• Preeti Vaswani

Aromatic Vegetable Biryani

Who doesn't love exotic aromatic biryani !!!


Even a person like me , not a rice lover, drools at the sight of pretty biryani plate loaded with fresh vegetables, aromatic warm spices, crunchy cashews and almonds served with crunchy cucumber raita.






What is Vegetable Biryani ?


This irresistible lip smacking delicacy is a perfect medley made with long grain basmati rice, warm spices, fresh herbs and vegetables. This is then layered in a deep pot and cooked to perfection on slow heat.


The main ingredients and tips for making Perfect Vegetable Biryani are;


Rice : Always use long grain aged basmati rice for best results as it is full of aroma and being aged it does not stick after cooking.


Vegetables : An array of vegetables like carrot, beans, potatoes, cauliflower , peas etc. can be used for veg biryani. Always use fresh vegetables.


Spices and Herbs : Add whole spices like black peppercorns, cloves, black and green cardamom, star anise, cinnamon stick , fresh coriander and mint leaves when you cook the rice up to 70%. Use freshly minced ginger and garlic as it elevates the flavours of biryani while cooking the vegetables along with onion and yogurt.


Ghee : I recommend adding a tablespoon of ghee when you cook the rice which adds flavour to the biryani later. Also add ghee on the top when you keep the layered biryani on slow flame at the last step.


Sauteing the veggies and onion in ghee adds nice colour, flavour and texture to the biryani.


Aromatics and Nuts : Rose water or kewra water, saffron soaked in milk, pan fried cashew and almonds are used to enhance the flavour of biryani.


Pan fried nuts add a nice crunch to the biryani.


Garnishing : Garnish the biryani plate with fresh coriander, mint leaves and caramelized onion. I also add few pomegranate arils which gives a little sweet taste in between.


It is a perfect dish for festive occasions and get-togethers.


I always make it on weekends or on a holiday to enjoy this beautiful food together as a family for lunch.



If you ask, is it easy to cook this one pot meal ?


Honestly, it is not an easy task to cook a perfect biryani as it requires pretty good time, patience and effotrs. But all the hard work is paid off when you see the end result ; A Perfect , Flavourful Biryani !!!


Serve with cucumber raita , my personal favourite and it is a complete feast. You can enjoy this flavourful biryani on its own too.




Cuisine : Indian

Course : Main course

Prep time : 30 minutes

Cook time : 60 minutes

Servings : 6


Ingredients

  • 2 Cup basmati rice

  • 2 Big sized onion sliced

  • 1 Big sized potato cubed

  • 1/2 Cup cauliflower florets

  • 10-12 Beans chopped inch long

  • 1 Big carrot cubed

  • 1/3 Cup peas

  • 1 Tbsp grated ginger

  • 1 Tbsp grated garlic

  • 2 Green chili

  • 2 Green chili finely chopped

  • 2 Bay leaves

  • 10 -12 Black peppercorns

  • 8-10 Clove

  • 2 Pieces of cinnamon stick (inch long)

  • 3-4 Green cardamon

  • 1 Star anise

  • 1 Black cardamom

  • 3 Tbsp cashew halves

  • 3 Tbsp almond halves

  • 2 Tbsp raisins

  • 1 Tsp turmeric powder

  • 1 Tsp red chili powder

  • 1 Tbsp coriander powder

  • 1 Tsp garam masala

  • 1 Tbsp + 1 Tsp salt

  • 1/4 Cup fresh yogurt

  • 6 Tbsp ghee

  • 10-12 Saffron threads soaked in 4 tbsp of warm milk

  • 4 Tbsp rose water

  • 1/2 Cup chopped coriander leaves

  • 1/3 Cup mint leaves

  • Pinch of orange-red food colour


Instructions


To boil the rice


1. Wash the rice under running water thoroughly till the water is clear and then soak the rice in water for around half an hour.


2. After the rice has soaked discard the water in which the rice were soaked.


3. Heat a pot full of water when water starts to boil add the soaked rice. Also add 5-6 cloves, 6-8 black peppercorns, 3-4 green cardamom, 1 black cardamom, 1 small piece of cinnamon, 1 star anise, 2 tbsp of coriander leaves, 2 tbsp of mint leaves. When you add rice water temperature comes down and water stops boiling. Switch the flame to high and let it come to a boil.