if you're using a pressure cooker, cook without the pressure for about 15-20 minutes on low heat.
Turn off the heat and let the biryani rest for 10-15 minutes before opening the lid. This helps the flavors to meld and the rice to finish cooking with the steam.
Gently fluff the vegetable biryani with a fork, mixing the layers as you go. Serve the biryani hot, garnished with more chopped mint and coriander leaves if desired. Vegetable biryani can be served with raita (yogurt side dish) or a simple salad.
Enjoy your homemade vegetable biryani!