Origins of Vegetable Biryani
Biryani, biriani, or beriani is a set of rice-based foods made with spices, rice (usually basmati) and meat, fish, eggs or vegetables. Originally rice was fried (without washing) in Ghee (Clarified butter). This gave the rice a nutty flavour and burned the outside starch layer gelatinizing it. It was then boiled in water with spices till half cooked. In Calcutta region, potatoes are the most common item added with cauliflower, carrots, peas, sweet bell peppers and green beans being traditional additions.
Biryani originated in Persia and might have taken couple of different routes to arrive in India. Biryani is derived from the Persian word 'Birian' which means fried or roasted. There are two basic types of Biryani; Kutchi (raw) Biryani, and Pukki (cooked) Biryani. For Kutchi Biryani, raw marinated meat is layered with raw rice. For Pukki Biryani, cooked meat and cooked rice are layered and put in Handi for the finish.
Local variants of this dish are not only popular in South Asia but also in Arabia and within various South Asian communities in Western countries.
Best Vegetable Biryani recipe
2 cups Basmati Rice
1 cup Mixed Vegetables (cauliflower, potato, carrot, French beans)
150 gram Green Peas
3 Finely Sliced Onions
2 Finely Sliced Green Chillies
1 tsp Red Chilli Powder
2 tsp Cinnamon,
2 tsp Caraway Seeds
1/2 tsp Black Pepper Powder
1/2 cup Yogurt (curd)
4 tbsp Vegetable Oil
1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds
3 tbsp Dry Fruits (cashew nuts, raisin)
Salt to taste
Wash the basmati rice well before cooking. Then put rice in 3-3/4 cups water and a little salt and 2 tbsp of dry fruits. Cook it in pressure cooker or in a pan or microwave.
Cut all the vegetables into small thin pieces and fry each one of them separately in oil. Fry the green peas also.
Put 1 tblsp oil in a pan and add mustard seeds, green chilli, cinnamon and caraway seeds powder, cloves, black pepper powder and stir for about half minute. Then add onions and saute them for a minute or till they are translucent. Add salt and red chilli powder and stir. Add finely chopped tomatoes and fry till they are properly cooked. Add yogurt and stir well.Heat it for about 10 seconds.
Add all the fried vegetables. Add the cooked rice and mix well very gently so that the rice grain doesn't break. Cook for about 3 minutes.
Serve this vegetable biryani in a serving dish. Garnish with dry fruits and green coriander leaves. Serve the vegetable biryani hot with raita and pickle.