April 4, 2009

Vegetable Biryani

Today S had the biryani craving… and having only just restocked the fridge, the ingredients weren’t lacking. And so I set about making it.
What How much
Veggies Whatever you can find!
Onions – 3 medium, Tomatoes – 2 medium, Carrots – 2, Potato – 1, Green chilly – 1, peas, etc.
Mustard seeds 1/2 tsp
Jeera seeds 1/2 tsp
Bay leaves 2 small
Cinnamon stick (dal-cheeni) 1/2 inch piece
Dried red chillies 2-3 broken
Ginger-garlic paste 1 tsp
Turmeric 1/2 tsp
Red chilly powder 3/4 tsp
Dhaniya-jeera powder (optional) 1 tsp
Curd 3/4 cup, beaten with equal amount of water
Cashew nuts/ raisins As you desire
Basmati rice 2 cups washed well and cooked so that they are separate and not sticky
Salt To taste
Oil 2 tsp
Coriander To season
1. Prepare the curd for marinating the veggies. Beat the curd with water. Add a pinch of salt and 1/2 tsp of ginger-garlic and mix well. Set aside.
2. Wash all the veggies well. Cut carrots and potatoes and 1 onion lengthwise, in thin slices and let it marinate in the curd for at least a half hour.
3. Cut the other 2 onions also in thin slices and the tomatoes in small cubes.
4. In a large skillet, heat the 2 tsp of oil.
5. Once the oil has heated sufficiently, add the spices in the order mentioned from Mustard seeds to ginger-garlic paste. Toss in washed cashews/raisins once the rest of the spices have cooked to brown them as well.
6. Next, put in the onions and the tomatoes that have been cut separately and cook on medium-high with salt to release the juices. Stir constantly to avoid any charring. Add the turmeric and the dhaniya-jeera powder.
7. Lower the gas to medium-low once the onion-tomato mixture has cooked fully. Add the marinating veggies with the curd and peas to the skillet and stir in. Add the red chilly powder and any more salt (if required). Close the lid and allow to cook for at least 5 minutes. The carrots and the potatoes take a while to cook on an open container.
8. Open the lid, test if the veggies have all cooked. Once you’re sure of that, turn off the gas. You are ready to stir in the rice.
9. Add the rice in small quantities to the veggies, stirring in carefully to make sure that you do not break the rice. Adding too much rice will not keep the biryani moist the way it should be and adding too little will make it watery. Keep adding rice to the mixture till you are satisfied with the consistency of the biryani.
10. Garnish with fresh, washed coriander leaves and voilà, you’re set!
Notes: To make the flavor more authentic, you could soak 5-10 strands of saffron in water for 10-15 minutes and “color” some of the rice with this to give it the distinct orange color and flavor for a more authentic biryani.
It suffices to say that we probably won’t be eating biryani outside for a long time. It was perfect. The flavor, the color, the texture, the taste, all of it. Serve with raita/chips. I leave you here with one more shot. Bon Appétit!


Radhika said...

Your pictures are excellent and now I am hungry :-(

Krish said...

Yummy yummy yummy in my tummy. Way to go! I think you should post the recipe btw.

Shwetha said...


It does look perfect :-) Recipe please!

Jaya said...

Radhika -> Go on, make it, eat it, enjoy it and report back please!

Krish, Shwetha -> Obliged to your request. I posted the recipe. Do give it a try and get back to me. Thanks!

Ram uncle said...

Jaya, how do you find time for all these: cooking, studying, blogging, outing, experimenting dishes and much more. And the variety of subjects you choose for blogging! God's gift? You have time for everybody and everything.No sooner you receive the comments for your blogs pat comes your reply. Too fast. Amazing. May your tribe increase.

Jaya said...

Uncle -> I have a GMail notifier for comments on my blog.. which is why I am able to monitor them closely. As for the other compliments, I am just going to be gracious and accept them all :D Thanks and keep visiting!

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