Hyderabadi Vegetable Biryani – Make at home this Diwali season

Say Hyderabadi Biryani and most people partial to non-veg. dishes would jump to that conclusion that it is being talked about. Maybe tasty and delicious but out of bounds for those given to eating pure vegetarian only. The Hyderabadi Vegetarian Biryani has vegetables replacing the non-veg. stuff but prepared well would easily be consumed with relish by the non.veg. eaters too, while most certainly be enjoyed by the Vegetarians.

All those that seek to see it turn out well and earn praises all around, let us make it a memorable Diwali this time.

Hyderabadi Vegetable Biryani

What you will need:

Parboiled Rice (not fully boiled for further boiling)

For parboiling the rice:

  • basmati rice – 2 cups (1cup = 250 ml)
  • bay leaves – 1or 2
  • cloves – 4 or 5
  • peppercorn – 8 or 10
  • black cardamom – 1
  • mace strands – 2 or 3
  • green cardamom – 4 or 5
  • cinnamon stick -1
  • nutmeg powder – a pinch

soak rice in water for 30 mins. then parboil it

For the green paste:img_5100

  • ginger – 1 inch
  • garlic – 6 or 7
  • coriander leaves – 1 cup
  • mint leaves – ½ cup
  • green chillies – 5 or 6

For the biryani:

  • ghee or oil – 2 tbsp
  • green peas – 1 cup
  • long brinjal chopped length wise (optional) – 150 gms
  • medium sized potatoes chopped into chunks or wedges – 3 or 4
  • medium sized cauliflower florets – ½ cup
  • onion chopped into julienne – 6
  • tomatoes chopped finely – 3
  • caraway seed – 1 tsp
  • bay leaves – 2
  • one inch cinnamon stick -2
  • nagkesar – 2 or 3
  • stoneflower – 2 or 3
  • green cardamom – 3 or 4
  • star anise – 2
  • black cardamom – 2
  • peppercorn -7 or 8
  • cloves – 3 or 4
  • nutmeg powder – a pinchveg-biryani-1
  • garam masala powder or biryani masala powder – 5 tbsp
  • turmeric – ½ tsp
  • red chili powder – 1 tsp
  • yogurt beaten until smooth – 1 cup
  • mint leaves  – 14 to 15
  • coriander leaves – 3 tbsp
  • lime juice-2 tbsp
  • few drops of vetiver essence
  • few drops of color optional
  • more ghee for layering rice – 2 tbsp
  • salt as required

For the spice powder: (this is used to sprinkle while layering the biryani for a fragrant biryani)

  • caraway seed – 1 tbsp
  • cloves – 7 or 8
  • green cardamom – 4 or 5
  • mace strands – 2
  • nutmeg powder – a pinch

For the garnish:

  • medium sized onion chopped into julienne – 2
  • ghee or oil – 2 tbsp
  • sugar – 1 tsp
  • salt as per taste

Making the Hyderabadi Biryani

Preparatory steps:

  • For the spice powder dry grind all the ingredients for the spice powder and place aside.veg-bir
  • Soak the basmati rice for 30-40 mins. You just have to par boil the rice (half cook) or cook upto 70%. Don’t cook the rice completely. Remove from fire once the rice is half cooked. Strain the water and keep the rice aside.
  • In the meanwhile for garnish take some ghee or oil in a pan and fry the chopped onion till dark brown and crispy. Add little sugar which aids in caramelizing the onion faster. Place this aside and reserve for layering.
  • For the green paste combine all the ingredients and grind to a smooth paste. Add little water if required. Keep this green paste aside.
  • Take a big wok or vessel. Add water with few spices ( 1 bayleaf, 2 inch Cinnamon stick, 3 green Cardamom, 1 Mace, 4 Cloves, 4 to 5 Pepper corn). Boil the water with all these whole garam masala. Alternatively you could tie the whole spices in a muslin cloth like a potli.
  • Take a heavy bottomed sauce pan heat ghee or oil, Once oil is hot fry the potatoes.
  • Fry them until golden brown in color.
  • Now fry the brinjal until golden brown in color.
  • Remove the brinjal and fry cauliflower florets until golden brown in color.
  • Time to fry the green peas. Fry for 3-4 mins. This way fry all veggies one by one.
  • In the same ghee or oil saute bay leaves, shahi jeera, rest of cloves, pepper corn, cinnamon, stone flower, nag kesar, black cardamom, star anise, nutmeg powder and green cardamom. Fry until they are fragrant and aromatic.
  • Now add chopped onion to it. Fry them until they are light brown in color but on low flame.
  • Put the chopped tomatoes saute and cook until they soften.
  • Add the 1 tablespoon of biryani masala or garam masala powder, ½ teaspoon of turmeric and teaspoon of red chili powder.
  • Add the green paste along with the fried veggies and salt.
  • Cook for 4-5 mins and add the beaten yogurt. Switch off the gas and combine all of them nicely.

1Now we will arrange layers for the biryani.

  • Take another big vessel. Now add half of the above veg. gravy to it.
  • Cover the gravy with half of parboiled rice.
  • Sprinkle a teaspoon of grounded spice powder, some ghee, some food color, kewra water, some lime juice, few mint leaves and coriander leaves to the rice.
  • Now spread the rest of veg gravy and spread evenly.
  • Spread the rest of parboiled rice evenly covering the gravy.
  • Again sprinkle a tsp of grounded spice powder, some ghee, some food color, kewra water, some lime juice, few mint leaves and coriander leaves to the rice.
  • Don’t forget to garnish with fried onion on the top.
  • Heat a iron tava or a thick metal tava on high fire for 5 mins. Place the stacked layers of biryani vessel on the heated pan. Reduce the heat to low.
  • Cover the vessel with an aluminium foil, also cover with a metal lid or plate.

Note: By placing a heavy object also on it the air doesn’t escape out.

Alternatively you could seal the periphery of the vessel with dough covering with a lid and placing an heavy object. This process is important to give dum (pressure) to the biryani.

  • Roughly about 30 mins. later your Hyderabadi Veg Biryani is ready. Switch off the gas.
  • Garnish your Veg. Biryani with fried onion and coriander leaves.
  • Serve your veg biryani hot with salad or raita.
  • easily served for 6 to 7 average persons.

Helpful hints –

  • Ensure the whole cooking process of biryani is done on low heat.
  • Place on heated tawa just similar to preheating the oven if you do not have a tandoor.
  • You could also bake this biryani at 180ºC for 30 mins.
  • You could use any vegetables of your choice to make it interesting for you.
  • Frying the vegetables before adding them saves time in the cooking. Adding directly requires more time for them to cook.
  • See that the rice is cooked separately and is not sticky.

Kind courtesy : www.flavorsofmumbai.com

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