This Vegetable Biryani is an authentic Indian vegetarian recipe packed with your favorite rice, vegetables and spices. Made with patience and lots of love, this delicious dum biryani requires both care and attention to detail. The tasty flavors of your first bite are well worth the time and effort spent in the kitchen.
Table of Contents
What is Biryani
Why this recipe works
How to make Vegetable Biryani (step by step photos)
What is Biryani
In simple words, Biryani is a curry rice casserole. The curry can be meat or vegetable based.
As in some baked and layered pasta dishes, the curry is topped with semi-cooked rice, which is then baked or cooked until the rice is fully cooked and the rice has absorbed the curry or sauce.
The meat is usually marinated and cooked later for curries, but no marinade is required or done for vegetables.
Biryani is also spelled as Biriyani and it is popular not only in India but also in South Asia.
What is dumb cooking?
Dum cooking is also known as dum pukht or dum cooking. The dum pukht cooking method comes from Persia.
It is a technique or method of slow cooking food in hermetically sealed clay pots. The various layers of food or ingredients are kept in a crock pot or saucepan which is then hermetically sealed with wheat flour dough.
Since the pot is well sealed, steam cannot escape from it. The result is that the ingredients or layers of the food cook slowly in the steam that emanates from the pot and in their own juices, which makes the food very tasty.
Clay pots are traditionally used to make dum biryani. Nutrients are not lost in this process and therefore undercooked foods are nutritious.
Why this recipe works
This Hyderabadi veggie biryani is one of the best vegetarian biryani recipes I make, loved by friends, family, and readers alike for over 10 years.
There are hundreds of different variations to making a veggie biryani recipe, each with its own unique tastes, ingredients, and flavors, but my tried-and-true recipe is loosely inspired by my mom’s version and a Jigg Kalra book out there. bought decades ago.
Over the years, I have experimented with this veggie biryani recipe with different ingredient ratios. And I finally came up with the perfect recipe that is insanely delicious and makes you ask for more.
I’ve forgotten how many times I made this veg dum biryani recipe for family, friends, and gatherings. It has always been a much loved dish on the dining room table.
In my opinion, recipes always turn out even better when they are linked to love and care!
This version of veg dum biryani is light, a little spicy, and super delicious. The subtle flavors of garam masala, caramelized onions, and yogurt blend perfectly into the chunks of veggies.
Each bite has the taste, flavor and aroma of masala, as well as the unique flavor of vegetables. It really is a perfectly balanced dish.
What ingredients should I use?
Rice: I prefer to use aged basmati rice, but regular basmati rice is also appropriate.
Water: To soak the rice and to cook the vegetable sauce and the rice. You will also need kewra water (pandanus extract) or rose water to layer the dish.
Vegetables: Vegetable biryani can be made with just one vegetable or with several different types of vegetables. I like to add a variety of veggies when making this vegetarian dish. In this recipe, I added a mixture of cauliflower, onions, potatoes, carrots, beans, bell pepper, mushrooms, and peas. You can even add eggplant, cabbage, broccoli, spinach, and kale to your veg dum biryani.
Dairy: Ghee or clarified butter, curd (yogurt) and milk.
Nuts: Cashews and almonds.
Seasonings: cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, tej patta (Indian bay leaf), mace and saffron threads, salt, turmeric powder, red chili powder, or cayenne pepper or paprika.
Other Ingredients: Shah jeera (caraway seeds), raisins (without seeds), ginger, garlic, chili peppers, coriander or coriander leaves, mint leaves
Step by step guide
How to make vegetable biryani
Soak the rice
1. First, rinse 1.5 cups of basmati rice (300 grams) in clean water until the water runs without starch. You can use a bowl or strainer to rinse the rice. Make sure to soak the rice grains in water for 30 minutes after rinsing them.
Prepare the vegetables
3. While the basmati rice is soaking, use this time to prepare the other ingredients. First, you will want to rinse, peel, and chop all the vegetables. This will make the cooking process much faster.
What to use: I have used 3 cups of mixed vegetables, including peas. You can use your choice of mixed vegetables for your veg dum biryani.
Onion: Thinly slice 1 large onion (about 1 heaping cup of thinly sliced onion).
Ginger: Finely chop or crush 10 grams of ginger (2 2-inch pieces of ginger or 1.5 tablespoons of finely minced ginger). You should get 1 tablespoon of ginger paste.
Garlic: Finely chop or crush 5 grams of garlic (10 to 12 medium garlic cloves or 1 tablespoon finely minced garlic). You will need ½ tablespoon of garlic paste.
Chiles: Cut 3-4 green chilies.
Cook the rice
4. After you have organized and chopped all the vegetables, it is time to cook the basmati rice. You can use any method to cook your rice: microwave, pressure cook, instant cooker, or cook in a pot.
If cooking rice in a pot, use a deep-bottomed skillet and add 5 cups of water.
Make vegetable sauce
12. In a 2-liter pressure cooker or skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of the ghee, then add the following spices. Sauté whole spices until crisp. You can also prepare the vegetable sauce in a skillet.
1 teaspoon shah jeera (caraway seeds)
1 tej patta
3 green cardamoms
1 black cardamom
Method 3 – Bake
41. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes and then bake the vegetable biryani in a preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes.
Remember to use a glass container or an oven safe casserole like the pyrex container or use a Dutch oven.
