Friday, 4 October 2013

Veg Dum Biryani

The word "Biryani" is very appetizing by itself. Hyderabad is world wide renowned for its Hyderabadi Biryani, but that biryani comes in the non veg section. Then, what about vegetarians? Vegetarians do have many veggy biryanis so that they too can relish the taste of biryani and one amongst those biryanis is, here comes...."Veg Dum Biryani". I have prepared this biryani for the very first time, and it came out very perfectly without any comprises in taste. My hubby enjoyed it a lot as if he is eating chicken dum biryani :). So with that confidence let us get into its making :)

Ingredients: (Serves 4)

1. Rice - 4 cups
2. Potatoes - 2 (diced to cubes)
3. Carrot - 1 large (diced to cubes)
4. Cauliflower Florets - 10
5. Green Peas - 1/2 cup
6. Beans - 4 (chopped to 1 inch piece. I didn't use as I don't like beans much)
7. Onions - 4
8. Green Chillies - 3
9. Ginger Garlic (GG) Paste - 1 n 1/2 tbsps
10. Mint Leaves - 1 small bunch
11. Saffron - few strands soaked in milk/water
12. Red Chilli Powder - 1 tsp
13. Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
14. Salt - To taste
15. Garam Masala Powder - 2 tsps
16. Thick Yogurt - 1 cup
17. Lemon - 1/2 Piece (Optional)
18. Whole Garam Masala :
 a. Bay Leaves - 4
 b. Cinnamon Sticks - 2
 c. Cloves - 6
 d. Cardamom - 4
 e. Pepper Corns - 8
 f. Shajeera - 2 tsps
19. Ghee - 2 to 3 tbsps
20. Oil - 3 tbsps + For deep frying


1. Wash and soak rice for about 30 mins

2. Heat a heavy bottomed kadai, add oil upto 3 tbsps
3. Add half of the above mentioned quantity of Whole garam masala and shajeera  

4. Don't boil any of the vegetables. Also for veg dum biryani the veggies should be diced big in size not small

5. I didn't boil any of the veggies, but I blanched cauliflower florets in hot water
6. I added salt and turmeric powder 1/4 tsp each in 2 cups of boiling water and blanched the florets for about 5 mins so as to remove dirt or any insects from them

7. Add potatoes, carrot, cauliflower florets and cook well. Sauting vegetables takes around 5 minutes

8. Now add GG paste and saute

9. Add Mint leaves, slit green chillies
10. Add green peas, beans and fry for a minute

11. Add red chilli powder, turmeric powder, salt and mix well

12. Cook vegetables completely
13. Switch off the flame and add thick yogurt and mix well

14. Add Garam masala 1 tsp only, 1 tbsp of ghee, few mint leaves, mix well and keep aside

15. You can squeeze half a lime at this stage if your curd is sweet and not sour
16. Keeping aside helps in marinating the vegetables which infuses much more flavours into them. Its better to rest it for about 30 mins

17. Deep fry 4 sliced onions in hot oil and drain on tissue paper. Frying takes a bit longer time. You can do this step while cooking rice also.

18. Now cook rice
19. In a vessel, boil water
20. Add rest of the shahi jeera, whole garam masala and salt is mandatory. 

21. Add rice to it which is soaked for 30 mins
22. Taste water after adding salt to ensure its taste is perfect. The water should be salty
23. Cook rice till 70% done. Grain should be pressed easily but should not be too soft nor too fat which is an indication that it is 70% done

24. Now take a thick bottomed vessel, place cooked vegetables in the vessel

25. Strain rice using a strainer and place rice in the vessel. Some water along with rice while straining it and adding on top of the vegetables is required. This helps for moisture which is needed while cooking on dum so that rice gets cooked completely

26. Put only half of the cooked rice over cooked vegetables
27. Put half of the fried onions, some pudhina leaves, and add saffron water over the rice

28. Now put rest of the rice and again put rest of the fried onions, some pudhina leaves, add saffron water and 1 tsp of garam masala powder over the rice
29. Pour 2 tbsps of ghee along sides and center of the vessel over the rice

30. Now cover with a lid tightly and keep on high flame for 5 mins and again on simmer flame for almost 8 to 10 mins

31. You can also use a tawa if you are frightened that the bottom part of the biryani might get burnt. For this, place a tawa on the flame and then this vessel over the tawa and then keep for dum

32. You can even seal the vessel with dough
33. In a whole of 10 to 15 mins by keeping on dum our biryani is ready
34. Serve hot hot Veg Dum Biryani with onion raitha or boondhi raitha as I did or with Mirchi Ka Salan or with any other gravy of your choice and enjoy the biryani's delicacies :)

Serving Suggestions:
1. Keep the biryani covered till serving
2. While serving, always take out the biryani from the vessel only along the sides and not from the center
3. Also keep layering the biryani one scoop on the other while serving, it looks perfect presentation

4. Do not mix entire biryani neither while scooping nor while serving