Veg Biryani Recipe | Hyderabadi Veg Dum Biryani

17/08/2020 Off Por juliana Costa
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Authentic Vegetable biryani recipe that tastes awesome and so good. One of my most popular recipes on the blog is this perfectly made Vegetarian Biryani recipe from the Hyderabadi Cuisine.

This delish recipe has been tried by many readers over the span of 10 years with great results.

veg biryani, biryani recipe, hyderabadi veg biryani recipe

One of our favorite rice based dish is this Hyderabadi dum biryani made with mix veggies, spices, yogurt and a lot of love.

In fact one has to make biryani with patience, care and attention to detail. There should be no hurry and cooking a perfect traditional dum biryani takes up time but worth it.

When you savor biryani for the first time, you realize what a splendid dish it is. Indeed it is a royal dish from the South Asian cuisine.

Biryani – What it is?

In simple words Biryani is a rice and curry casserole. The curry can be meat based or vegetable based.

Similar to some layered and baked pasta dishes, the curry is layered with semi-cooked rice – later to be baked or slow cooked till the rice is completely done and the curry or gravy has been absorbed by the rice.

Usually the meat is marinated and cooked later for the curry, but for vegetables marination is not done or is required.

Biryani is also spelled as Biriyani and is popular not only in India but in South Asia as well.

In the Indian Cuisine, specifically in the North Indian cuisine, the traditional biryani is made with the dum pukht method of slow cooking in clay pots (also known as “handi” in India).

Of course nowadays many home cooks even bake the biryani. In the step by step process shots, I have explained both the dum cooking and oven baking methods – so that you can choose what suits you.

What is Dum Pukht?

The dum pukht method of cooking has its roots in Persia. It is a technique of slow cooking food in tightly sealed pots thereby not allowing any steam to escape.

The layers of food is kept in a pan or pot which is then sealed tightly using wheat flour dough. Traditionally clay pots are used while making biryani.

Sealing together the edges of the lid and the pot tightly with wheat flour dough does not allow the steam to escape.

The result is that the food gets slow cooked in its own steam and juices on a low heat infusing the flavors and aroma of the various herbs and spices in the food.

Nutrients are not lost in this process and thus the food is nutritious too. Dum pukht is also known as dum cooking or cooking on dum.

Dum pukht is also a part of the Awadhi cuisine which is from the city of Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh (a north central Indian state).

The method of dum cooking is also seen in regional Indian cuisines like the Hyderabadi, Mughlai and Punjabi cuisines.

How is Biryani made?

Like I have mentioned above a biryani is made by making separate layers of the rice and curry.

In some variations, the rice or curry is topped with fried onions (also known birista).

Fragrant ingredients like rose water, pandanus extract (kewra water) and saffron infused milk, ghee (clarified butter) are also sprinkled from the top.

This entire assemble of the semi-cooked rice and gravy with the various toppings are then dum cooked.

Authentically and traditionally a biryani is always slow cooked on dum. This cooking on dum gives the biriyani its uniqueness and originality.

This is how the biryani has the beautiful medley of the aromas, flavors and tastes from the variety of ingredients added in it.

Hyderabadi veg dum biryani recipe

Biryani Variations

Throughout India, you will find many avatars of Biryani.

Though mostly biryani is layered and cooked but you will also find one pot biryani dishes, specifically in the southern parts of India. Here the biryani is cooked much like the way a pulao is made by adding all the ingredients in a pot and cooking them.

Biryani, though usually made with meat is also made with seafood, eggs, paneer (cottage cheese), mushrooms and vegetables.

In some versions of biryani, the curry or gravy is made with both eggs and vegetables or meat and vegetables.

The spices, aromatics, flavoring ingredients also differ widely from state to state in India. Example in South India you will see the addition of curry leaves, black pepper, coconut milk, cilantro etc. So no two biryani dishes will taste the same.

Sometimes biryani is made using a special type of spice blend known as the Biryani Masala. This spice blend is made by grinding aromatic whole spices which are usually added in a biryani.

In this recipe you don’t need to add biryani masala. Just the whole spices are enough.

I have shared some popular vegetarian biryani variations and these too have been liked by the readers.

About this Vegetable Biryani Recipe

This Hyderabadi biryani recipe is one of the best biryani I make. I also cook my mom’s version and that too turns out great.

There are hundreds of variations of making biryani each having their own unique taste and flavor.

In a vegetarian biryani you can always add a variety of vegetables.

