Monday, November 7, 2011

Vegetable Biriyani

I have made this vegetable biriyani several times and my family and I have enjoyed it every single time that I have prepared it. So, for this year's Diwali celebration, I decided to make this Vegetable biriyani  and remembered to take some pictures so that I could share it with all of you.
Although the basic recipe is adapted from VahReVah, I have made a few changes.


Basmati rice - 4 cups
Cauliflower florets - 1 cup
Carrots -2
Frozen green peas - 1/2 cup
Potatoes - 2 medium sized
Beans - 1/2 cup
Red Onion - 1 medium
Green chillies - 2 or 3
Fresh coriander leaves - 1 bunch chopped
Fresh mint leaves - 1/2 bunch chopped
Fresh ginger and garlic paste - 1 tablespoon
Slivered almonds - 2 tablespoons
Cashew nuts - 2 tablespoons
Golden raisins - 2 tablespoons
Few slices of bread for croutons
Plain Yogurt  - 1 cup
Ghee - 1-2 tablespoons
A pinch of Saffron thread soaked in lukewarm milk.

Spice powders:
Turmeric - 1-2 tsp
Cayenne - 1-2 tsp
Fennel  - 1/2 tsp
Coriander - 1-2 tsp
Garam masala powder - 1-2 tsp

Whole garam masala : 1 cinnamon stick, 4 whole cardamoms, 4 cloves, 2 bay leaves, 2 star anise.

  • Wash and soak the rice for at least 30 minutes.
  • Get all the veggies ready by cutting them into big bite size pieces.
  • In a big saute pan, add the ghee, oil , the whole garam masalas ,veggies, and the ginger and garlic paste
  • When the veggies are half cooked, lower the heat and add some chopped coriander and mint leaves, slit green chillies, 1/2 cup of curd, and the spice powders (turmeric, cayenne, coriander and fennel).
  • While the veggies continue to cook, drain the soaked rice and cook it with 6 cups of water in the rice cooker. Add 1tsp of ghee, 1tsp of garam masala powder and some salt to the rice cooker.
  • Meanwhile, in a different pan, heat some ghee and roast the almonds, cashews, raisins and the bread pieces one at a time. Add some more ghee to the pan and fry the thinly sliced onions until golden brown. Keep these aside.
  • Check and see if the veggie masala is done. Now transfer half the masala to a different platter. With the fire on low, add the remaining yogurt to the masala in the pan, add some more coriander and mint leaves and some nuts.


  •  Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a big oven proof dish, layer the bottom part with the masala left in the saute pan.
  • Top it off with the cooked rice, some nuts and raisins and some chopped coriander and mint leaves.
  • Add the remaining masala on the top and repeat the process and end it with more nuts, raisins, fried onions, croutons and sprinkle the saffron milk on the top. 
  • Cover the dish well with aluminium foil and bake for 15 minutes. Leave it in the oven for another 10-15minutes after it is switched off.
  • Transfer to a serving dish when ready to eat. It is best served with Raita and pickle.