Vegetable Dum Biryani Recipe

Vegetable dum biryani is a Mughali rice dish made by slow cooking layers of parboiled Basmati rice and spicy vegetable gravy in a well sealed pot to allow the flavors to permeate into the whole dish. This method of cooking called “dum “cooking makes for a flavorful and fragrant one pot meal, perfect for a Sunday brunch or even for a casual dinner party.

Biryani needs no introduction. Originally an import from Persia, biryani has become synonymous with Indian cuisine. No Indian restaurant is complete without some form of biryani , be it vegetable biryani, chicken biryani or mutton biryani on its menu.

Sometimes, there are days when making dal, rice or chapattis with some vegetable curry on the side seems like an arduous task although they can be ready in less than 1 hour. Yesterday was one of those days. With fresh mint leaves and coriander leaves (a must to get the authentic flavor of any biryani), lots of vegetables and a newly bought packet of Basmati rice, biryani it was (my taste buds craved for something spicy but it had to be only a one-pot meal).

We love biryanis and pulaos and making quick vegetable pulao or tomato pulao in a pressure cooker has always been my favorite to do dishes. Yesterday, the gourmet cook in me decided to venture into making vegetable biryani the “dum” way.

Although it involved lot of chopping, frying, making of parboiled rice, layering and then slow cooking the biryani, it did not deter me as I knew the final aromatic mouthwatering treat would be well worth it and I was right!

To make a perfect biryani, cooking rice perfectly is the key. You need to parboil aged basmati rice (the only rice I like in my biryanis); cooked until 75 percent done. Each grain should be long and separate. Do not overcook; mushy biryanis are not what you want!

Spices like cloves, cinnamon, bay leaf, cardamoms etc. add exotic aromas to the dish. Coriander leaves/cilantro and mint leaves are a must (especially the mint leaves; I have tried without them and have been disappointed with the final outcome of the biryani). And of course, do not omit the ghee or clarified butter which gives richness to the dish.

To add to the Indian flavors of cooking, I have added one large black cardamom and star anise each to the water in which the rice was cooked. It does turn the water slightly brown, but adds amazing flavor to the rice! Remove these after the rice is parboiled and drained.

Once the vegetables are cooked in a spicy yogurt gravy, all it takes is to layer these with rice, fried onions, chopped herbs and saffron milk (soak a few strands of saffron in a little milk) which gives the biryani a lovely golden color along with a royal flavor! Although it does take time to deep fry the onions to a golden brown and crispy texture, they add to the biryani experience, trust me.

Slow cook the whole mixture in a sealed pot for a few minutes and heavenly flavorful vegetable dum biryani is ready.  The whole process takes about 1 to 2 hours (depending upon how fast you can chop the vegetables; cook the rice and fry the onions). When the rice is boiling, you can fry the onions and chop vegetables; this saves some time; but do keep an eye on the rice (you do not need overcooked rice for biryani) and do not burn the onions.

I enjoyed the whole process of making this flavorful aromatic vegetable dum biryani  so much and the wonderful taste and texture of the final outcome was so delightful, you have to try it too!  You will not be disappointed. Paired with some plain yogurt, any raitha or just some papad/potato chips and fresh salad, it is a perfect royal meal!

If you are looking for more rice dishes try :

Quick Vegetable Fried Rice

 Mushroom Fried Rice

Tomato Pulao etc.

Now, let me share with you how I made vegetable dum biryani:

