Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Vegetable Biriyani (Kachchi)


For Browned Onions:

Onions - 5 large sized
Cooking Oil - 1 tablespoon
Sugar - 1/2 teaspoon

For Marinating:

Carrots - 2
French Beans - 10
Cauliflower Florets - 2 cups
Potato - 1
Green Peas - 1/2 cup
Mint Leaves, chopped - 1/4 cup
Coriander Leaves, chopped - 3 tablespoons
Yogurt/Curd - 1 cup
Ginger Garlic Paste - 2 teaspoons
Raw Papaya Paste - 1/4 cup (peel and blend raw papaya pieces)
Poppy Seeds - 1 teaspoon
Coriander Powder - 1 teaspoon
Cumin Powder - 1 teaspoon
Red Chilli Powder - 1 teaspoon
Garam Masala Powder  - 1 1/2 teaspoons
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Salt to taste

For Cooking Rice:

Basmati Rice - 3 cups
Butter - 1 tablespoon
Star Anise - 3
Bay Leaves - 2
Cinnamon - 1" long piece
Cloves - 6
Mace - 1
Cardamom Pods - 5
Salt to taste
Lemon Juice - 1 tablespoon

For Masala:

Ginger - 1" long piece
Garlic Cloves - 4
Green Chillis - 5
Tomato - 1 large / 2 medium
Cooking Oil - 3 tablespoons
Butter - 1 tablespoon
Peppercorns - 5
Cinnamon Stick - 1/2" long piece
Red Chilli Powder - 1 teaspoon
Salt to taste

For Layering:

Saffron Strands - 8, soaked in 2 tablespoons of hot milk for 15-20mins
Mint Leaves, chopped - 3 tablespoons
Coriander Leaves, chopped - 3 tablespoons
Rose Essence - 1 1/2 teaspoons or 2 tablespoons of Rose water

For Garnishing:

Coriander Leaves, chopped
Fresh Lemon slices


A large deep pan(vessel/stock pot)
Aluminium foil to seal the mouth of the pan (you can use chapati/all purpose-flour dough instead)


Browning Onions:

  1. Peel and slice the onions vertically.
  2. Heat oil in a pan.
  3. Add sliced onions and saute them.
  4. Set the flame to medium, add sugar, mix well. Adding sugar helps onion brown faster.
  5. Saute until the onions are browned.
  1. Soak cauliflower florets in warm salt water for 15-20 minutes.
  2. Peel potato and carrots.
  3. Cut carrots, french beans and potatoes into small pieces. Do not chop them.
  4. Beat yogurt thoroughly.
  5. Add ginger-garlic paste, raw papaya paste, poppy seeds, coriander powder, cumin powder, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, garam masala powder and salt. Whisk until well combined.
  6. Add chopped vegetables, cauliflower florets, green peas, chopped mint leaves and coriander leaves. Mix well.
  7. Add half the portion of browned onions. Mix well.
  8. Set it aside for 1 hour.
Cooking Rice:
  1. Bring 6-7 cups of water to boil in a large pot/vessel.
  2. Add butter, star anise, bay leaves, cinnamon piece, cloves, mace, cardamom pods, salt and lemon juice to boiling water.
  3. Add rice.
  4. Cook until it is 3/4rth done. This is a very critical step. The rice at this stage will be slightly hard.
  5. Transfer the cooked rice into a colander to drain out all the water.
  6. Using a fork, fluff up the rice grains gently.
  7. Set it aside, allow it to cool down.
Preparing Masala:
  1. Blend ginger, garlic and green chillis into a paste without adding water.
  2. Heat oil in a large deep pan (vessel/stock pot). This is the utensil you will use to layer rice and vegetables to prepare Biryani.
  3. Add butter.
  4. Now add peppercorns and cinnamon stick. Saute for half a minute.
  5. Add ginger+garlic+green chilli paste. Saute until the raw smell disappears.
  6. Meanwhile, blend tomato into a smooth pulp without adding water.
  7. Add tomato pulp, red chilli powder and salt. Cook until the oil starts separating. Turn off the heat.
Assembling/Layering to make Biryani:
  1. To the cooked masala, add marinated vegetables. Mix well to combine.
  2. Spread half the quantity of cooked rice. 
  3. Pour saffron milk on top of rice layer.
  4. Using a fork fluff up the rice to incorporate saffron milk into rice grains. 
  5. Level the rice layer using a spatula.
  6. Spread the remaining browned onions on top of rice.
  7. Top it with remaining cooked rice and level the layer using a spatula.
  8. Pour rose essence on top.
  9. Sprinkle chopped coriander leaves and mint leaves.
  10. Tightly seal the pan with an aluminium foil and place a large lid/plate on top of the foil.
  11. Set the flame to low. Let it cook for 25-30 minutes. If the flame is not set to low, the vegetable layer might get burnt. If you are not confident that the vegetables are cooked or there is still some water content, carefully open the foil from one side, insert a long knife to check if there is any water content. If there is water, cook for a few more minutes. If not, turn off the flame.
  12. Remove the foil just before serving.
  13. Serve hot with raita and/or sherva, garnished with coriander leaves and lemon slices.


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