Thursday, 3 December 2015

Vegetable-Biryani (Rice layered with veggies)

Ready for getting sealed
Mouth starts watering when we think of Biryani. Though biryani is associated with mutton and is a regular fair in festivities of hardcore non-vegetarian people, yet we Indians are so adept in Indianizing very cuisine and making a vegetarian version of non-vegetarian dishes. I have earlier blogged Mushroom–do-pyaja, and chili-mushroom, inspired by their non-vegetarian brethren aka mutton-do-pyaja and chili-chicken. These two preparations were instant hit with my family members who love their chili-chicken as well as mutton-do-pyaja.
For all those who wish to eat biryani but are pure vegetarian I am posting this recipe, with the aim that vegetarians enjoy this delicious way of cooking rice layered with vegetables. Vegans can omit ghee and milk, replacing ghee with oil and milk with 1 teaspoon of lemon juice.

Preparation Time: 20-30 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Slow sealed cooking (Dum) time: 30-45 minutes
Servings: 6 large servings

Ingredients Required for Making Vegetable-Biryani:
  • 200 gm Basmati Rice
  • 100 gm. French Beans (10-15 in no.)
  • 100 gm. Carrot (1 large)
  • 100 gm. Capsicum (2 medium size)
  • 100 gm. Shelled peas (1 bowl of 200 ml capacity)
  • 100gm. Cauliflower (3-4 Florets)
  • 100 gm Onions (3 large)
  • 100 gm. Tomatoes (2 -3 medium size)
  • 10-15 nuggets of Nutrela (Soya nuggets)
  • 20-25 Fresh leafs of Mint
  • 8-10 Sprigs of Fresh Coriander
  • 50 ml. Milk
  • 6 Cloves
  • 2 Black Cardamoms
  • 2 One Inch sticks of cinnamon
  • 1-2 parts of star aniseed.
  • 2 Bay leafs
  • Pinch of Nutmeg
  • 2 Teaspoon Ginger paste
  • 2 Teaspoon Garlic paste
  • 1 Teaspoon Jeera powder (Cumin powder)
  • 1 Teaspoon Turrmeric powerd
  • 5-10 Cashew nuts (optional)
  • 5-10 Almonds (optional)
  • 100 gm. Ghee (Clarified butter) / cooking oil
Directions For Making Vegetable-Biryani:
  • Soak the soya nuggets in water and keep aside.
  • Peel and cut onions into long thin slices. Take 10-12 tablespoon of these slices and keep aside for frying.
  • Wash and cut all vegetables except tomatoes and potato to long thin slices.
Some of the veggies for biryani
  • Cut potato to I inch piece.
  • Cut tomatoes finely.
  • Wash rice in flowing water.
  • In a thick bottom container take
    • Rice
    • 2 cloves
    • 1 black cardamom crushed
    • 1 Cinnamon stick
    • 1/2Teaspoon salt
  • Add water to the contents of container till the water level is 2-3 cm. above the rice.
  • Add 50 ml. of milk. Mix nicely and cook on high flame till liquid starts boiling. Stir softly once or twice.
  • Once liquid starts boiling, bring the heat to low and cover the container. Cook till the rice is partially cooked. (On pressing the rice grain between the two fingers it should not mash up completely but be slightly undercooked. Al Dante).
  • Drain off excess of liquid from the cooked rice keep aside for further use. (if rice grains are sticking to each other pass room temperature water through cooked rice to remove surface starch).
Rice cooked for biryani
  • While the rice is cooking, in thick bottom wok take 75 gm. ghee and fry the onion slices kept for frying till they are golden brown.
  • Fry the nuts to golden brown.
  • In the ghee left after frying add
    • Remaining cloves
    • Bay leaf
    • Pinch of Nutmeg
    • Cinnamon stick
    • Crushed one black cardamom
  • Cook on low heat till the spices start spluttering.
  • Immediately add slices of onion and cook till they become transparent.
Onion and whole spices cooking
  • Add paste of garlic and cook on low flame for a minute with continuous stirring.
  • Add ginger paste and cook on low flame with constant stirring for a minute.
  • Add tomatoes and cook with ocassional stiring till tomatoes turn soft and mushy.
Onion and tomatoes cooked with ginger garlic paste
  • Squeeze water completely from Nutrela (soya nuggets) and cook on mmedium flame for 3-4 minutes with occasional stirring.
  • Add potatoes, stir and cook on medium flame for a minute or so.
  • Add all vegetables except capsicum and peas and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add tomatoes, stir and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add capsicum and peas and mix. Cook for 1 minute.
All veggies added and being cooked
  • Add
    • Salt
    • Red chili powder
    • Turmeric
    • Garam masala
    • Jeera powder
    • Finely chopped coriander leafs
    • Shredded mint leafs
  • Mix and cover the container.
Spices added to veggies
  • Let the vegetable mixture with spices cool.
Partially cooked veggies for Biryani
  • In a thick bottom container having good lid put 10 gm. ghee and heat till it melts.
  • Put a layer of rice and press it slightly.
  • Mix the vegetables nicely and then put one layer of vegetables on the top of rice.
Veggies over first layer of rice
  • Repeat till all vegetables are finished.
Second layer of rice over veggies
Last layer of veggies layered
  • Last layer should be of rice.
  • Sprinkle 10-15 ml of milk/water on the top layer of rice.
  • Pour the remaining ghee after melting it, evenly on the top of rice layer.
  • Decorate the top layer with jeera powder, turmeric and green chili.
Layering done ready to be sealed
  • Place the lid on the container and seal with wheat dough.
Sealed and ready for slow cooking
  • Heat a Tawa (iron plate) on the gas and keep the container with rice and vegetable on it.
  • Cook on low flame without disturbing for 30-40 minutes. (Time factor depends upon the heat your cooking stove gives in low heat)
  • Switch off the gas and leave the container on tawa.
Biryani Cooking on low heatover Tawa
Biryani Ready to be served
  • This biryani can be made by baking also.
  • Layer the veggies and rice as said above in a baking dish cover with aluminum foil and seal with wheat dough. Bake at 180 degree centigrade for 15-20 minutes and then switch off the oven.
First layer of rice over ghee
Layering being done
Ready for getting sealed
  • Leave the dish with biryani in oven for 10 minutes the heat of oven will cook it nicely.
  • When ready for meal, break the seal and garnish the piping hot biryani with fried, golden color onion slices, cashew nuts, almonds.
  • Serve with Curd/ raita, papad salad and achar (Pickle).

