Biryani is a very complex dish, it requires a eyeballing of ingredients and perfect hands on technique. They say the more complex a Biryani is, the more delicious it tastes! In India we have a huge variety of Biryani that is prepared in both veg and non veg version. The non vegetarians though have more choices as in Fish, prawn, crab, chicken, beef, mutton, pork etc. And technically there is no such authentic recipe for Veg Biryani. Vegtable Biryani eveolved with time looking into the need of Biryani treat for the vegetarians. But i’m glad that the evolution turned out to be equally delicious than a chicken or a mutton biryani.
An equally complex recipe that requires a variety of colorful vegetables cooked exactly the way a non veg Biryani is made. Yakhni goes with semi cooked rice to cook on dum is a rich and flavorful recipe that leaves your guest licking their fingers. Best served with Burani or onion and mint raita along with some onion salad, this Biryani recipe will surely make you a star in your kitchen.
Styled on the beautiful tray and slate board gifted by Better Butter and Madras Prop Store, check out the detailed recipe below and do try making at home and share your feedback with me in comments below.
Wash and soak rice in fresh clean water for 45 mins before cooking. Now take enough water (double the quantity of rice) in a thick bottomed pan and add rice along with 1 stick cinnamon, few black pepper and cloves, salt and 2 tbsp ghee. Cook rice till it’s 80% cooked. Strain water and collect the rice in another flat bottomed tray and keep aside. Heat ghee in a thick bottomed pan or handi and add 2 sliced onions and fry till golden in color. Collect the fried onions in a plate and keep aside. In the remaining ghee add whole spices and wait till they splutter. Make sure they don’t burn. Now add rest 2 sliced onions and fry till they sweat. Add in the ginger and garlic paste along with some slit green chilies and fry till golden in color. Now add in the fresh cut vegetables and mix well to fry. Meanwhile take 1 cup of curd and add coriander powder and red chili powder in it and make a smooth paste. Pour in the prepared curd mix into the vegetables and mix well. The curd will start leaving water from sides so don’t add extra water in the pan to cook the vegetables. Adjust salt as per taste and Fry the vegetables with curd mix on high flames till the ghee starts leaving out from the sides. Once the vegetables are partially cooked, let’s start layering the biryani and keep it on dum. Take a thick bottomed handi or pan in which you want to cook the final biryani. Spread around 2-3 tbsp of fresh curd on the bottom of the pan, This wont stick the rice on the surface. Divide the cooked rice into three portions, and spread the first portion of rice in the bottom of the pan. Now take the left over curd and spread it all over the first layer of rice. Now again spread the second portion of rice evenly and then add the cooked vegetable yakhni on top of the second layer of rice. Lastly spread the third portion of rice all over the yakhni covering it completely. Whisk fresh cream or home made malai in a bowl and spread all over the last layer of rice. Now top the biryani with fried onions, finely chopped mint and coriander and some green chilies. Sprinkle some lemon juice all over (optional) and spread saffron soaked milk on top. Take the wheat flour dough and make a thick ribbon out of it and place it on the rim of the pan/handi and close the lid of the handi pressing it gently such that the dough seals the hand completely from all sides. Place a heavy bowl or “sil batta” on the top of the handi to ensure the aroma is intact. Let the Biryani cook on dum for next 30 mins or till the dough is cooked and gets hard. Now open the lid carefully and mix the biryani from one side. Serve hot with onion and mint raita along with some salad and enjoy!