Hydrabadi Vegetable Biryani – King of Dum Biryanis

Vegetable Biryani is a one pot  meal that  that is  fit for company .   Even  the  die hard carnivores in the  family  do not  refuse  this   dish .   Vegatable  Biryani in Hydrabadi  Dum way  is a  very fragrant , aromatic  and  rich  dish .   Aromatic  basmati rice  and  vegetables  cooked  in  spices  and  yogurt  and   garnished   with   fried  raisins  and  cashews  ,  this dish  is  the  vegetarian version of  the  biryani  from  the Mugal  royal  kitchens .    My version  is  for  the  calorie  conscious  as  well ,   without  compromising  the   flavor .

This is a  time  consuming   recipe  and  by  no means  low  calorie .  I know a  few  aficionados  who  will  take  me  to task if  they ever  discover  that  I have been  cutting  down on  the  substantial  amount of ghee (clarified butter) called  for  in  most  authentic  recipes .  It  is a  little  time consuming  recipe  and  involves  a   bit  of  planning .  But  all you  need  as accompaniments are raita /yogurt  , papad or  few  chips  and a  pickle for a  wholesome  meal .

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Wash the   rice in  plenty of   water .  Place in  bowl  and  pour  enough  water over  it  to  cover  it  by about 1 inch .  Set  aside  for  30 minutes .

Slice one  medium onion  thinly .  Take a  sheet pan  and  spray  or  lightly brush oil  on the bottom . Spread   the  sliced  onions in a  single  layer .  Bake in a 350°F  oven  for  30  minutes .  The Onions  would  have   died  and  some  would be   turning  brown by then .   The  onions   can be  dried  in the  sun too ,  that  will take a  lot  longer , but  on the  plus  side  it is  much more  energy efficient

While  the  onions  are  browning ,  finish  the   prep work .  Chop the   vegetables  into  bite  size  pieces .  Here I have used  carrots , peas, beans and  bell pepper .  Other  commonly  used options  are potatoes , mushrooms ,  and  cauliflower.  I prefer to add  vegetables  that  hold  its  shape  when  cooked   and  those   that gives good   color  contrast .   Take  One  cup  yogurt  and  mix  it  up till  it is  smooth .

The  next  step is  to make  the  Biryani Masala . Take  the   spices  listed for the  masala  and powder it.

A quick  note on the  spices : Do  not   worry about  making  a  fine  powder ,   a little  coarse  texture is  perfectly acceptable as  long  as  there are no large  chunks  .  If you are  satisfied  about  the   quality of  your   whole  spices , there is  no need  to dry  roast it .  Roasting  brings  out  the essential   oils  and  turns  the   kitchen  very fragrant , but  the  rather   long   cooking  process  captures  the   essence  of  the  spices  subtly  without  this  step . If  you  choose  to  roast , do so over  low  flame  and one  spice  at a  time .  It is  easy to burn these so do keep a  hawk’s  eye  on these  while   roasting . Lastly the  spice mix  varies by cooks,  each family has  its own  mix ,  but  at a  minimum include  cloves ,  cinnamon , bay leaf  and  cardamom .

Chop the  ginger, garlic  and   green  chilies (if using) .  Coarsely grind  these .  Warm 1/4 cup of  milk  and  add a  few  strands  of  saffron to  it  and  keep  aside .  You could  choose  to  omit   this  step , or  use  turmeric or  annato or  food coloring .  Each  of  these  choices alters  the  flavor  profile slightly.   For  me this  particular  dish  has either  saffron or  nothing  at  all .

Drain the  rice   from the  soaking  water and  set  aside .

Add 1/4 C  oil/ghee  to  a  skillet  and  roast  the  cashew nuts  till  it  begins  to  turn  brown .  Add  the  raisins  to it  and  stir  fry till the  raisins  puff up . Tilt  the   skillet  and  remove  the  nuts and  raisins   leaving  the   oil  in the pan .  To this  oil  add  the  dried onions  and  fry till golden  brown . The  dried  onions  will take  just a  minute or  two to reach the   desired  color .  Remove  from the  oil  and  set  aside on a  paper  towel .

Take 8 to 10 cups water in a large pot . Add the spices listed under rice along with salt and bring to boil .  If necessary add a couple tablespoons more of the oil to the  skillet. Fry the ground paste for a couple of minutes  till the   raw  smell  goes  away .  Add  chili powder, coriander powder , salt and the ground Biryani Masala.  Fry for a  about a  minute ,  till the aromas  develop  fully .  Take care  not  to  burn   the  powders , lower  the heat  if  necessary.

Crush  half of  the  fried onions and  add as  well . Stir in the blended yogurt . Mix well . Add the vegetables and stir. Place the lid on and cook for 5 to 7 minutes on  medium heat .

By this  time  the water would  have come to a vigorous boil . Add the drained rice to water . Let it come back to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes . By this  time  the  rise is  halfway  done ,  It  should  still have a  tiny bite at  the  center . Drain the rice in a colander . Remove any whole spice pieces that you see.

