Biryani, is one amongst the best known and very favorited Indian recipe around the world. Earlier biryanis where made only during a celebration or on any festive days it was prepared with the most richest spices and ingredients, but today it has been simplified to become an everyday meal. Here's on easy (almost) biryani which is one staple food at our home. This will make a great lunch box recipe too. I prefer making it in a pressure cooker as it is a mess free method is easier and yes, definitely saves considerable amount of time. Another notable reason is the rice becomes softer when pressure cooked and does not stay very grainy, a texture which we love back at home. When talking about biryani I rather make meat biryani than vegetable ones as vegetable biryani requires too much of work like peeling and chopping while the meat do not need such fuss. I have posted many biryani recipes which you can check here!
INGREDIENTSServes 5 to 6 people
Total Preparation Time - 40 minutes (depends on how fast you chop the veggies :P )
- Basmati rice - 400 grams
- Vegetables - 300 grams (Use a mix of carrots, peas, cauliflower, potatoes, french beans etc; I used carrots, baby corn and french beans)
- Soya chunks - 15 (optional)
- Onion - 4 or 5
- Tomato - 2
- Green chillies - 5
- Lemon - 1
- Mint leaves and Coriander Leaves - 50 grams
- Coriander powder - 3 teaspoons
- Cumin powder - 2 teaspoons
- Garam masala - 1/2 teaspoon
- Turmeric powder - 1/4 teaspoon (Just for the color)
- Salt - 2.5 teaspoons
- Fennel seeds - 1 tablespoon
- Cloves - 8
- Star anise - 3
- Bay leaf - 2
- Green cardamom pods - 12
- Cinnamon stick - 5 two inch long sticks
- Kalpasi / Black stone flower - 2 small pieces (optional)
- Cashew nuts - 10 (optional)
- Oil - 100 to 150 ml (or 50 ml ghee and + 100 ml oil)
- Water - 1000 ml (one litre)
- Wash and soak basmati rice in water for 10 to 20 minutes.
- Wash, peel and chop all the veggies into medium sized cubes or pieces. Wash and chop coriander leaves, I use the tender stems too, then wash pluck the mint leaves.
- If using coconut milk, take half of a coconut and chop into smaller pieces, grind well by adding some water. Then pour 200 ml of water mix and pour through a thin cloth or sieve extract the milk set aside. Discard the coconut pulp.
- If using soya chunks follow this method to clean and use in the recipe.
- Place a cooker on flame and pour oil into it. After it heats up, add Fennel seeds, cloves, cardamom pods, star anise, bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, kalpasi and saute for a few seconds. Do not let it burn.
- Then add slit green chillies, sliced onion, cashews (if using) and saute until onions seem half cooked. Then add cubed tomatoes, ginger garlic paste and saute until raw smell leaves.
- Now add the mint and coriander leaves and saute until the leaves shrinks.
- Add garam masala, cumin powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, salt and saute. (You can add 3 teaspoons of red chilli powder if you want the biryani to be spicier)
- Now add the chopped vegetables (soaked soya chunks if using) and give a good stir so that it gets mixed up well with the masala.
- Then drain water and add the soaked basmati rice. Stir gently so that the rice grains do not break.
- Pour one litre of water. (Use the same cup to measure rice and water; water : rice ratio should be 2:1) If using coconut milk add 500 ml coconut milk and 500 ml water.
- Squeeze and pour lemon juice and stir.
- Check for salt, add if needed.
- Cover with the cooker lid and switch to high flame. Wait until the steam oozes out and then place the regulator or weight and cook on low flame for 10 minutes.
- Then remove from flame and set aside undisturbed until the pressure drops.
- Then open the cooker and serve hot with raita.
TIP 1: You can add different vegetables of your choice, but make sure not to dump with too much of vegetables. Mushrooms, beetroots, cauliflower, butterbeans, broccoli, baby corn, potato, baby potato etc can be used. If using 400 grams rice use 300 to 400 grams vegetables not more than that.
TIP 2: You can also make with other rice varieties but basmati rice suits the dish well. Soaking basmati will give a better texture, the rice will stay non-sticky and soft for a long time. But you can cook even without soaking.