Veg Biryani Recipe
I was never getting the rice consistency in the vegetable biryani right in spite of several variations and many references to recipes on the web. People were only advising soaking of rice for a half hour or so before preparation.
None of the tips helped me get separate grains of rice though the biryani was tasty. Then I tried this method of washing the rice and draining it completely, letting it stand for at least an hour.
Eureka! I found that not only did the biryani taste good, but the rice texture also made the recipe get all the appreciation I expected. I told all my friends about it, only to be thanked by them for the excellent recipe.
I don't remember reading or being told about this tip anywhere. From then on, vegetable Biryani has become an all-time favorite at home, especially when we have guests.
One more important point I would like to mention here is that credit for this lovely recipe goes to "Sakthi Biryani Masala" that goes into its preparation. I have tried many other masalas but none has been as good as this one, hence my emphasis that the dish should turn out well for anyone who follows this recipe religiously. Sakthi biryani masala powder is available in many countries as it is an export commodity.
So here we go:
Basmati Rice OR Raw rice 1 cup (200g)
Carrot 1 small
Potato 1 small
Green bell pepper (capsicum) 1/2
Beans 5 nos.
Cauliflower (optional) a few florets
Green peas (fresh, frozen or dry) a handful
Sakthi Biryani Masala 2 heaped tbsp.
Ginger garlic paste 1 tsp.
Green chilies 1
Curd 2 tbsp.
Salt 1 1/2 to 2 tsp or as necessary
Water 1 1/2 cups
Cilantro leaves for garnishing
- Wash rice twice and drain the water by letting the vessel stand in an inclined position for an hour.
- Cut the carrot, bell pepper and potato into thin, lengthwise pieces. Chop the tomato fine.
- If you are using dried green peas you should soak them in water overnight or at least for a few hours in hot water.
- In a fry pan, heat 50 ml cooking oil.
- Add the chopped onion and ginger garlic paste and fry well till onion turns pink in colour.
- Add all the vegetables one by one to the oil and fry for 2 more minutes.
- Add the slit green chili and chopped tomato followed by curd and mix into the mixture.
- While fresh peas can be added to the pan along with the other vegetables, take care to cook the dry peas separately and add them to the mixture before cooking. Even though they are soaked overnight, they do not cook well in rice cooker or pressure cooker when added with the other vegetables.
- Add Sakthi biryani masala and mix well.
- Mix in salt. I add 2 tsp for every cup of rice; adjust your salt according to your preference by reducing the measure given here.
- Finally add the rice and mix well. Ensure dryness of the rice before adding.
- Add water and cook in rice cooker.
- If cooking in pressure cooker, cook for 2 whistles. I fry all these ingredients in the pressure cooker, add the rice, salt and water and cook for 2 whistles. This way there is no transferring of ingredients and it saves a lot of time and energy. Opening the cooker after a minimum of half an hour makes the dish even better.
- Garnish with cilantro and serve hot with mixed vegetable raita, coconut curd Pachadi or raw vegetable salad. Your favorite vegetable biryani is ready to be served.
- This recipe serves 3 people.
You may wonder why I have explained a new (and strange to some people) method of draining water from the rice. I tried the colander method also, but the rice placed in a colander after cleaning did not become as dry as it did when I tried draining the water by making the vessel stand upright on another vessel. But if you cannot do this kind of draining as shown in the pictures above, then colander is the next best alternative and you'll still get a good consistency of rice.
Hope you do try this method of making vegetable biryani and make your family and friends happy. Do post a feedback if you try it out. I would love to know if it turned out well. Happy cooking!