You have to assemble the vegetable biryani as mentioned above in the casserole or in your Dutch oven. Seal tightly with aluminum foil or an oven safe heat resistant lid then bake.
Check Cooked Biryani
42. After 30 to 25 minutes, turn off the flame and with a fork or spoon, check the bottom layer of the biryani. There should be no liquid at the bottom.
If there are liquids, continue cooking. After slow cooking, allow 5-7 minutes to stand, then serve hyderabadi veg biryani.
While serving the dum biryani vegetables, be sure to serve the vegetables and rice layers equally.
What do you eat with Veg Biryani?
There are several sides that go best with a vegetable biryani. Biryani is usually accompanied by a raita (yogurt sauce). The raita can be a simple onion raita or prepared with a mixture of onion, tomatoes and cucumber.
While we personally love cucumber raita, tomato onion raita, and boondi raita, you can enjoy biryani with any savory raita you like.
You can also combine it with Kachumber salad (onion and tomato salad), cottage cheese (yogurt), mango pickle, a few lemon wedges or roast potato.
Hyderabadi vegetable biryani is usually served with Mirchi ka Salan (cold green curry) and raita. If desired, you can serve biryani with a simple thick shorba sauce.
You can also enjoy veg biryani as is, without any garnishes or accompaniments.
Store leftover biryani in your refrigerator for just one day. While reheating steam for 5 minutes in a skillet or Instant Pot. You can even lightly sauté the veggie biryani by stirring frequently in a skillet or skillet until warm or hot.
Ingredient Notes and Variations
Rice: To make a biryani you first need good quality basmati rice, preferably aged basmati rice. The biryani is not soft and the rice grains remain perfectly separated on the plate. For this recipe I included aged basmati rice.
Sella Basmati Rice: I also make biryani with parboiled basmati rice (known as sella basmati rice in Hindi and basmati rice converted outside of India) and it works wonders and way better than aged basmati rice. Biryani made with sella basmati rice has restaurant flavors, as many hotels and restaurants in India use this rice to make biryani, as well as other rice-based dishes such as Pulao, fried rice, and Jeera rice (rice with cumin).
Rice cooking: The rice grains are boiled until ¾ cooked. They will have a slight bite and will be a little undercooked. Do not cook the rice 100% as it will become mushy when the biryani is cooked.
Spices: The lovely fragrance and aroma of a biryani comes from the use of whole spices. Therefore, the spices must be fresh and in good condition.
Curd (Yogurt): Vegetable curry is made with yogurt so it is important that the yogurt is fresh and not sour. Curd or yogurt should also be made with whole milk. Do not use nonfat yogurt or curd made with toned milk, as it will split during cooking.
Biryani Sauce: The curry or sauce for the vegetable biryani should have a medium to moderately thick consistency. It should not be watery like a broth or broth, as this will cause the rice to become mushy or very soft after gentle cooking.
Vegan variation: use almond milk yogurt or cashew milk yogurt. Replace the ghee (clarified butter) with oil. You can use any vegetable oil or oil with a neutral flavor.
One pot biryani: Although most biryani are layered and cooked, there are several one pot biryani dishes, specifically in the southern parts of India where biryani is cooked much like the way in which a pulao is made by adding all the ingredients in a pot and dum cooking them.
Proteins: Biryani, although generally made with meat, is also made with shellfish, eggs, paneer (cottage cheese), mushrooms, and vegetables. In some versions of biryani, the curry or sauce is made with eggs and vegetables or meat and vegetables.
Spices – Spices, aromatics and flavoring ingredients also differ greatly from state to state in India. For example, in South India, you will see the addition of curry leaves, black pepper, coconut milk, coriander, etc. So no two biryani dishes taste the same.
Biryani Masala: Sometimes biryani is made with a special type of ground spice mix known as Biryani Masala. This spice mix is made by grinding whole spices that are usually added to a biryani. In this recipe it is not necessary to add biryani masala. Only whole spices are enough.
What can I decorate the vegetable biryani with?
In some variations, layers of semi-cooked rice or curry are topped with fried onions (also known as birista) and fragrant ingredients such as rose water, pandanus extract (kewra water), and saffron-infused milk, ghee (clarified butter ) is also sprayed from the top.
Herbs like coriander leaves and mint are additional garnishes that add a bright touch of flavor and color.
What is dum pukht biryani?
Any biryani cooked with the dum cooking method is a dum pukht biryani. It is made by making separate layers of half-cooked rice and sauce. All this assembly of the semi-cooked rice and sauce with the different toppings, the garnishes are hermetically sealed in a crock pot and then slowly cooked over low heat.
In an authentic and traditional way, a biryani is always cooked slowly over dum. This dum cooking gives the biriyani its uniqueness and originality. This is how biryani has the beautiful blend of aromas, flavors, and flavors from the variety of ingredients that are added to it. This hyderabadi veg biryani recipe is also a vegetarian dum pukht biryani.
How is traditional biryani made?
In Indian cuisine, specifically North Indian cuisine, traditional biryani is made using the dum pukht method of slow cooking in clay pots (also known as “handi” in India).
Of course, today many home cooks even bake biryani in the oven. In the step-by-step process shots above, I have explained the methods of dum cooking and baking in the oven, so you can choose what suits you best.