Thursday, 25 June 2015

Quick and Easy Vegetable Biryani

In a Non-Veg household, when it comes to biryani, it ought to be either meat or fish. As a cooking enthusiast, however, how can I not try something which is so popular with Vegetarians. I was running short of time and so chose a quick fix process and my Biryani was ready in less than an hour!! It was delicious and liked by all and now I have an addition to my menu for my vegetarian friends!! 
For the rice
2 cups Basmati rice
3 cardamoms, 5 cloves, 1" cinnamon, 1 bay leaf 
1 tsp salt
1 tsp oil (optional)
For the veggies 
2 cups mixed veggies chopped  (I used a mix of cauliflower, carrots, peas, corn)
2 medium onions sliced 
1" piece ginger minced
4-5 cloves garlic minced 
2-3 green chillies chopped 
2 tbsp biryani masala 
1 tsp red chilli powder 
1 tsp turmeric powder 
1/2 cup yogurt 
2-3 tbsp cashew and raisins 
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup cream
1 tsp shahjeera 
3 cardamoms, 5 cloves, 1" cinnamon, 1 star anise, 1/2 mace, 1 black cardamom 
1 tbsp ghee plus 1 tbsp oil

For the assembly 
2 tsp ghee
2 tbsp fried onions (I used store bought)
Fresh coriander chopped 
Fresh mint leaves chopped 
Rose essence or kewra essence for sprinkling 

Wash and drain the rice and cook with all the ingredients mentioned for the rice till 90% done. Drain and keep aside. 

In a pan, heat the ghee and oil and splutter the shahjeera. Next add the whole garam masala and fry for another minute. Add the ginger garlic mince and the sliced onions and fry till golden. Now add the veggies and stir. Add salt, nuts, and cover and cook on a medium flame till done. 
Meanwhile, whip the yogurt with milk and biryani masala and red chilli powder.
Once the veggies are done, add the yogurt mix and stir. Now add the cream and check for seasoning. Remove from heat. I have a bit of gravy here as otherwise the veggies and the rice become very dry as opposed to using meat where it releases it own juices. 
Now you can either assemble and make it on dum for 30 minutes or use an ovenproof dish. Whatever way you choose, assemble in the following way. 
Put a layer of rice (pick out the bay leaf) and level it. Next add the veggies and top it with some fried onions, coriander, 1 tsp ghee and kewra essence. 

Top the veggie layer with another layer of rice and finish it off with remaining coriander, fried onions, ghee and kewra essence. 
If baking in the oven, pre-heat to 200 degree celcius and bake covered with aluminium foil for 20 minutes. If doing dum on gas, put the vessel on top of an iron tawa and reduce the flame to minimum and cook on dum for 30 minutes. If using microwave, cover with a clingwrap and microwave for 5-7 minutes. Mix the rice and veggies before serving and enjoy!!

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