Vegetable Biryani

Srilatha Indian, Main Dish, South Indian Leave a Comment

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Vegetable Biryani
Ah. Biryani. That mouth-watering melting pot of flavors and spices. Who doesn't like biryani? Shockingly, me. I have never been a fan and always wondered at the euphoric reaction it elicited among everyone, including my husband. But, during this quarantine period, I decided to conquer some of my misconceptions and biases (one reason for my dislike for biryani is its name) for certain foods. And, biryani tops the list. Others are kadalai curry, vadakari, korma (i really like the aroma, just not a fan of the actual dish, go figure that), aappam (again, I love the looks, the concept, just not crazy about actually eating it). Anyway, I started with searching for a good recipe for biryani and watched a youtube episode of Revathy Shanmugam's Kavignar Veetu Samayal and decided to give it a try. Jackpot! Not only did I actually love it and not because I was super hungry, but I even ate it as a leftover. Finally, my search for a biryani I could love is over! This will be, for sure, my go to recpe for biryani. I made the side dish she made as well, and loved it also. Have provided the link in the notes section - for those who can follow Thamizh. Now, on to the recipe.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
  • 1 cup basmati or jeeraga samba rice
  • 2 cups mixed vegetables I used potatoes, green beans, carrots, onions, tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1 cup mint and cilantro
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 3 each cloves, cardamom
  • 1 inch piece cinnamon
  • Salt to taste, divided
  • 4 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp ghee optional; for final finish
  • 3 green chilies
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 2 cups Water The ratio of water to rice is 2:1 for basmati
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
  • 1 cup basmati or jeeraga samba rice
  • 2 cups mixed vegetables I used potatoes, green beans, carrots, onions, tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1 cup mint and cilantro
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 3 each cloves, cardamom
  • 1 inch piece cinnamon
  • Salt to taste, divided
  • 4 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp ghee optional; for final finish
  • 3 green chilies
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 2 cups Water The ratio of water to rice is 2:1 for basmati
Instructions
  1. Wash and soak rice
  2. Chop onions into slivers, and other vegetables into chunks
  3. Gather spices, yogurt, finely chopped mint
  4. Take a pressure pan or instant pot. I used a pressure pan, but could have as well used the IP
  5. Start with heating the oil, then add the whole spices and fry them. They should/would release their aroma as they fry
  6. Add the onions and a bit of salt and saute till slightly brown
  7. Add the ginger garlic paste, and fry till the raw smell goes away
  8. Add the rest of the vegetables except tomatoes and saute till about half cooked, add a bit of salt for the vegetables
  9. Now, add the yogurt, lime juice, chili powder, turmeric, tomatoes, and mint and cook till the oil releases. This is the thokku consistency and it's important for this biryani
  10. Add the mint, and saute for a couple of minutes. Add the water, and salt and let it come to a boil
  11. When the water boils, add the rice. At this point, you could taste the water and adjust salt if needed
  12. Cover and cook for 8 minutes. I didn't use pressure in my pressure pan. If I had used the IP, I would have cooked for 8 minutes with the vent sealed.
  13. Open it gently, and a drizzle of ghee if using, and some fresh mint. Mix gently without breaking the rice grains.
  14. Best served and eaten hot with eggplant curry and raita.
Recipe Notes

Source/inspired by:

Revathy Shanmugam's Biryani Recipe

I did a bit of research on this phenomenon called biryani. Most of the stories available online agree that the biryani came to India via the Moghuls from Persia (Iran). And there are gazillion types of biryani, but Hyderabadi biryani seems to be king of biryanis, at least in India. Inspired by Mughlai cuisine, its flavor profile can range from the subtle (coconut milk, saffron, and bay leaves) to fiery spicy. I am just happy I found a version that I can finally love.

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