Vegetable Biryani

Biryani is the first thing one wishes for ,when reminded of Hyderabadi cuisine. The lovely rice grains are accompanied by spicy gravy to form a wholesome biryani which satisfies the stomach as well as the taste buds. Traditional Hyderabadi biryani uses meat , but this version of it makes use of vegetables and spices to create a awesome tasting dish. 

Being a Hyderabadi ,I cant survive a day without rice!! I often try different rice recipes and  am often surprised at the endless possibilities of rice dishes. Biryani, I would say is the king of all rice recipes and perfect for entertaining guests or just as a one pot meal. In this recipe vegetables gravy is cooked slowly with all the spices and yogurt ,it is then layered with partly cooked rice and steamed to perfection with fried onions on the top. 

Ingredients

  • Basmati Rice--3 cups
  • Vegetables (carrots, Beans, peas,corn)--1 cup
  • Onions--1 ( chopped finely)
  • Tomatoes--2 (chopped finely)
  • Yogurt--2 Tablespoons
  • Dry Plums--5-6

Spices

  • Jeera --2 teaspoons
  • Black pepper--5-6
  • Cloves-5-6
  • Cinnamon(Dalchini)--1 stick
  • Cardamon--1-2
  • Bay leaves--2 leaves
  • Biryani masala--1 teaspoon
  • Poppy seeds (Khas-Khas)--1 teaspoon
  • Almonds--4-5
  • Cashews--5-6
  • Salt to taste
  • Saffron strands 1/2 teaspoon mixed in 1 teaspoon tablespoon of milk
  • Fried Onions for garnish

Recipe

Take very little oil in a pan and fry the washed rice for a minute turning gently. Add about 5 cups of water,salt and cook it.

Gravy--  Take oil in a wide pan, and heat it . Add onions and fry for some time,add tomatoes and saute them until  soft. In the meantime dry roast all the spices and grind them in a mixer . Add almonds, cashews and grind to a fine paste. Add this paste to the pan and saute for some time. Add biryani masala,dry plums and all the  vegetables. Cook this gravy on low flame for about 15 minutes and add yogurt. Cook for 5 more minutes and add salt.

Take a Pot or a pressure cooker and put a layer of plain rice at the bottom. Pour some gravy on it and again layer the rice altering the procedure. Pour the saffron milk at the top.Cover it tightly lining it with aluminium foil and let it cook for 10 -15 minutes on low flame. Garnish with fried onions and serve .

Note--I prefer frozen vegetables as they dont get mushy and cook well, you can add partially cooked fresh vegetables such as potatoes,cauliflower if you dont want to go for frozen option.

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