In this recipe, I have added a mix of cauliflower, potatoes, carrots, french beans, bell pepper (capsicum), button mushrooms and green peas. You can even add aubergines, cabbage, broccoli, spinach and kale.

In fact biryani can also be made with just one veggie or a couple of vegetables.

This vegetable biryani recipe is light, a bit spicy and super delicious. The subtle flavors of the garam masala, onions and yogurt are so infused in the vegetable chunks.

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Each bite of the vegetable had the taste, flavor and aroma of the masala as well as the unique taste of that veggie.

All I can say is that each mouthful of this Hyderabadi veg biryani is heavenly. This veg biryani recipe post is one of my lengthy post with a lot of pictures.

I have included step by step recipe details with pictures for this post. I hope you enjoy making this recipe as much as I enjoy making this biryani.

Tips for making perfect Biryani

  • Ingredients: As far as the ingredients are concerned, it is best to use all the ingredients as mentioned in the recipe.
  • Rice: To make a biryani firstly you need good quality basmati rice – preferably aged basmati rice. Biryani is not mushy and the rice grains remain perfectly separate in the dish. In this recipe I have added aged basmati rice.
  • Sella Basmati Rice: I also make biryani with parboiled basmati rice (known as sella basmati rice in Hindi and converted basmati rice outside India) and it works wonderfully and much better than aged basmati rice.Biryani made with sella basmati rice has restaurant style flavors as many hotels and restaurants in India use this rice for making biryani as well as other rice based dishes like Pulao, Fried Rice and Jeera Rice (cumin rice).
  • Cooking of rice: The rice grains are boiled till they are ¾ cooked. The rice grains will have a slight bite to them and will be slightly undercooked. Do not cook the rice 100% as then they will become mushy by the time the biryani is dum cooked.
  • Spices: The lovely fragrance and aroma in a biryani comes from using whole spices. Thus the spices need to be fresh and in good condition.
  • Curd (Yogurt): The curry is made with yogurt and so it is important that the yogurt must be fresh and not sour. The curd or yogurt should also be made from whole milk. Do not use fat free yogurt or curd made from toned milk as it will split while cooking.
  • Biryani gravy: The curry or gravy for the biryani should have a medium to medium-thick consistency. It should not be watery like a stock or broth as this will lead to the rice becoming mushy or very soft after dum cooking.
  • Vegan variation: Use almond milk yogurt or cashew milk yogurt. Replace ghee (clarified butter) with oil. You could use any vegetable oil or neutral tasting oil.
  • Serving Suggestions: Biryani is usually accompanied with a raita (yogurt dip). The raita can be a simple onion raita or made with a mix of onion, tomatoes and cucumber.In Hyderabad, biryani is served with mirchi ka salan (green chilli curry) and raita. You can even serve biryani with a soupy gravy known as shorba gravy.

How to make Hyderabadi Veg Biryani

1. Rinse 1.5 cups (300 grams) basmati rice in running water till the water runs clear of starch. You can use a bowl or colander to rinse the rice. Soak the rice in water for 30 minutes. If possible try to use aged basmati rice.

rice for Hyderabadi veg biryani recipe

2. After 30 minutes drain the basmati rice and keep aside.

rice for Hyderabadi veg biryani recipe

3. When the basmati rice is soaking prep the other ingredients. Rinse, peel and chop the veggies.

  • I have used 3 cups mixed veggies including green peas. You can use your choice of mixed vegetables.
  • Slice 1 large onion thinly (about 1 heaped cup thinly sliced onion).
  • Finely chop or crush 10 grams ginger (2 pieces of 2 inch ginger or 1.5 tablespoons finely chopped ginger).
  • Finely chop or crush 5 grams garlic (10 to 12 medium garlic cloves or 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic).
  • Slit 3 to 4 green chilies also.
  • Chop coriander leaves (cilantro) and mint leaves. You should get ⅓ cup each of chopped coriander leaves and mint leaves.

vegetables for Hyderabadi veg biryani recipe

Cooking basmati rice for veg biryani

4. Now we need to cook the rice. For cooking rice, you can use any method – microwave, pressure cooking, instant pot or cooking in a pot. For cooking rice in a pot, take a deep bottomed pan. Add 5 cups water and heat the water on a high flame.

making veg biryani recipe

5. When the water becomes hot, add all the spices and ½ teaspoon salt – 1 tej patta (Indian bay leaf), 3 green cardamoms, 3 cloves, 1 black cardamom, 1 inch cinnamon and 2 single strands of mace.

