Tri-Colored Biryani

Hyderabad is famous for Biryani and whoever comes to visit us expected we take them to  a earth shattering biryani place! We enjoyed exploring biryani joints which cooked the fragrant rice in huge earthen pots with generous amounts of ghee and  the aroma of spices filling the air. The biryani is a complete meal in itself and is a treat for taste buds for rice lovers like me!  

I saw this recipe somewhere and tried it many years back. It was prepared by a chef as an independence day special recipe and hence the tri-colors sybolising our flag.

It was  hard work back then making all three layers seperately and cooking it together but the recipe was very popular among our friends and family and so it was always worth the effort!

Down the lane the recipe was forgotten and I could never find it on the internet or elsewhere so I decided to recreate it again. This time it was so easy with so many ingredients washed , cut and ready to use! The result was awesome as always! Try this recipe for special occasion or for a party and you wont be dissappointed!


White layer

    • Rice- 4 cups ( fry rice in little oil,  and cook it with  around 6 cups of water and salt to taste . After the rice is cooked place it on a big plate so it wont stick )
    • Take 1 tablespoon of milk and soak Saffron in it for about 1 hr.

    Green Layer

    • Spinach--4  bunches(cook in water for 2-3 min and puree in mixer)
    • Onion-1 (pureed)
    • Ginger garlic paste
    • Green chillies--4-5
    • Yogurt--1 tablespoon
    • Cloves--4-5
    • Cinnamon--1 stick
    • Pepper--1 tablespoon
    • Garam Masala -1 teaspoon

    Take some oil and heat it on medium flame.Toss in all the spices--cloves,cinnamon,pepper . Add the pureed onions and fry for some time. Add green chilli paste, ginger garlic paste and pureed spinach paste. Let it cook for around 7-8 minutes and add yogurt and garam masala . Season with salt and keep this aside.

    Red Layer

    • Organic tomato puree- 1 can
    • Paneer cubes --1 cup (deep fried )
    • Onion--1 (chopped finely)
    • Kasoori methi--1 teaspoon
    • Bay leaves--1-2
    • Star anise--2-3
    • Garam Masala--1 teaspoon
    • Salt to taste

    Take a pan and heat oil in it . Add the spices , onion puree and fry for some time. Add the tomato puree and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the paneer cubes, garam masala and season with salt.

    Note-- Check the tomato puree you are using by tasting it before use. It should not be too sour. 

    Tri-Colored Biryani

    Take a big pan or pressure cooker. Place the white layer of rice, and then alter red and green layers between white layer of rice. Add some saffron milk on top . Place aluminium foil around it and cover it tightly with lid of you are using pan. Cook for 30-40 minutes on low flame. If making in over place at 300 degrees for 45 minutes. Garnish with fried onion or coriander leaves and serve hot.

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    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. 


    • 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


    • 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


    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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    Masale Bhaat

    Growing up in Hyderabad I have always loved rice. I love all kinds of dishes from biryani to tamarind rice and so on. The opportunities it gives for cooks to experiment are endless. It forms excellent rapport with vegetables,grains,meat,spices and dairy.

    I never knew what is Masale bhath until I visited Sangli, (a place in Maharashtra) and enjoyed it at my in-laws place. I loved the flavor of all fresh grounded spices coming together in the aromatic masale Bhaat. It is spicy and flavorful and if you can't take spice,this one is not for you. Here is the recipe.

    Masale Bhaat


    • Basmati Rice--2 cups
    • pepper/Capsicum--2
    • Carrots-2
    • Potato-2 medium sized
    • Peas--Half cup
    • Tindora--1 cup
    • Cloves--3-4
    • Cinnamon/Dalchini--1 stick
    • Peppercorns--Half teaspoon
    • Dhania --jeera 1 teaspoon
    • Red dried chillies 4-5
    • Dried coconut powder--1 Tablespoon
    • Bay leaves-2


    Spice powder-Take very little oil in a pan and heat it on a low flame. Add the spice one after other except bay leaf and dried chillies since they get burnt faster. Roast the spices till the fragrance fills your senses. Now add chilles and bay leaf and roast for a brief time. Take out the spices and let them cool before putting them in a grinder.

    Take oil in a pan and heat in on medium flame. Add turmeric powder and hing to it. Add the chopped fresh vegetables and sauté them for some time. Now add the rice along with our spice powder. Stir the mixture for some time and then add the water and season with salt .When the rice is partially boiled add the goda masala and cover it till rice is fully cooked. Goda masala is integral ingredient of this recipe.

    Garnish the Masale Bhath with fresh coriander leaves and coconut.Add a dash of lime juice ,ghee and serve hot!

    Note:You can add vegetables of your choice and in this recipe you can skip tindora if it is not preferred.

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