One of my absolute favorite Indian dishes, this Vegetable Biryani is a great way to spice things up at home. The name Biryani comes from the Persian word Berya(n) which means “roasted” or “fried” and this Biryani is essentially roasted in a large Dutch oven. For a deliciously indulgent dish, check out the saffron addition in the “Pro Tips and Variations” section at the end.
- 2 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter), or olive oil
- 1 red onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seed
- 1 (1 inch) piece cinnamon stick
- 7 peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
- 1 tomato, diced
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup peas
- 1/2 cup diced carrot
- 1/2 cup diced potato
- 1 cube chicken bouillon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground red chile pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
- 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 4 cups water
- 2 cups basmati rice, rinsed and drained
- Melt the ghee in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in cumin seed, cinnamon stick, and peppercorns; cook until the spices are fragrant, and the cumin seeds begin to pop, about 3 minutes.
- Stir in ginger garlic paste, tomatoes, and 1/2 cup water. Bring to a simmer, and cook until the water has evaporated, (about 5 minutes). Stir in peas, carrot, and potato. Season with chicken bouillon, salt, red chile, black pepper, garam masala, and turmeric. Stir well, then cover, and cook for 3 minutes.
- Pour in 4 cups water and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, stir in basmati rice, reduce heat to medium, recover, and simmer for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low and continue to cook until the rice has softened, 10 to 15 minutes more.
Pro Tips and Variations
- For an indulgent treat, add 1 pinch saffron to the cumin, cinnamon and peppercorn mixture in step one. Saffron is the most expensive spice, per weight, in the world and it just takes a pinch to make this Biryani very special.
- Meat may be added to this Biryani as well. Cut about 1-2 pounds of chicken, pork, or beef into cubes and add during step two.
- You can also substitute meat for some or all of the vegetables, although a mix of both vegetables and meat can be great as well.
- If you do not have a Dutch oven, you can try this in a large cooking pot or very large skillet.
- You can substitute brown basmati rice if you so wish, although it can be difficult to find.
- Serve this Biryani with a mint chutney or plain yogurt and some fresh roti or naan bread.
- If do cannot find (or do not want to make) roti or naan, you can also use pita bread or tortillas, however roti and naan really add a great, authentic feel to this dish.