This version of vegetable biryani was inspired by legendary actress and food writer Madhur Jaffrey.
In this recipe, we’ve removed the meat. Vegetable biryani typically contains roasted vegetables, such as green beans, cauliflower, English peas, carrots, and potatoes, which don’t take too long to cook and hold up well when serving.
Usually the vegetables are cooked separately while the rice is soaked and par-cooked. The yogurt-coated spiced vegetables are then layered between the rice and steamed all together.
How To Make Vegetable Biryani?
Biryani can be served in the pot or on a platter topped with cashews, golden raisins, or apricots, and fresh herbs like mint. Raita can also be served alongside.
How To Serve It?
This biryani can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days for best results. Reheat the rice in the microwave or in a nonstick skillet, covered, over low heat.
Rinse rice, then transfer to a medium bowl. Cover with water and soak 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a medium pot over medium heat, heat milk until warmed through. Remove from heat and stir in saffron. Let steep until ready to use.
Drain rice and transfer to a medium pot. Add cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, bay leaf, salt, cumin, and 1 1/2 cups cold water. Bring to boil, then cover and cook over low heat until liquid is evaporated and rice is tender, 10 to 12 minutes.
Remove pot from heat. Discard cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, and bay leaf. Fluff rice with a fork; set aside until ready to use.
In a large heavy pot over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons ghee. Add onion, season with 1/2 teaspoon salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until caramelized and browned, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer onions to a small bowl or plate.
In same pot over medium-low heat, melt remaining 2 tablespoons ghee. Add cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, bay leaf, garam masala, turmeric, cumin, black pepper, and cayenne, if using. Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add potato and cauliflower and cook, stirring frequently and making sure spices don’t burn, until tender, 8 to 10 minutes.
Add carrots, garlic, and ginger and cook, stirring frequently, until tender and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add yogurt, lime juice, and mint and stir to combine; season with remaining 1 teaspoon salt.
Cook, stirring occasionally, until some of the liquid is evaporated, 1 to 2 minutes more. Discard cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, and bay leaf.
In a large serving dish or platter, layer bottom with half of rice. Top with half of potato mixture and half of caramelized onions. Repeat with remaining rice, potato mixture, and caramelized onions.
Drizzle with saffron milk. Top with cashews, apricots, and mint.
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