- One Potato - dices into small cube sized pieces and soak in water
- Beans - about 10 of them chopped into medium pieces, soak in water
- Carrot - about 2 of them chopped into medium pieces, and soak in water
- Onions - big ones, 2 of them sliced thin and long
- Green peas - a handful
- Mint and Coriander leaves - one medium sized bowl
- Ghee - 2 to 3 teaspoons
- Curd - 4 tea spoons
- Groundnut oil - 4 to 6 teaspoons for the onions to caramelize (same can be later used for vegetables to be cooked), 4 teaspoons for the spices to be cooked along with rice
- Basmati rice - One cup upto brim (standard cup measure)
- Multi spices pack - 2 packs (contains cloves, elaichi, cinnamon, star anise)
- Bay leaves - 3-4 for vegetables, 2-3 for rice
- Shahi jeera - for vegetables (2-3 teaspoons)
- Turmeric powder, chilli powder, garam masala, biriyani masala, salt, cumin powder
- Ginger garlic paste - 2-3 teaspoons
- Methi leaves - half a handful
- Chillies to taste (I used one long chilli, you can desire to add 2) - diced into medium pieces
You need 2-3 vessels. Of these one is a small one for caramelizing onions. The other two are fairly bigger and preferably made of cast iron as it to withstand cooking heat.
Of the diced onions, take 1/3 of that and fry it in the oil, until they start turning golden brown. You need to keep stirring and turning them around and the moment you see them moving towards reddish brown colour, take them out and let them dry and cool off on a tissue so that all oil is removed. Keep these caramelized onions for later.
Rice Prep - Parallel step 1
You need to do these steps in parallel with the next one which is veggie saute, but you can start this one so rice keeps cooking when we do the veggies. For this we begin doing as below
- one cup basmati rice filled to brim is to be washed in water and all the dust to be removed
- Put 3-4 teaspoons of oil in a vessel and add spices to the oil once its warm
- Add 1/2 handful shahi jeera, 3-4 cloves, 2-3 bay leaves, 2 cinnamon bark pieces, 3-4 elaichi and nicely fry in oil
- Once you smell the aroma and its sufficiently fried, add the washed rice into the vessel and 2.5 cups of water (using the same cup as the rice was measured in) to the vessel
- Add one spoon of salt and keep the flame low to cook the rice, vessel can be kept open as this will give time for you to do step 2 below
Veggie saute - Parallel step 2
Take 4-6 teaspoons of oil in a vessel and heat it. Add 4-6 elaichi, 3-4 cloves, 3 bay leaves, half a handful shahi jeera, and 2-3 cinnamon bark pieces to the hot oil. You can feel the aroma as you gently turn them around in the oil. Always keep the heat at medium or low. Never on the high side as it can burn the vessel and the food inside leaving it utterly distasteful.
Add the chillies and stir
Add the shahi jeera and stir
Add 2/3rds of the uncaramelized onions and continue stirring.
Add 1.5 spoons of salt, 1/2 spoon turmeric, 1/2 spoon red chilli powder, 1 spoon cumin powder, 1 spoon biriyani masala, 1/2 spoon garam masala
Potatoes naturally have water content in them which is needed while stirring when oil content goes low, so add these first along with the ingredients already added so far. Stir these potatoes nicely into the spicy mixture until the absorb all the spices well. At this stage the potatoes will begin to let out the water they have so we need to continue with others
Add the carrots next, and add 1/2 spoon salt more and stir
Next is Beans and green peas - add these and continue stirring
Add 1/2 spoon turmeric, 2 spoons garlic ginger paste, 1/2 spoon of garam masala, 1/2 spoon biryani masala, 1/2 spoon red chilli powder, 1/2 spoon cumin powder and saute the vegetables well.
Tip: If you find vessel is losing water and oil content and going dry, take some water into your palm and sprinkle it into vessel. Max only 2 times in one go, and continue stirring. You can do this sprinkling water two times, again a total of only two times. Only to ensure that vessel is never dry.
Bonus tip : never keep stove in high it will burn the vessel and burn your food. The last thing you need is this.
You need to keep the vessel oiled and moist at all times until the veggies consume all the spices.
Bringing everything together
- Once the veggies are prepared, switch off the flame, it will remain warm (dont close the veggies)
- At this stage the carrots and potatoes will feel undercooked. To check spice content, eat a cooked carrot piece and if you feel ok, then nothing more to add. It is ok for it to be little salty and if you need more spice add chilli powder and saute it with a spoon of oil and half a handful of water until the spices merge to the preparation
Getting the Biryani together
- Take a fresh cast iron vessel, into this pour all the veggies prepared and form a bed of veggies
- Next put the semi cooked rice and form a bed of rice on the veggies
- Add 3 teaspoon of melted ghee to the top all around
- On this rice, put coriander and mint leaves all over and add caramelized onions as well
- Next put more rice on top of that and again form a bed of rice
- Add more mint and coriander leaves and the rest of the onions on top
- You can add ghevar water and saffron to this on top if you want it, I did not use both
- Add 2-3 teaspoon ghee again on top
- Now put this whole thing on low flame, close the top of the vessel and let the mixture cook for 5 minutes (not more than this because everything is already cooked and just needs to finish)
- After 5 mins, sprinkle half a handful of water into the container at top, close the vessel again for 5 minutes
- Turn off the stove and wait another 5-10 minutes as the remaining heat will let the veggies cook fully underneath as well as allow rice to be fully cooked state (you can break the rice with your fingers to see if its cooked)
Take a tablespoon and go from top all the way until the end of the vessel to pick rice, veggies everything in one go, and serve onto the plate for eating. Biryani can be served with curd raitha to make it tasty for your guests.
This set of measures are such that the Biryani made would be suitable for two to four people.
Enjoy your meal and let me know if you got the taste right in the comments !
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