Vegetable Biryani South Asian Gift of Mughal Era

Description: Vegetable Biryani is a fragrant and flavourful rice that combines spices, colourful vegetables, and long-grain Basmati rice. This vegetarian delight is a celebration of textures and tastes, making it a popular choice for both special occasions and everyday meals.

History: Biryani has a rich history in South Asian cuisine, dating back to the Mughal era. It was originally prepared for the royal courts and was known for its intricate preparation and royal flavors. Over time, it has become a beloved dish enjoyed by people of all backgrounds.


  • 2 cups Basmati rice, soaked for 30 minutes and drained
  • 2 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter) or vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 green chili, slit
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup mixed vegetables (carrots, peas, bell peppers, etc.)
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4-5 whole cloves
  • 4-5 green cardamom pods
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder (adjust to taste)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh coriander leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • Saffron strands soaked in 2 tablespoons warm milk (optional, for garnish)

Serving: This recipe yields approximately 4 servings.


  • Preparation: 30 minutes
  • Cooking: 30 minutes


  1. Prepare the Rice:
    • In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Add the soaked and drained Basmati rice.
    • Cook the rice until it’s 70% done (still slightly firm). Drain and set aside.
  2. Sauté Onions and Spices:
    • In a large, heavy-bottomed pan, heat the ghee or oil over medium heat.
    • Add the cumin seeds, bay leaves, cloves, green cardamom pods, and cinnamon stick. Sauté for a minute until fragrant.
    • Add the sliced onions and green chili. Sauté until the onions turn golden brown.
  3. Add Ginger and Garlic:
    • Stir in the minced ginger and garlic. Sauté for another 2 minutes.
  4. Add Vegetables and Spices:
    • Add the mixed vegetables and sauté briefly.
    • Stir in the turmeric powder, red chili powder, and salt. Cook for a few minutes until the vegetables are tender.
  5. Layering:
    • In a separate bowl, mix the yogurt with half of the chopped coriander and mint leaves.
    • Layer half of the partially cooked rice over the vegetable mixture.
    • Drizzle half of the yogurt mixture over the rice.
  6. Repeat Layering:
    • Add the remaining rice as the second layer.
    • Drizzle the remaining yogurt mixture on top.
    • Sprinkle the saffron-soaked milk over the rice for a golden hue.
  7. Dum Cooking:
    • Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid or aluminum foil.
    • Reduce the heat to low and cook for 20-25 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld and the rice to finish cooking.
  8. Garnish and Serve:
    • Before serving, garnish with the remaining coriander and mint leaves.
    • Serve hot with raita or salad on the side.

Nutrition Information:

  • Calories: Approximately 350 per serving
  • Carbohydrates: 70g
  • Protein: 7g
  • Fat: 6g
  • Fiber: 3g

Enjoy the aromatic and mouthwatering Vegetable Biryani, a classic dish that brings the flavors of India to your plate.

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