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Easy Vegetable Biryani


for fried onions

  • 1 cup thinly sliced onions
  • oil for frying

For Biryani

  • 500 gms rice
  • 500 gms vegetables Mix of cauliflower florets, peas, sliced carrots, cut green beans
  • 1/2 C milk
  • 8- 10 strands of saffron
  • 1/4 C mint
  • 1/4 C yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp garam masala use your favorite brand
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 blade of mace
  • 2 green cardamoms
  • 1/4 stick of cinnamon
  • 6-8 black peppercorns
  • 1/2 star anise
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tbs ghee
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 Indian bay leaf tejpatta


Marinate the veggies

  1. Mix the ginger and yogurt. Add the turmeric and cayenne and garam masala.

Fry the onions

  1. You really have to fry the onions for that smoky taste of the onions. And if you simply saute them, they won't be crispy. So throw caution to the wind and fry away.
  2. Fry the onions in oil until lightly browned and crisp. Remove onto a wire mesh, let drain.

Soak the rice

  1. Wash the rice until water runs clean. Then fill a bowl with water, add in rice. let it sit.

Mix the Saffron

  1. warm the milk and add the saffron in

cook the veggies

  1. heat the ghee, add in the cumin and tejpatta, then add the veggies, save the peas till the end.
  2. Cook covered for 10 minutes on medium heat and then add in the rest of the spices after slightly pounding them. (that mortar and pestle you never used? bring it out now)
  3. Add in the salt and peas and cover and cook until veggies are slightly tender. Be sure to not cook them through at this point.

cook rice

  1. Take a big stock pot and bring water to a boil. You can begin this before you start cooking the veggies.
  2. Once the water boils, add in the rice. Stir once and let it come to a boil
  3. Cook the rice al dente. .. about 5 - 7 minutes , then drain.

Assemble the Biryani

  1. To the pot in which you have the vegetables, layer the rice on top. (ensure this pot has a tight fitting lid)
  2. Add the milk and saffron combo to this layered rice and then top it with mint and some fried onions.
  3. Close the lid, and cook on low heat for 30 minutes.
  4. Serve with a raita of chopped onions and tomatoes mixed in with yogurt and seasoned with salt and mint. Add the rest of the fried onions while serving to individual plates.