Biryani is one of my favorite ways to feed my children vegetables without them whining. This dish is rich and filling with all the good nutritional value the mix of vegetables brings to one plate. So here to the vegetable biryani, the easy way.
Vegetables, in general, are bland and need something extra to boost their flavor. Learning about different cuisines could be one answer to what could be the flavor booster for your vegetables.
Indian cuisine is one of the most famous cuisines worldwide. The different colors and spices are beautiful. And for heat lovers, it might be the dream food.
The spices used in Indian cuisine are rich enough to mask any undesirable vegetables. Kids are more likely to eat greens if camouflaged under another color or taste.
Biryani has become my go-to meal for an easy-filling dinner. It is a great recipe, other than soup, to clean up your fridge from unused vegetables.
It is an All-one meal that you can make in one pot. Of course, you must pre-cook the rice, but that’s it. You don’t need to bring out all your pots and bowl to make dinner. I also like the idea of chopping or dicing everything without extra effort to make them all even.
It is also a one-size-fits-all recipe. You can make it with beef, chicken, and even shrimp. But it can easily be made vegetarian and will be just as delicious.
What kind of vegetables do you need?
You will need mostly root vegetables, but anything will work. I usually use turnips, carrots, potatoes, peas, and green beans. It all depends on the season. In the warm season, you may use potatoes, green beans, tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, corn, and peppers; carrots, peas, potatoes, turnips, and even leafy greens in the cool season.
Does biryani seem like a complicated dish?
My apologies to my Indian friends, but you don’t have to follow all the intricate details. It is an inspiration before it is authentication. Let’s leave the authenticity to the pros and make our life easier with our version.
What’s the secret?
The secret to an excellent and tasty biryani is using a lot of coriander and mint. These herbs go well together. Those who do not like coriander, or cilantro, should pair it with mint and see the change in flavor.
The secret also is in giving the vegetables and spices plenty of time to saute and combine the flavors.
- 2 tbsp ghee
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup carrots, diced
- 1 cup turnips, diced.
- 1 cup potatoes, diced
- 1 cup peas
- 1 can coconut milk or water
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp paprika (sweet or spicy)
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
For the rice
- 3 cups rice
- 5 cups water
- 2 bay leaves
- 5 whole cloves
- 3 cardamom pods
- 1 cinnamon stick
Additives for assembly
- 1 bunch fresh mint, chopped
- 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
- 1 cup fried onions optional
- Cook the rice halfway through by using one cup less of the recommended water. For three cups of rice, use five cups of water. Aromatize the rice by adding the whole spices.
- Preheat a heavy pot and put in the ghee to melt. Then add the onions and sauté for a few minutes until translucent.
- Then add in the garlic, the rest of the vegetables, bay leaves, salt, and all the spices and give them a quick stir to coat.Place the cover, bring the fire down to medium, and cook for five minutes.
- Add the coconut milk, half of the chopped cilantro, and mint and mix.
- The rice should be ready by now. Lay one first layer over the veggies and try to cover them well. Then Sprinkle the remaining coriander and mint over it and onions if using any. Finish with the second layer of rice.
- Dilute a pinch of turmeric in a cup of water, then pour it over the rice.
- Put paper towels or a clean cloth over the pot before putting back the lid. It will act as an extra seal.
- Ensure the fire is medium low, and let everything cook for about 20 minutes.
- For summer biryani use green beans, tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, eggplant, and corn.
- You substitute coconut milk for heavy cream.
- You add meat to this dish, make sure to increase to first sauté time from 5 minute to 10.
- For extra flavor add fried onions in the between the layers of the rice, and at the top.