Vegetable Dum Biryani Recipe
Serves 2
A flavorful and aromatic vegetable rice dish, cooked in the dum method by layering vegetables, rice and herbs; it is a perfect one pot meal with just yogurt on the side!
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
729 calories
69 g
49 g
48 g
11 g
13 g
446 g
150 g
15 g
0 g
32 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
446g
Servings
2
Amount Per Serving
Calories 729
Calories from Fat 422
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 48g
74%
Saturated Fat 13g
67%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 6g
Monounsaturated Fat 26g
Cholesterol 49mg
16%
Sodium 150mg
6%
Total Carbohydrates 69g
23%
Dietary Fiber 10g
39%
Sugars 15g
Protein 11g
Vitamin A
124%
Vitamin C
242%
Calcium
20%
Iron
19%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. ½ cup Basmati rice
  2. 2 cups sliced red onions
  3. ½ cup cauliflower florets
  4. ½ cup chopped carrots
  5. ¼ cup green peas
  6. 2 green chillies/japlapenos
  7. 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  8. 1 teaspoon grated garlic
  9. 3 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves/cilantro
  10. 2 tablespoons chopped mint leaves
  11. ½ cup yogurt/curd
  12. 2 green cardamoms
  13. 1 black cardamom
  14. 1 star anise
  15. 3 cloves
  16. 2 half inch pieces cinnamon
  17. 1 bay leaf
  18. 1 teaspoon garam masala powder (I used 1 teaspoon MDH Shahi Paneer masala powder)
  19. 1 to 1 ½ tablespoons fresh coriander powder
  20. ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  21. ½ teaspoon red chillli powder (optional)
  22. Few strands of saffron strands soaked in 3 tablespoons of milk/water
  23. Salt to taste
  24. ¼ cup cooking oil plus more if needed
  25. 2 to 3 tablespoons ghee/clarified butter
  26. Few cashew nuts and raisins for garnishing
Preparing rice
  1. Wash Basmati rice well till the water runs clear and drain; soak in plenty of fresh water for about 30 minutes.
  2. In a large deep saucepan, bring lots of water to a boil, add one black cardamom, one star anise and salt. Stir in drained Basmati rice and stir again. Once it comes to a boil again, reduce the heat and simmer until the rice is parboiled or about 75 percent cooked.
  3. Drain and keep aside. At this stage, you can remove the cardamom and star anise from the rice).
Preparing fried onions
  1. In a deep saucepan, heat oil for deep fry (about ¼ cup to ½ cup).
  2. Once the oil is hot, fry about 1 ½ cups of sliced onions in batches (do not overcrowd) until crisp and brown. Drain well on paper towel lined plates and keep aside.
Preparing the vegetable gravy for dum biryani
  1. Heat oil in a heavy flat bottomed pan (if there is any oil left over after frying the onions, use that; you will need about 3 tablespoons).) and once hot, add cloves, cinnamom, green cardamoms and bay leaf; sauté for a few seconds till it starts to crackle.
  2. Stir in half a cup of sliced onions and fry again for a few minutes till they turn soft, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Add green chillies, ginger and garlic and fry again for a few minutes until the raw smell of ginger and garlic reduces; about 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Add all the spice powders; coriander powder, chilli powder, turmeric powder and garam masala powder or what I added, MDH Shahi Paneer Masala powder (if you can find this masala powder; gives an amazing flavor!). Saute again for a few seconds (do not let it burn) and then stir in all the vegetables (green peas, carrots and cauliflower) and stir for a few minutes on high; about 2 minutes.
  5. Once the vegetables are slightly roasted, reduce the heat to medium low and add well beaten smooth yogurt along with salt to taste; mix well and cook the vegetables (cover with a lid) until almost cooked; about 5 to 6 minutes.
  6. After they are almost cooked, remove half of the prepared vegetables and keep aside in a bowl.
Layering and final cooking of the dum biryani
  1. Over the remaining vegetables in the pan, layer half of the cooked rice evenly.
  2. Sprinkle half of the fried onions, coriander leaves and mint leaves.
  3. Spoon about 1 to 2 tablespoons of ghee on top.
  4. Now spread the rest of the vegetable gravy over this and layer remaining rice, onions, coriander and mint leaves.
  5. Using a spoon, sprinkle saffron milk and one more tablespoon of ghee over the top; cover the bowl with a tight lid or if you prefer, you can cover with aluminum foil and then place the lid over it to seal the pan.
  6. Now, cook the dum biryani on low heat for about 10 to 12 minutes or until done. Make sure the rice does not overcook; you need each grain of rice to be separate.
  7. After it is done, remove the foil and lid and garnish with fresh coriander leaves.
  8. Serve aromatic, exotic vegetable dum biryani with a garnish of ghee roasted cashew nuts and raisins for a royal experience in your own home, along with any raitha, curry, or just plain yogurt.
Notes
  1. Adjust the amount of green chillis and red chilli powder according to your taste.
  2. You can use any combination of vegetables like green beans, potatoes, corn etc. People who love chicken, can make chicken dum biryani using chicken; except marinate the chicken in yogurt along with some spice powders like coriander powder, garam masala powder, ginger garlic paste and salt for at least 1 hour and then proceed with the same method.
  3. Do not omit the mint leaves or fried onions; they give a distinct mughlai biryani aroma to the whole dish!
beta
calories
729
fat
48g
protein
11g
carbs
69g
more
Curry and Vanilla http://www.curryandvanilla.com/

