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Vegetable Biryani

Vegetable Biryani

A very hearty dish that requires quite a few pots to cook the individual layers, but the result is so fulfilling, you will definitely want to invest the time (and dishes!) to make this for Sunday lunch! 

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Ingredients

 

Mixed vegetable curry:

  • 4 Tbsp oil (I use coconut oil)

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1 dry red chilli

  • 2 cinnamon sticks

  • 2 green cardamom pods

  • 2 cloves

  • 2 star anise

  • ½ tsp cumin seeds

  • 1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped

  • 1 tsp green chilli, finely chopped/minced

  • ½ tsp garlic, minced

  • ¾ tsp ginger, minced

  • 2 cups mixed vegetables (green beans, carrots, sweetcorn and peas), fresh/frozen

  • 1 cauliflower head, separated into small florets

  • ½ cup water

  • Salt to taste

  • ½ tsp turmeric powder

  • ½ tsp red chilli powder

  • ½ tsp dhana jeeroo

  • ¼ tsp garam masala

  • ½ tsp biryani masala (optional)

  • ½ cup pureed tomato

  • 1 stem of curry leaves

  • ¼ cup sourmilk

 

Lentils:

  • 1 cup brown lentils (masoor dhal), soaked overnight or 30min

  • Water to boil

  • Salt to taste

 

Rice:

  • 2 cups Basmati rice (I used Biryani Delight)

  • Water to boil

  • Salt to taste

 

Potatoes:

  • 3 medium sized potatoes, peeled and cubed

  • Oil to fry


Other: 

  • Ghee, to coat bottom of pot

  • Handful of chopped coriander to garnish

  • Saffron, few strands soaked in warm water

  • Water to steam

 

Chaas:

  • 2 cups sourmilk

  • ¼ cup water

  • Salt to taste

  • ½ tsp Dhana jeeroo

  • ½ tsp crushed garlic

  • 1 stem of curry leaves, finely chopped

  • Handful of chopped coriander leaves

 

Method

  1. Begin by boiling the brown lentils in water with salt to taste. After about 10 minutes, or once the lentils are cooked, you can strain the water into a glass or add it to the mixed vegetable curry. My granny used to always drink the lentil water because she said it was packed with nutrients. Keep the lentils aside for later.

  2. Boil the rice with water and salt until it is just cooked. Strain and rinse with cold water. Once the water has drained out, set aside the rice for use later.

  3. To make the vegetable curry, heat oil in a pot on medium heat. Add bay leaves, dry red chilli, cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods, cloves, star anise and cumin seeds. Once spices have released their fragrance, add chopped onion. Allow onion to brown slowly on a low heat while preparing the vegetables.

  4. Once onions have browned, add green chilli, garlic and ginger. Add mixed vegetables and cauliflower florets. Add plain water or water strained from lentils. Add salt, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, dhana jeeroo, garam masala and biryani masala.

  5. Once vegetables are almost cooked, add pureed tomato and curry leaves. Once tomatoes are cooked, remove pot from the heat and stir in sourmilk.

  6. In a frying pan, heat oil to deep fry potatoes. Fry on medium heat till potatoes are golden brown and crispy.

  7. Coat the bottom of a large pot with ghee. Start layering the biryani with rice, then lentils, then mixed vegetable curry and potatoes. You should be able to form 3 layers. Save some rice and potatoes for the top layer. Garnish with coriander. Sprinkle the saffron and water on top. Pour ¼ cup of water into the pot, close the lid and steam on a low heat for 10 minutes before serving.

  8. In the meantime, make the chaas by mixing the sourmilk, water, salt, dhana jeeroo, garlic, curry leaves and coriander. Give it a good whisk.

  9. Serve biryani hot, with chaas drizzled on the top.

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