Biryani is a festive colorful rice dish from India, that is cooked with many spices and herbs. Growing up my mother would make a similar rice dish, but in a Bengali style, which is called Pushpanna and it is much sweeter and mixed with dried fruits. Both are very delicious, but I’m more inclined to vegetable biryani which is a bit more on the savory side. My Biryani (kinda like the Indian version of Chinese fried rice) version has lots of vegetables and i usually use leftover rice, and stir fry it in ghee or coconut oil. You can also cook fresh rice and just let it chill. This biryani dish is a great companion with any Indian curries, dal, and yogurt raitas. With so many layers of flavors and textures, this veggielicious dish is perfect for any special occasion.
2 tbsp ghee or coconut oil
1 inch cinnamon stick
1 cup long grain rice, preferably basmati
2 cups of water
1 tsp salt
½ cup green beans
½ corn kernels
¼ cup green peas
1 carrot, cubed
¼ tsp turmeric
1 cup cauliflower, small florets
¼ cup almonds
1 bay leaf
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 star anise
¾ tsp caraway seeds
½ cup of cilantro and mint leaves, chopped
½ tsp ginger powder
¼ tsp javitri (Mace powder), similar to a nutmeg
¼ tsp paprika
fresh black pepper
- Wash rice and set aside to dry. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in your rice pot and add cumin seeds, cardamom, cloves and cinnamon stick. Fry spices for 30 seconds and add green beans, corn, green peas and carrots. Stir fry the vegetables for 30 seconds and add rice and turmeric. Add 2 cups of water, bring to a boil, then turn flame to low and cover to cook for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile in a large frying pan, add almonds to roast at a medium heat until they turn golden brown. Remove almonds from pan and set aside to use as a garnish (or you can also mix it with the rice in the end). In the same pan add cauliflower and roast for 10 minutes or until tender, you can add a bit of oil so it doesn’t stick and burn. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Check to see if your rice is done, if so, empty on a large plate and fluff it with a fork to cool off. Let cool for 5 minutes (the longer, the easier it is to stir fry without it sticking and breaking apart).
- Add remaining oil in the same pan at a medium heat and add bay leaf, star anise, caraway seeds, cilantro, mint, and ginger. Stir for 30 seconds and add rice. Raise the heat to high and mix in the spices, add cauliflower, and javitri, paprika, and black pepper. Mix well and remove from heat.
- Add salt if needed, garnish with almonds and serve to enjoy immediately.
Check out this Blog for India’s 10 different types of Biryani Rice!
(Although not all Vegetarian, meat items can be substituted with soy or tofu products)