Vegetable-Biryani with pickle and raita
  • The ratio of rice to vegetables should be 1:2 (minimum) . More the vegetables better the taste of biryani.
  • Do not add pumpkin, gourds, to the biryani as they turn mushy and spoil the biryani.
  • If you wish to add brinjal (Egg plant) then cut them to round slices and place them over the last alyer of biryani.
  • Do not overcook the vegetables as they will cook with rice also. Vegetables in biryani should be slightly crunchy.
  • Rice should be cooked to the state that when you press with fingers a grain in the center should feel under cooked.
  • Rice grains after cooking should be separated not sticking to each other, so excess water while cooking rice is always good. Extra water can be drained easily.
  • Pass cooked rice through water if starch of rice is causing the grains stick to each other.
  • For those who do not take onion and garlic it can be avoided.
  • Milk added to rice enhances the whiteness of rice and grains to separate after cooking.
Suggested Variations:
  • Nutri nuggets (Soya nuggets) can be replaces with pieces of cottage cheese.
  • In case cottage cheese is being used they need not to be fried or cooked before adding to the vegetable mixture.
  • Coriander leafs and mint leafs can be made to paste and added to veggies instead of chopping and shredding, this will give strong flavor of mint and coriander to biryani.
  • Vegans can replace milk with 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and the squeezed lemon also can be added to the rice while cooking. Remove the lemon piece before layering.
  • Red, Yellow bell pepper can be added nutritive value and add color to biryani.

1 comment:

  1. For those who are vegetarian and wish to cook biryani, cooking rice with lots of vegetables gives you the delicious biryani taste. Could I make this Veg Biryani recipe vegan by using coconut milk instead of using regular milk?



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