Today’s post is about a special kind of super-yummy vegetable rice – actually its a cross between a fried rice and a vegetable biriyani, so I will leave the naming ceremony to you guys. It is an easy to make dish, you can try it with fresh / frozen veggies and its super- tasty! It goes very well with a simple green apple raitha(recipe below), pappad and a pickle.
The recipe of this easy vegetable biriyani was shared by my friend Rajani Nair – it was actually passed on to her by her mother. I would like to thank her for this tasty dish! Hope you all would love this as much as we did!
Ingredients ( Serves 5 – 6)
1. Basmati rice – 1.5 cups
2. Vegetables – Mushroom – 250 gm (around 1.5 cup, chopped), Carrot – 1 large, cut into small cubes, Green beans – 1/2 cup, cut into 1/2 inch pieces,
Frozen green peas – 3/4 cup (I used a 225 gm pack of sliced mushroom (and chopped them), a pack of frozen peas and carrots – 340 gm and 10 – 15 green beans, cut into 1/2 inch pieces)
3. Yoghurt – 2 tbsp
4. Salt – To taste
5. Vegetable (or chicken) stock cube (maggi) – 1 ( Mixed in 2 -3 tbsp hot water. It is optional.)
To grind to a coarse mixture
4. Ginger – 1 inch, roughly chopped
Garlic – 8 large cloves, roughly chopped
Green chilies – 8 – 10, halved
5. Onion – 1 medium-large, thinly sliced
Cashews and raisins – 3 tbsp each
Vegetable oil or ghee – 3 tbsp
Cilantro (coriander leaves)– 1/3 cup, chopped
1. Wash and soak the basmati rice in enough water for 25 mts. Meanwhile boil water in a deep vessel. To the boiling water add ghee / oil – 1 tsp, whole spices (cloves – 4 – 5, cardamom – 2, cinnamon stick – 1 inch). Add enough salt. The water should be slightly salty. Now add the soaked rice and cook it until done. Drain the water and set aside.
2. Coarsely grind the ginger, garlic and green chilies. Transfer it to a small bowl and add 2 tbsp yoghurt. Mix well and set aside.
3. Heat 3 – 4 tbsp oil or ghee in a large non-stick pan at medium heat. Fry raisins until plump and drain on a paper towel. Fry cashews until golden and drain. Add the sliced onion and fry until golden brown, stirring in between, takes about 15 minutes at medium heat. Drain on a paper towel. Add the beans, cubed carrots, frozen green peas and mushroom. Water will ooze out from the mushroom. Saute for about 10 – 15 minutes or until all the water is evaporated and the vegetables are dry. Now add the ground ginger-garlic and green chilly mixture mixed with yoghurt. Saute until their raw smell is gone and the veggies are a little browned and well-coated with the ginger-garlic mixture. It takes about 10 minutes. Add the vegetable stock, if using. Mix well and stir for 1 – 2 minutes or until the veggies are just moist. Switch off and set aside.
4. Smear a little ghee on an oven-safe cookware. Add some fried onion, chopped cilantro, cashews and raisins. Now spread some cooked vegetable mixture and then add some cooked rice on top. Repeat the process, the top layer should be that of the rice topped with fried onions, cashews, raisins and cilantro. Bake at 350 F for 20 – 25 minutes. Let rest for 10 mts before serving. Mix the rice gently. Serve this delicious vegetable biriyani hot with green apple raita, a pickle and pappad.
If you do not have an oven, you can cook it on dum (cover the pot with an aluminium foil tightly and place it on a heated tawa and cook on low heat for 8 – 10 minutes) or mix the vegetable mixture, ingredients to garnish and cooked rice after step 3, in a wide non-stick pan. But this tastes best when baked/dum cooked.
Green Apple Raita
- Green apple – 1/2, cut into small cubes
- Onion – 1/2 small, cut into small cubes
- Tomato – 1 medium, seeds removed and cubed
- Salad cucumber – 1/2 small, peeled and cubed
- Green chilly – 1, finely chopped
- Cilantro – 2 tbsp, chopped
- Yoghurt – 3/4 -1 cup, beaten with 1/4 – 1/2 cup water
- Salt – To taste
Transfer all the above ingredients to a large bowl and mix well. Check for salt. Set aside for 10 minutes. Serve with vegetable biriyani.