Vegetable Biryani

Vegetable Biryani

Biryani is one of the most well-known dishes from Hyderabad. This is not the recipe of the famous Hyderabadi biryani which takes a good amount of time and patience to cook. This is my mom’s quick fix cooker biryani recipe which she makes when she is in a hurry and we have unannounced guests or simply if we have been crying about the daal chawal menu. Rice, vegetables, and spices are pressure cooked and served with plain yogurt or raita.

Every pressure cooker is different and the cooking time may vary. Some cookers cook rice in 2 whistles while some cook in three whistles. You are the best judge of cooking time and number of whistles.

Of course I have tweaked the recipe a little to add the spice and to cater to my onion garlic loving taste buds. My mom doesn’t add garlic to this recipe and sometimes leaves out the onion too. But for me biryani is no fun without onion and garlic.

Even the dry spices can vary as per the flavors you like. You can add star anise, roasted fennel seeds, saffron, and mace to add to the aroma. Since this is a normal quick cook recipe, I did not want to add to the cooking time and effort. Some people add the whole spices to washed rice during the soaking time, so that the rice gets the flavor of spices. You can do that when cooking the layered biryani.

Biryani is best served hot and with plain or vegetable raita. The taste of biryani gets better as it soaks the spices. It is a good idea to prepare biryani in advance (depending on the weather) and heat it up just before serving/eating.

Vegetable Biryani

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 ½ cup water
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds (Jeera)
  • 7-8 green cardamom (ilaichi)
  • 7-8 cloves (laung)
  • 1 piece cinnamon (dalchini)
  • 3-4 bay leaves (tej patta)
  • 10-12 cashewnuts
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 ½ cup chopped vegetables (carrot, beans, peas, potato)
  • ½ cup yogurt
  • 1 ½ tsp red chilli powder
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste

To be ground to paste

  • 1 big tomato
  • 3 inch piece of ginger
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 3 tbsp roughly chopped coriander
  • 2 tbsp roughly chopped mint
  • 1 green chilli

Recipe

Wash and soak the rice in water (3-4 cups) for 10-15 minutes. Grind the tomato, ginger, garlic, coriander, mint, and green chilli to a fine paste and keep aside.

Heat oil in a cooker. Add jeera, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and bay leaves. Once the spices are slightly browned (30-45 seconds), add the chopped onions and sauté. Cook for 1-2 minutes and add cashew nuts. Once the cashews are slightly browned, add the tomato paste, chilli powder, turmeric powder, and salt. Cook for 3-4 minutes or till the oil floats on top stirring in between. Add the chopped vegetables and yogurt and mix well. Cook for 2-3 minutes mixing in between.

Drain water from the rice and add the rice to the cooker. Add 1 ½ cups of water and mix well. Taste for salt and make any required adjustments. Close the cooker and cook for three whistles.

Switch off the gas. Once the pressure is released, open the cooker and mix the biryani carefully. Serve hot with plain yogurt or choice of raita.

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