Aromatic saffron rice layered with a spicy gravy of vegetables. You can make a baked version of veggie biryani by assembling the rice in a baking dish and baking for 10 minutes at 150 C.
for the rice
- 3 cups cooked long-grain rice
- 1⁄2 teaspoon saffron (kesar)
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 4 tablespoons finely chopped mint leaves (phudina)
for the gravy
- 1 cup mixed boiled vegetables (cauliflower florets, peas, french beans)
- 2 bay leaves (tejpatta)
- 4 peppercorns
- 4 cloves (laung or lavang)
- 2 cups chopped tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1⁄4 teaspoon asafetida powder (hing)
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (jaiphal)
- 1⁄4 cup tomato sauce
- 1⁄2 teaspoon cornflour, mixed with
- 1⁄2 cup milk
- 1⁄4 cup cream
- 2 teaspoons kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons oil
- For the rice.
- Warm the saffron, add a little water, rub it so the milk becomes yellow and add to the rice.
- Mix in the rice, chopped mint leaves and salt and keep aside.
- For the gravy.
- Heat the oil in a pan add bay leaves, peppercorns and cloves to it.
- Add the chopped tomatoes, chili powder, coriander-cumin seed powder, asafetida and nutmeg powder. Cook for a few minutes while mashing continuously till the oil separates from the mixture.
- Add the tomato sauce and milk-corn flour mixture. Bring to a boil, add cream and mix well.
- Mix the vegetables in the gravy and keep aside.
- How to proceed.
- Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a huge vessel make a layer by spreading 1/3 of the rice.
- On it spread half the gravy and 1/3 of rice. Layer again with remaining half of the gravy and remaining 1/3 rice. Cover a lid and seal the edges with a dough.
- Cook on a slow flame for 20 to 25 minutes. Serve hot.
This was my first time making biryani. This was a flavorful dish that was not difficult to make. I didn't have dried fenugreek leaves, so I used a little lesser amount of ground fenugreek. For my vegetable mix, I used broccoli florets, carrot, and peas. This is a great way to use up small quantities of those leftover veggies. We did not feel that this recipe needed a "huge" pot. I served the biryani with garlic naan from Trader Joe's. I would have this again. Thanks!