Vegetable Biryani

We all know that biryani is not just food… it is love, passion and all above, it’s life. And nobody understands this better than a true biryani lover. The very moment of breaking the seal of a biryani pot, when the fragrances rush out with hot steam, can be the most blissful moment in life of any true-blue foodie. The biryani satisfies the both tongue and the eyes, with its flavor and colors. Biryani is not something that can be whipped in a trice. There is a very precise and long process of making it to get the best tasting biryani. When prepared well, it is nothing short of a work of art. When layers of the freshly cooked biryani are gently mixed together, the intertwining of the white and colored grains of rice along with pieces of vegetables is a sight to behold.

You may be wondering what rice would be best for biryani. Well I always choose the rice which is extra-long and stands out as individual grain, however you can use any that you have at home. Traditionally, aged basmati rice is the best choice to make this dish. Many add dry fruits and fried onions, however few members in household do not like those toppings in biryani, hence i omit it but you must add it as it makes it taste quite delicious. However, i personally love the touch of fresh shredded coconut as it makes the biryani tastes so refreshing. Yes! Please don’t judge, its just a personal preference. Hope you all get to make this recipe and love it as much as we do! If you do make it, please share your pics on IG or Facebook!

Ingredients

For Vegetables

1 large potato, cubed

1 cup cauliflower, chopped in florets

¼ cup peas

¼ cup carrots

1 medium tomato, cubed

1-2 green chilies

2 tbsp ghee for sautéing

1 tsp mustard seeds

1 cup of finely chopped onions

For marinating

½ cup homemade plain yogurt

1 tsp ginger paste

1 tsp garlic paste

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp coriander powder

1 tsp garam masala powder

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp salt

For rice

2 cups basmati rice or any available

1 tbsp ghee

4-5 cups of water

3 cloves

1 bay leaf

1 inch cinnamon

1 tsp salt

For layering

10 strands of saffon, soaked in 1 tbsp milk

½ cup golden fried onion (I omitted this time)

½ cup mixed nuts (optional)

Handful mint and coriander chopped

fresh shredded coconut (personal preference)

1 tbsp ghee

Method

Marinating vegetables

Take yogurt, ginger paste, garlic paste, turmeric powder, red chili powder, biryani masala powder, lemon juice, salt in a large mixing bowl. Mix well and add chopped veggies and marinate for 30 minutes.

Cooking Rice

Wash and soak rice for 1 hour. In a pan add 4-5 cups of water, all the whole garam masala along with ghee. Add your soaked rice. Cook for 15 minutes or approximately until rice is 75% done. Avoid stirring frequently to prevent rice from breaking. Once cooked, drain excess water and set it aside.

Cooking and layering biryani

In a heavy bottom large pan, heat 2 tbsp ghee. Once hot, add mustard seeds. Once they start spluttering, add green chilies and onions. Sauté for few minutes or until translucent.  Add marinated vegetables and sauté the vegetables until 75% cooked. This process takes approximately 6-8 minutes. Top off the vegetables with cooked rice. Drizzle 1 tbsp ghee on top along with chopped mint, coriander leaves, saffron milk, fried onions (optional) and dry fruits (optional). Cover the pan tightly with a lid and let it simmer for 15 minutes. Once done cooking, gently mix the biryani and serve with yogurt or vegetable raita. You can garnish your biryani with chopped coriander or fresh shredded coconut (personal preference).

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