Lightly  coat the bottom of casserole dish with ghee and spread a thin layer of rice on it . Place half the vegetable mix over the rice , followed by a third of the onions , nuts and raisins and the chopped herbs . Create one more layer of  rice  followed by vegetables onions , herbs  and  nuts  and  raisins .

Finish   with a  layer of   rice . Drizzle the saffron milk on top .  Drizzle 1 tablespoon of  warm  ghee on top .   This is  optional , but  helps create a nicer  aroma  .  Scatter raisins, cashews , and a few tablespoons of the herbs on top.   Cover with a foil and bake for 45 minutes  in  350°F (175°C)oven.

Alternately this can be layered in a thick bottomed vessel with lid. Cover with aluminum foil and top with the lid for a tight seal.  Traditionally  a  thick  unleavened  dough  made  with  wheat flour  is  placed  on the  rim of  the   dish  and the  lid placed on it  to create a  tight  seal .  I haven’t  had  much success  with it ,  and  I suspect  it is  because  I was  not  using  a thick  enough   dough  strip. Heat a thick cast iron pan on the stove top and place the vessel on top of it.  This   reduces  chance of the  rice  sticking  to the  bottom of  the  pan  and  getting  burnt . . Reduce the heat and cook for 30 to 45 minutes .

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Gently mix the layers just before serving .

 

 

Hydrabadi Vegetable Biryani

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 2 hours

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Hydrabadi Vegetable Biryani

Ingredients

Rice
Basmati Rice - 2 C
Salt - 1 Tsp
Caraway Seeds - 1 Tsp
Bay leaf - 2
Green Cardamom - 3
Cloves - 4
Black Cardamom - 2
Mace - 1
Biryani Masala
Cardamom - 4
Bayleaf - 1
Cinnamon - 2"
Mace - 1/2
Fennel - 1 Tsp
Caraway - 1/2 Tsp
Cloves - 6
Star Anise - 1
Nutmeg -1/4 Tsp Grated
For Veg Korma
Oil/Ghee - 1/2 C
Onion - 1 Medium
Ginger - 2" piece
Garlic - 4- 6 medium cloves
Green Chili - 1 (To taste)
Chopped Vegetable - 3 C (See Notes)
Cashew Nuts - 1/4 C
Raisins - 1/4 C (optional)
Yogurt - 1/2 C
Coriander Powder - 1/2 Tsp
Cumin powder- 1/4 Tsp
Chili Powder - 1 Tsp (To taste)
Turmeric - 1/2 Tsp
Mint Leaves - 1C (loosely packed)
Coriander Leaves - 1 C (loosely packed)
Milk - 1/4 C
Saffron - 5-6 strands

Instructions

Wash 2 cups of Basmati rice till water runs clear . Pour enough water to cover the rice by 1" and set aside to soak for 30 minutes .

Preheat oven to 350 . Thinly slice the onions and set aside . Lightly spray the bottom of a cookie sheet and spread the onions in a single layer . Bake for 30 minutes till it starts to brown .

Chop the vegetables to bite size pieces . Take 1 C yogurt in a bowl and beat till smooth . Gather the spices for Biryani Masala and dry roast each (optional) in a small skillet . Powder in a blender or mortar and pestle . Set aside

Chop the ginger and garlic , along with green chili and grind to a coarse paste . Chop coriander and mint leaves and set aside . Soak the saffron strands in 1/4 C warm milk .

Drain the rice from water and set aside . Take 8 to 10 cups water in a large pot . Add the spices listed under rice along with salt and bring to boil .

While the water is coming to a boil , set a 10" skillet or a medium kadai on fire . Pour 1/4 C ghee (oil) on it . Add the cashew nuts to the hot oil and fry till brown . Drain and fry the raisins . Remove the raisins once they are puffed up and fry the dried onions till golden brown . It takes about 1 to 2 minutes .

If necessary add a couple Tablespoons more of the oil . Fry the ground paste for a couple of minutes , followed by chili powder, coriander powder and salt . To this add the ground Biryani Masala . Fry for a few seconds. Crush half of the fried onions and add to the mix as well . Stir in the blended yogurt. Add the vegetables and mix well .Cover with the lid and cook for 5 to 7 minutes over medium heat.

By now the water must be on vigorous boil . Add the drained rice to the water. Let it come back to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes .

Drain the rice in a colander . Remove any whole spice pieces that you see.

Coat the bottom of casserole dish with ghee and spread a thin layer of rice on it . Place half the vegetable mix over the rice , followed by a third of the onions , nuts and raisins and the chopped herbs . Repeat with half the remaining rice , layer of vegetables herbs and nuts . Add a final layer of rice . Drizzle the saffron milk on top, followed by a drizzle of 1 tablespoon of warm ghee. Top with raisins, cashews , and a few tablespoons of the herbs.

Cover with a foil and bake for 45 minutes . Alternately this can be layered in a thick bottomed vessel with lid . Cover with aluminum foil and top with the lid for a tight seal . Heat a thick cast iron pan on the stove top and place the vessel on top . Reduce the heat and cook for 30 to 45 minutes .

Gently mix the layers just before serving .

https://oventales.com/hydrabadi-vegetable-biryani/

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