I had arrived in Mysore for a work trip on a sweltering summer Sunday with raging travel induced headache. And all medical shops on my way to the hotel were shut. The receptionist asked me to try to look for an open shop after 6pm. So, after a few hours of torture, I ventured out of my room again to find the shop right outside my hotel open. After buying the medicines and paying up, the busy bee Mumbaikar in me couldn’t resist asking the stout gentleman behind the counter, “Everyday afternoon you are closed?”.
“No, no, today Sunday. Biryani, lunch. Sleep. happy day.” He replied in broken English.
And I couldn’t resist smiling at him. How such a simple dish, could provide so much happiness!
Veg Dum Biryani
I love my biryani too, albeit the vegetarian version. Contrary to all the opinions floating online and all the numerous debates Vegetable biryani does exist, it’s NOT pulao and I love it. Actually, I love most rice dishes but especially biryani. So, I have come up with a way to make vegetable biryani in one pot. No need to parboil rice or make the gravy separately and then cook them together. This is basically just “dump everything into the pan” type recipe.
This veg dum biryani recipe is easy to customize. If you want more gravy , you can increase the quantity of tomatoes. With the addition of saffron and kewra water its taste is elevated and one could rightly call it shahi biryani. Every grain of rice is separate, fluffy and aromatic , well infused with the spices. This recipe yields a very moist biryani , not dry at all so you could lap this up just as it is or enjoy it with curd or raita.
You can also try my paneer butter masala recipe if you wish to try a rich sabzi – rice combination !Print
Oil – 3-4 Tbsp
Sliced onions – 2 medium or 130gms
Cloves – 5-6
Bay leaves – 4
Cinnamon – 1 inch
Green cardamom – 3-4
Black cardamom – 1
Star anise – 1
Mace – ½
Chopped onion – 1 medium or 80 gms
Garlic paste – 1 Tbsp
Ginger paste – 1 Tbsp
Chopped tomato – 2 medium or 180 gm
Salt to taste
Coriander – 1 Tbsp
Mint – 2 Tbsp
Biryani masala/ Garam masala – 1 tsp
Coriander powder – 3/4 Tbsp
Cumin powder – ½ tsp
Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
Kashmiri red chilly powder -2-3 tsp + Spicy chilly powder – ½ tsp
Green Cardamom powder – 1/8 tsp
Rice -3/4 cup or 170 gms
Carrots – ¼ cup
Beans – ¼ cup
Capsicum – ¼ cup
Peas – ¼ cup
Water – 1.5 – 2cup, or packet instructions
Sugar – 2 tsp
Kasuri methi -1 tsp
Salt to taste
Saffron – 4-5 strands
Kewra water – ½ tsp
- Slice the onions lengthwise finely. Heat oil in a deep pan. Fry the onions till they are light brown in colour. Add a tsp of salt to fasten the process. Don’t let them get too dark in the oil. They continue cooking even after taking them out of the oil. So, they will continue to darken.
- In the same oil , add the whole spices and roast them till they are fragrant. Add the finely chopped onions to this.
- Cook them till they are translucent. Add the ginger and garlic paste. Cook till they are fragrant. Add chopped tomatoes.
- Add salt, chopped coriander and mint.
- Add all the powdered dry spices.
- I have used a combination of Kashmiri chilly and spicy red chilly powder. You can use variable amounts depending on the level of spiciness you prefer.
- Add green cardamom powder.
- Add soaked basmati rice. Soak the rice for 3-4 hours atleast.
- Add water now. According to the package instructions of the rice you are using.
- Let it come to a rolling boil. Now cover and lower the flame. Cook till all the water dries up.
- Soak kesar in warm water. Sprinkle that water over the biryani.
- Sprinkle kewra water over the biryani.
- For a smokey aroma, heat a piece of coal on open flame till it is red hot. Place it in a small bowl and put that over the rice. Add ghee on top of the coal. It will start smoking. Cover the vessel and allow the biryani to absorb the flavour of the “dhungar” for 5 – 8 minutes.
- Let the biryani cool slightly before spooning it to avoid breaking the rice. Serve hot !!
- To make the biryani moist but keep every grain of rice separated and fluffy , use more oil. Don’t skimp on the fat content.
- You can also use half ghee and half oil for more flavour.
- Use a heavy bottom or non-stick pan to avoid the rice from sticking and burning at the bottom.
Keywords: Veg dum biryani
You can watch the detailed recipe in hindi here –