How to make Vegetable Dum Biryani with step-by-step method:

Preparing rice:

  • Wash Basmati rice well till the water runs clear and drain; soak in plenty of fresh water for about 30 minutes.
  • In a large deep saucepan, bring lots of water to a boil, add one black cardamom, one star anise and salt. Stir in drained Basmati rice and stir again. Once it comes to a boil again, reduce the heat and simmer until the rice is parboiled or about 75 percent cooked.
  • Drain and keep aside. At this stage, you can remove the whole spices (black cardamom and star anise) from the rice.

Preparing fried onions:

  • In a deep saucepan, heat oil for deep fry (about ¼ cup to ½ cup).
  • Once the oil is hot, fry about 1 ½ cups of sliced onions in batches (do not overcrowd) until crisp and brown. Drain well on paper towel lined plates and keep aside.
  • Preparing the vegetable gravy for dum biryani:
  • Keep ready the ingredients for preparing the biryani.

  • Heat oil in a heavy flat bottomed pan (if there is any oil left over after frying the onions, use that; you will need about 3 tablespoons).
  • Once the oil is hot, add cloves, cinnamom, green cardamoms and bay leaf; saute for a few seconds till it starts to crackle.
  • Stir in half of sliced onions and fry again for a few minutes till they turn soft, about 2 to 3 minutes.

  • Add green chillies, ginger and garlic and fry again for a few minutes until the raw smell of ginger and garlic reduces.

  • Add all the spice powders; coriander powder, chilli powder, turmeric powder and garam masala powder or what I added, MDH Shahi Paneer Masala powder (if you can find this masala powder; gives an amazing flavor!). Saute again for a few seconds (do not let it burn) and then stir in all the vegetables (green peas, carrots and cauliflower) and stir for a few minutes on high; about 2 minutes.

  • Once the vegetables are slightly roasted, reduce the heat to medium low and add well beaten smooth yogurt along with salt to taste; mix well and cook the vegetables (cover with a lid) until almost cooked; about 5 to 6 minutes.

  • After they are almost cooked, remove half of the prepared vegetables and keep aside in a bowl.

Layering and final cooking of the dum biryani:

  • Over the remaining vegetables in the pan, layer half of the cooked rice evenly.
  • Sprinkle half of the fried onions, coriander leaves and mint leaves.
  • Spoon about 1 to 2 tablespoons of ghee on top.
  • Now spread the rest of the vegetable gravy over this and layer remaining rice, onions, coriander and mint leaves.
  • Using a spoon, sprinkle saffron milk and one more tablespoon of ghee over the top.

  • Cover the bowl with a tight lid or better yet, you can cover with aluminum foil and then place the lid over it to seal the pan.
  • Now, cook the dum biryani on low heat for about 10 to 12 minutes or until done. Make sure the rice does not overcook; you need each grain of rice to be separate.
  • After it is done, remove the foil and lid and garnish with fresh coriander leaves.

  • Serve aromatic, exotic vegetable dum biryani with a garnish of ghee roasted cashew nuts and raisins for a royal experience in your own home, along with any raitha, curry, or just plain yogurt and a fresh salad on the side.

  • Enjoy!!

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12 comments

    • curryandvanilla says:

      Same here Vandana!!! I miss the cooking experiences and food discussions we used to have 🙂 Maybe sometime very soon!!!

  1. Jhuls says:

    Biryani is one of the things I’d love to make. I wanted to make it since forever! Haha! Now, with your photos, you are inspiring to start making my own and limit buying from restos. I am sure homemade is always best! Agree? And I am sure this one tastes amazing! I wish I could have a plate of this right now! Thanks for bringing at this week’s FF table. Enjoy the party!

    • curryandvanilla says:

      Thank you so much Jhuls 🙂 You said it right; homemade is always best! Do try my version, you will love it! Proud to be part of FF!

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