Veg Biriyani


Ingredients (measuring cup used, 1 cup = 250 ml)
for rice marination:
1 heaped cup basmati rice, 200 grams
1 tsp oil
½ tsp salt
for veggie marination:
1 cup curd, 200 grams or 1 cup thick coconut milk, 250 ml
1 to 2 green chilies, chopped
½ tbsp ginger-garlic paste or 4 to 5 garlic and ¾ inch ginger, crushed to a paste in mortar-pestle
90 to 100 grams carrots, 1 medium to large carrot or ½ cup chopped carrots
90 to 100 grams potatoes, 3 small potatoes or 2 medium potatoes or ¾ to 1 cup chopped potatoes
1 medium capsicum or ½ cup chopped capsicum
⅓ cup green peas, fresh or frozen
½ tsp turmeric powder/haldi
½ tsp red chili powder/lal mirch powder
½ tsp garam masala powder (optional)
1 tsp coriander powder/dhania powder
3 tbsp chopped coriander leaves/dhania patta
3 tbsp chopped mint leaves/pudina patta
salt as required
for frying onions:
3 tbsp oil or ghee
165 to 175 grams onions, 1 large onion, sliced or 1 cup sliced onions
whole spices:
1 inch cinnamon/dalchini
3 cloves/lavang
3 green cardamoms/choti elaichi
1 black cardamom/badi elaichi
2 single strands of mace/javitri
½ tsp shah jeera/caraway seeds
5 to 6 black peppers
for layering:
2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
2 tbsp chopped mint leaves
a generous pinch of saffron/kesar
½ inch ginger, julienne or chopped
1 to 2 tsp kewra water or rose water
1 to 1.25 cups water

How to make the recipe:
soaking & marinating rice
rinse rice in water many times, till you see the water clear of starch. then soak the rice in enough water for 30 minutes.
after 30 minutes, strain the water very well from the rice.
add 1 tsp of oil and salt to the rice.
with a spoon or with your hands, mix the salt and oil very well with the rice grains. keep aside.
preparing the veggie mixture:
when the rice is soaking, you can chop and prepare the veggie mixture.
take 1 cup thick coconut milk in a pan or a large mixing bowl.
add the chopped veggies and green peas. chop the veggies in small sizes so that they cook well.
add ginger-garlic paste, green chilies and chopped coriander + mint leaves.
add the spice powders – turmeric powder, red chilli powder, garam masala powder, coriander powder. season with salt too.
mix very well and keep aside. if you want, you can marinate for 15 to 30 minutes.
with curd – take curd in a bowl and whisk till smooth.
then add the spices, green chilies and ginger-garlic paste.
add veggies, coriander + mint leaves and salt.
mix very well and keep aside. you can even marinate for 15 to 30 minutes.
sauteing onions:
next step is to heat a pressure cooker and add 3 tbsp oil. add all he whole spices mentioned above in the list. saute till they crackle and become fragrant.
then add sliced onions.
stir and begin to saute the onions on a low to medium flame.
cooking onions does take some time, so add a pinch of salt to quicken the cooking process.
continue to saute till the onions turn a light golden.
when the onions become golden, switch off the flame.
remove the cooker from the stove top burner and place it on the kitchen table top or slab.
remove half of the fried onions in a plate. keep aside. some shahjeera will also come with the fried onions. but its fine. do not take the other whole spices. keep them in the cooker.
layering and pressure cooking:
with a spoon, evenly spread the fried onions which are in the cooker.
now with a spoon, pour the veggie mixture evenly.
make an even layer of all the veggie mixture.
next spread all the rice evenly on the veggie mixture layer.
spread the fried onions which we kept aside evenly on the rice.
add chopped coriander leaves, mint leaves and chopped ginger or ginger julienne.
sprinkle saffron threads.
now sprinkle rose water or kewra water evenly all over.
now pour water along the sides of the cooker. don't add water in the center. 1.25 cups water will make the rice grains more soft.
cover the cooker with its lid and the vent weight/whistle attached to the lid.
on a low flame cook the biryani for about 20 to 25 minutes. if the pressure cooker whistles, then its fine.
once the pressure settles down, then open the lid and serve the pressure cooker vegetable biryani with your favorite raita, salad or a side gravy.