I love Vegetable Biryani and I have tried many versions of it. The most loved one at my home is the layered veggie biryani with layers of white rice and veggies coated with the colorful Biryani masala. And, if you topple it with fried onions and serve it with a raita, wow that fulfills your lunch/dinner plate and a restful sleep (which I yearn and hope to have one!).
For 4 servings:
- 1 cup Biryani rice, washed and soaked for 15 minutes.
- Veggies such as carrot (1), green peas (a handful), cauliflower florets (5-10), french beans (3 pieces cut into inches), potato (1), steamed or slightly cooked.
- 3 onions, chopped lengthwise
- 1/2 cup yogurt
- 7-10 cashewnuts, soaked in warm water for 1/2 an hour.
- 1 tablespoon Biryani Masala (I have the Badshah one)
- 1 teaspoon of ginger-garlic paste
- some oil or ghee (yur choice :)..)
- some khada masala such as 2-3 cloves, 2 cardamom, 1 dalchini, 2-3 bayleaves.
- 1 teaspoon milk with 3-4 strands of kesar(saffron).
- Cook the rice and keep it separately. Ensure the rice does not become sticky (You can add 2-3 drops of lemon juice while cooking the rice. This avoids the rice from sticking to each other).
- For the Biryani Masala: Fry the onion pieces till they become brown. Remove some of them for the garnish. Now add the ginger garlic paste to the remaining onions. Add the yogurt, cashewnuts, and mix well. Add the biryani masala, some salt, and some sugar. Mix well and let this mixture cook and coat the onions and cashews. Take care not to burn this mixture. When this cools, grind to form a coarse paste and store separately.
- For the Veggies: In a pan, heat some oil or ghee (This will taste much better :). Add the khada masala. After a minute add the veggies. Now add the ground biryani masala. Let the veggies be coated with the masala and cook for some time. Taste to add some salt.
- In a serving bowl, first lay some rice.
- Add a layer of the veggie masala, then again add a layer of rice, then a layer of veggie masala.
- Now lay the final layer of rice.
- Pour the milk with saffron on this layer.
- Garnish with the fried onions.
- Optionally, you can also garnish freshly chopped coriander leaves.