Hara Bhara Biriyani (Vegetable Biriyani)

Vegetable Biriyani
   We are back with yet another biriyani recipe….and trust me, the recipe is surely gonna find its way to your recipe collections, if you give it a try! This biriyani is simple to make, it’s nutritious and tastes yummy!!! The method is different from the usual biriyanis and has no time-consuming steps like layering or baking. Being an ardent lover of chicken biriyani and other non-veg biriyanis, I have never before tried the veggie version. But this simple recipe won my heart and am sure you guys will love it too!  

Ingredients (Serves – 4 – 5)

  1. Basmati rice – 2 cups
  2. Hot water – 4 cups (Use 2 cups of water for 1 cup basmati rice. Some varieties of rice may need only 1.5 cup of water)
  3. Ginger – garlic paste – 1 tsp
  4. Tomato puree – 2 tbsp (You can seed and grind one small tomato)
  5. Onion – 2 small, thinly sliced
  6. Paneer – 1/4 kg, cubed
  7. Carrot – 2 small, cubed
  8. Cauliflower – 3/4 – 1 cup, cut into small florets
  9. Frozen green peas – 1/4 cup
  10. Cilantro – 3 tbsp, chopped
  11. Mint -3 tbsp, chopped
  12. Whole spices – (Bay leaves – 2 – 3, Cinnamon stick – 2, Cloves – 6 – 7, Cardamom – 3 -4 , mace – 2 – 3, whole pepper – 5 – 6)
  13. Garam masala  powder – 1 tsp
  14. Cumin powder – 2 pinches
  15. chilly powder – 1/ 4 tsp
  16. Raisins – 3 tbsp
  17. Cashews – 3 tbsp
  18. Salt – To taste
  19. Oil/ ghee – As required


1. Wash the rice well and keep aside to drain.
2. Heat enough oil (around 1/4 – 1/2 cup) in a deep pan and fry the raisins, then cashews. Drain on to a paper towel. Add in the sliced onions and fry until brown.  Drain on to a paper towel. Now fry the paneer cubes until lightly browned. Drain on to a paper towel and keep aside.
3. Heat 1.5 tbsp oil/ghee in a heavy-bottomed vessel and fry the whole garam masala for a few seconds. Now add the ginger-garlic paste. Fry for a minute and stir in the tomato puree. Saute until oil separates. Add the garam masala powder, cumin powder, chilli powder, little salt and the vegetables (cubed carrots and cauliflower pieces). Saute for 4 – 5 minutes and add the drained rice. Saute for 2 – 3 minutes.  Mix in some of the fried onion, chopped cilantro and mint.
4. Add around 4 cups of water to the pan. Adjust the salt. The water should be slightly salty. When the water starts boiling, add the frozen green peas. Cover and cook for 4 minutes over medium-high heat. Bring down the heat to low and cook for 4 – 6 minutes until the water is completely absorbed and rice is done. Keep covered for 10 minutes. Open the lid and fluff gently. Add in the fried onion, cashews, raisins, chopped mint, cilantro and paneer cubes. (I usually transfer the rice – veggie mixture to a pressure cooker after step 3 and add around 4 cups hot water (in which enough salt has been added). Add frozen green peas. Mix everything well and check for salt. The water should be slightly salty. Cover the pressure cooker with its lid. When steam starts coming out continuously, put on the pressure cooker weight. Cook for one whistle at medium-high heat. Remove from fire. Keep aside for 7 – 10 minutes. Open the pressure cooker. The rice would be cooked to the right consistency. Fluff gently). Transfer the rice to a serving bowl. Stir in the fried paneer cubes, remaining fried onions, cashews, raisins, chopped mint and cilantro. Mix well. Serve with raita, pickle, chutney or any spicy curry.

Vegetable Biriyani

1) You could also cook this biriyani in a rice cooker after step 3.

Maya Akhil

Wife, Mother, Blogger and above all, an ardent lover of good food. I cook, serve, and eat with almost the same passion. The divine aroma that fills the kitchen when I cook or bake is simply what keeps me going!

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