Vegetable Biryani ~ Vegetarian Recipe from Granny Rasheeda

by on October 15, 2012

A fabulous recipe of vegetable biryani shared by Mrs Rasheeda and her family like a song sung in chorus. They were particular about everything; the exact measurements, timing, exact spices, and even a common rejection of the bay leaf (Tej Patta). I was also advised against using ghee since it lends a certain dryness to Biryani if eaten after a while.

 

Vegetable Biryani

Ingredients for Vegetable Biryani:

  • Basmati rice – 1 kg
  • Oil – 300 ml
  • Cinnamon – 2 (1-inch pieces)
  • Cloves – 4
  • Cardamom – 2
  • Onions – 250 gms
  • Ginger – 100 gms
  • Garlic – 100 gms
  • Potatoes – 200 gms
  • Carrots – 250 gms
  • Beans – 100 gms
  • Fresh peas – 100 gms, shelled
  • Tomatoes – 300 gms
  • Coriander leaves – ½ bunch
  • Mint leaves – ¼ bunch
  • Green chillies – 2-4, stem removed
  • Fresh yogurt – ½ cup
  • Red chilli powder – 2 heaped teaspoons
  • Salt – to taste

Method:

1. Wash the rice and soak for half-an-hour in 1.5 litres of water. 2. Wash all the vegetables. Slice the onions thinly. Chop the potatoes, carrots, beans and tomatoes into medium-sized pieces. Peel and grind the ginger and garlic into a fine paste. Chop the coriander and mint leaves finely.
3. Heat the oil in a wok and add the cinnamon, cloves and cardamoms.
4. Lower the flame to medium heat, add the onions and sauté until they turn translucent.
5. Add the ginger-garlic paste and sauté for 4-5 minutes until the aroma rises.
6. Add all the vegetables including the tomatoes, coriander and mint leaves. Saute for 2-3 minutes.
7. Add the green chillies, yogurt, chilli powder and 1 teaspoon salt. Allow to cook until the potatoes are tender (but not overcooked).
8. Now transfer the cooked gravy into a rice cooker or pressure cooker.
9. Add the soaked rice along with the water and add some more salt, as required. If the gravy does not have any liquid in it, you may need to add another half-a-litre of water.
10. Allow to cook until the water has evaporated and each grain of rice is cooked. In the pressure cooker, you can cook for up to 2 whistles. Take care not to overcook since each grain of the rice must be separate.

 

Serve hot with any raita of your choice.

 

This recipe was first published in The Great Granny Diaries – a column in Harmony Magazine. Part-1 of this post is the interview with Mrs. Rasheeda, a Tamil Muslim from Chennai.

 

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