Veg biryani is an aromatic rice dish made by cooking basmati rice with mix veggies, herbs & biryani spices. Traditionally Biryani was made by dum cooking marinated meat with basmati rice & spices. Making a vegetarian version becomes much simpler as the veggies need no marination. This recipe yields a perfect lightly spiced & aromatic veg biryani loaded with veggies. It only takes 30 minutes to prepare & makes a perfect meal for your hubby or kids lunch box.
I have made this veg biryani in a pressure cooker but have included instructions for making it in a regular pot as well.
If you have the time and patience to make a elaborate dum biriyani, then you may try this delicious veg dum biryani. There is more preparation work and is time consuming. You may also like this restaurant style vegetable biryani.
I do make this pressure cooker veg biryani often since it doesn’t require much preparation. It is not time consuming and yet tastes good. It is flavorful on its own and can be served without any side dishes. But if you prefer you can serve with a simple sherva/ shorba, bagara baingan, mirchi ka salan or raita. You can find a collection of raita recipes here.
Veg biryani recipe
Ingredients (1 cup = 240ml )
Ingredients for veg biryani
- 1 ½ cup basmati rice (soaked for at least 10 mins)
- 1 potato cubed (aloo)
- 1 carrot chopped (gajar)
- ¼ cup green peas or matar
- 1 medium onion sliced
- 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
- Handful mint leaves or pudina chopped
- Handful coriander leaves chopped
- 1 to 2 green chili (slit)
- 1 ½ to 2 tsp Biryani Masala Powder (adjust to suit your taste)
- 1 small tomato (optional) chopped
- 2 ½ cups water or thin coconut milk
- 2 to 3 tbsp Oil (or ghee)
- 10 fried cashews or fried capsicum for garnish (optional)
- 1 bay leaf (or tej patta)
- 4 green cardamoms (or elaichi)
- 1 star anise (or chakri phool)
- 2 inch cinnamon (or dalchini)
- 6 cloves (or laung)
- ½ tsp shahi jeera or jeera or cumin
- 1 tbsp lemon juice (optional)
Preparation for veg biryani
- Soak rice for at least 10 minutes. Drain the water and set aside.
- Chop all the veggies and mint. Keep these aside as well.
How to make veg biryani
- Add oil to a pressure cooker or pot and heat it.
- Next add whole spices and fry till you get a nice aroma for one to 2 minutes.
- Fry onions and green chilies until golden.
- Add ginger garlic paste and saute until the raw smell has gone off. Add tomatoes if using and cook until it turns mushy & soft.
- Next put in all chopped vegetables and fry for about 2 minutes.
- Add mint leaves, biryani masala and saute again for 2 more minutes.
- Measure and pour 2 ½ water or coconut milk. Add salt and lemon juice. If making veg biryani in a pot then pour 2 ¾ cups water.
- Stir well and taste the water. If needed add more salt.
- When the water begins to boil, add drained rice and mix.
- For pressure cooking: Close the lid and let the cooker whistle once on a medium flame. Turn off the stove. For al dente non mushy veg biryani, I release the pressure after 2 mins using a wooden spatula. When the pressure goes down, open the lid and fluff up with a fork.
- If cooking in a pot, cook covered on a low flame until the water is absorbed and the rice is cooked fully. Turn off the stove.
- Serve veg biryani with raita.
Notes for veg biryani recipeIf rice is not cooked, just sprinkle some water and cover with a loose lid and cook for few more mins
If it becomes mushy, reduce the qty of water the next time you cook.
You can use store bought biryani masala powder. Using too much of masala powder can make your veg biryani bitter. So adjust the powder according to your taste.
Video of veg biryani
You can make this veg biryani in 2 ways. I have shown the first one in the video & the second one in the recipe card & step wise pictures. To make the veg biryani in first method as shown in the video use all the ingredients mentioned reduce the water to 2¼ cups & use half cup curd or yogurt. If using saffron soak 1 pinch of it in 2 tbsps hot milk. This is optional.
How to make veg biryani
1. Wash rice until water runs clear. Soak it till you begin to cook.
2. Heat a pressure cooker with oil. Add spices – cinnamon, star flower, cardamom, cloves, bay leaf and shahi jeera. Saute for one to two minutes until they begin to crackle.
3. Add onions and slit green chilies. Fry them until golden.
4. Next add ginger garlic paste.
5. Again fry till the raw smell goes away. Optional step – add in the chopped tomato & saute until the masala leaves the pan. I do not use tomato in this veg biryani as my kids don’t like it.
Frying veggies for veg biryani
6. Transfer the veggies. Saute on a medium to high flame for 2 to 3 minutes. I have used potato, peas, onions, carrots and french beans. You can also add soya chunks if you like. To add soya chunks, soak them in hot water until soft. Squeeze up the water. Rinse a few times and squeeze them completely. Then add here.
7. Add mint leaves and biryani masala powder. I suggest using a good biriyani masala powder. You can also check this Biryani masala powder recipe.
8. Fry again for another 2 minutes.
9. Pour water and add salt. You can add lemon juice now or after cooking.
10. Stir well and bring the water to a rapid boil. Drain the water completely from rice and add it to the boiling pan of water.
Cooking veg biryani
11. On a medium flame cook till very little water is left. You can adjust the salt and biriyani masala powder here. Add little more masala powder, if your rice is very light in color. I had to add a bit more. Close the pressure cooker lid. Cook for about 5 minutes on a very low flame. Do not let the cooker whistle. Off the stove.
10. Or another method is to cover the pressure cooker immediately after adding rice. Cook on a low flame for one whistle. I manually release the pressure with the help of a wooden spoon after 2 to 3 mins.
11. When the pressure goes off, open the lid.
12. Lastly fluff up the veg biryani with a fork gently and add lemon juice if desired.
I garnished with fried capsicum and mint leaves. Serve veg biryani with raita.