Vegetable Biryani/Biriyani : An Easy Way

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  Hope everybody had a wonderful Easter. We had a wonderful weekend, and both kids got outing in form of shopping and we also planted a few plants in our garden. Still I wanted more plant, so went out to buy a few rose plants, however it turned out be too expensive, so dropped the idea and came back to plant a few more from my seed collection. Earlier we had three roses which I had planted as soon as we moved into this house. But as my princess start running around the yard she got injured with the rose’s thorn and we had cut down all the beautiful roses, and currently we have no rose plant.
Biriyani/Biryani is an aromatic, festive rice dish made in India and Pakistan, and is also popular in the Middle East and Southeast Asia. It is supposed to be originated in Persia and reached India around 1500 AD. It is festive rich dish and mainly catered in Royal kitchen of Mughal Emperors. According to New York times article, legend had that it is a filling wholesome dish made for warriors who fought in battle field. There are at least 1,001 variations, and each delicious in its own way, some built around vegetables and some layered with meat and spices. Spice addition is lesser in Calcutta biriyani, moderate in Ambur biriyani and heavily spiced in Hyderabad biryani. Lahore, Kashmir, Kolkata, Lucknow, Hyderabad, Delhi/Agra and Malabar are the main centers of biriyani cuisine.
Biriyani, rice and gravy are cooked separately and then they were layered with alternate gravy and rice resulting in a highly flavorful rice with flavorful meat or vegetables .This separation is partly a result of necessity: the proportion of meat/vegetables to the rice is high enough to make biriyani a one-dish meal, and the cooking time of each of the main ingredients is significantly different from each other. In a properly made biriyani, the final dish is dry or minimally moist, with the individual rice grains separate, as opposed to a risotto, where the rice is of a creamy consistency. On the other hand pulao is rice dish made with seasoned broth.
Both Bangladesh and Malabar version of biriyani is made with special rice called Kala Jeera rice/ Kaima rice it is small grains and flavorful . Other version uses basmati rice for their biriyani. I have seen kala jeera rice in Indian store, and I will it buy next time. I have tried Malabar version of biriyani earlier, but this weekend I was not in a mood to cook elaborately. So I was searching for an easy recipe of biriyani and finally found this one. I like this one as Dum part /final mixing of gravy and rice is done in Microwave.
I know combining rice and gravy will always be tasty, so I decide to use Sanjeev Kapoor’s this biriyani recipe as this one uses no oil in recipe. Here is the print version as well as you tube video. However, I wanted to make it a little tastier so used a small amount ghee, as ghee is the integral part of biriyani in Malabar cuisine. I don’t like cauliflower in rice so didn’t add in my version of biriyani. I reduced the heat level amount as my princess and hubby do not favor too much heat in their dishes, and it turned out be excellent one pot meal.
It is a very colorful and tasty, and good with raita and papadam (Indian wafer). If you are in hurry and want a delicious easy meal then try it.  It is also very good way to sneak veggies into your diet. Here comes the recipe.
I made biriyani in three steps,
First cooking rice
Second cooking gravy

Third assembling rice and gravy

Print recipe from here
Vegetable Biryani
Adapted from here  
Cooking Time: 20-30 minutesServings: 4 Preparation Time: 15-20 minutes Category: Vegetarian
1 1/2 cups Basmati rice, soaked
1 cup Onions, diced
1 big Carrots, 1/2 inch pieces
1/4 cup French beans,
1/4 cup Green peas
2 tablespoon Red bell pepper
2 tablespoon yellow bell pepper
2 tablespoon orange bell pepper
1/4 cup green bell pepper
1 teaspoon Salt or to taste
 3 Green cardamoms
1 Black cardamom
5  Cloves
2 inch stick Cinnamon
2 Bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon Caraway seeds (shahi jeera)
1/4 teaspoon Mace
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 tablespoon Ginger-garlic paste
1/4 teaspoon Turmeric powder
1/4 teaspoon Red chilli powder
1/4 teaspoon Coriander powder
2 tablespoon Ghee
Water 3 1/2 cup
1 cup Yogurt
1/4 teaspoon Rose water
1//8 teaspoon Saffron (kesar)
2 tomato Fresh tomato puree
1 teaspoon Garam masala powder
2 tablespoon Fresh coriander leaves,chopped
2 tablespoons Fresh mint leaves,chopped
  • Soak Basmati rice in water for about 30 minutes.  Boil the 3 1/2 cup water in a medium sauce pot.
  • In a skillet add 1 tablespoon of ghee with two green cardamoms, one black cardamom,3 cloves, half inch stick of cinnamon, and add soaked rice and fry for about 2 minutes. Then cook this rice with boiled water and salt until three-fourth done. Drain excess water and set aside.
  • Heat a nonstick pan 1 tablespoon of ghee and add the remaining green cardamoms, cloves, black cardamom and cinnamon along with bay leaf, cumin seeds, fennel seeds and caraway seeds and roast. Add onions, carrot, French beans, green peas, bell peppers.
  • Sprinkle salt, cover and cook on medium heat for two minutes. Add ginger-garlic paste mixed with a little water and stir. Cover and cook for two minutes. Add turmeric powder, red chilli powder and coriander powder and cook.
  • Add tomato puree to the vegetables along with half teaspoon garam masala powder and mix well. Simmer for two minutes.
  • Whisk yogurt with rose water and saffron. Add a little water or milk and mix everything well.
  • In a microwave safe deep bowl. Arrange a layer of rice at the bottom. Over that arrange half the cooked vegetables followed by another layer of rice. Sprinkle half of the remaining garam masala powder, half the coriander leaves, half the mint leaves and half the yogurt mixture. Arrange the remaining vegetables followed by the remaining rice.
  • Sprinkle the remaining garam masala powder, remaining coriander leaves, remaining mint leaves and the remaining yogurt mixture. Cover with a silicon lid and cook in the microwave oven for four to five minutes on HIGH (100%). Let it stand for five minutes.
                Serve hot with raita and  papad
If you  like you can add dry fruits and nuts.

 I am linking this delicious recipe to   Hearth and Soul Blog Hop hosted Here


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  1. says

    Wow! Swathi, so much info and a well documented post. I love biriyani and make it once in a while. Too many posts on biriyani today, my mouth is watering.

  2. says

    What a coincidence , I also prepared veg biryani just 2 days back, may post my entry tomorrow, your biryani looks yumm………….

  3. says

    Your Vegetable Biriyani looks delicious, Swathi! Biriyani is one of my favourite Indian dishes, but I have only ever had it in restaurants before. I’m so happy to have your recipe so I can make it at home!