spices for veg biryani recipe

6. Bring the water to a boil on a high flame.

water for Hyderabadi vegetable biryani recipe

7. Then add the rice.

rice for veg biryani recipe

8. Just gently stir with a spoon or fork, after you add the rice. Check the taste of water and it should taste slightly salty. If the water is not tasting slightly salty, then add some more salt.

rice for veg biryani recipe

9. Do not reduce the flame and continue to cook the rice.

rice for veg biryani recipe

10. The rice has to be ¾ᵗʰ cooked. The grains should have a slight bite to them when cooked. The rice should not be fully cooked but almost cooked.

rice for veg biryani recipe

11. Drain the rice in a colander. You can also rinse the rice gently with water so that the grains stop cooking.

rice for veg biryani recipe

Making vegetable biryani gravy

12. In a pressure cooker or a pan, heat 3 tablespoons ghee. Add the following spices – 1 teaspoon shah jeera (caraway seeds), 1 tej patta, 3 green cardamoms, 3 cloves, 1 black cardamom, 1 inch cinnamon. Sauté the whole spices till they crackle.

spices for veg biryani recipe

13. Now add the sliced onions.

onions for veg dum biryani recipe

14. Stir and sauté them on a low to medium flame.

onions for veg biryani recipe

15. Onions take a lot of time to cook, so add a pinch of salt to quicken the cooking process. Stirring often sauté the onions, so that they cook evenly.

onions for veg biryani recipe

16. When the onions are cooking, take 1 cup fresh curd/yogurt (200 grams) in a bowl. Beat the curd with a spoon or whisk till it becomes smooth.

curd for Hyderabadi veg biryani recipe

17. Sauté the onions till they become golden brown or caramelize. Try not to burn them.

onions for Hyderabadi veg biryani recipe

18. Then add the ginger-garlic paste and sliced green chillies. You can also finely chop the ginger-garlic and add.

ginger for veg biryani recipe

19. Sauté till the raw aroma of ginger-garlic goes away.

ginger for veg biryani recipe

20. Add the turmeric and red chili powder. Stir and mix well.

turmeric for veg biryani recipe

21. Next add the chopped veggies.

vegetables for veg dum biryani recipe

21. Sauté for a minute or two.

making Hyderabadi veg biryani recipe

22. Lower the heat and add the beaten yogurt/curd. Stir as soon as you add the curd.

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curd for veg biryani recipe

23. Then add ½ cup of water.

water for veg biryani recipe

24. Season with salt. Stir again.

salt for veg biryani recipe

25. Pressure cook for 1 whistle on medium flame. If cooking in a pot, then cook till the veggies are done. Don’t overcook the vegetables. When the pressure settles down on its own, remove the lid and check the gravy.

  • If the vegetables are not cooked well, then keep the pressure cooker on the stove top and simmer the vegetable biryani gravy without the lid, till the vegetables are cooked.
  • If there is too much water or stock in the gravy, then simmer till some water dries up. The vegetable gravy should have a medium or slightly thick consistency and should not be watery.

vegetables for veg biryani recipe

26. Add cashews, raisins and almonds (blanched or raw) to the vegetable gravy. Mix and stir. Keep aside. Do check the salt. Add more if required. You can chop the nuts before adding.

cashews for veg biryani recipe

27. When the veggies are cooking, warm 4 to 5 tablespoon milk in a microwave or in a small pan on the stove top. Add ¼ teaspoon of saffron strands. Stir and keep aside.

saffron for veg biryani recipe

Assembling & Layering

29. Now in a thick bottomed pan, layer half of the vegetable curry first.

making veg biryani recipe

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30. Then layer half of the semi cooked rice.

making veg biryani recipe

31. Sprinkle half of the chopped coriander (cilantro), mint leaves and saffron milk.

making veg biryani recipe

32. Layer the remaining gravy.

making veg biryani recipe

33. Layer the remainder of the rice. Sprinkle the remaining coriander leaves (cilantro), mint leaves, saffron milk on the top. Sprinkle 2 teaspoon of rose water or kewra water (pandanus extract). At this point you can even add ⅓ cup of golden fried onions (birista) if you have these. You can make 2 layers or 4 layers like I have done. But do remember that rice should be the top layer.

making veg biryani recipe

Two Methods to dum cook biryani

Method 1

34. Seal and secure the pot with aluminium foil.

making veg biryani recipe

35. Then cover the pan/pot with a tight fitting lid.

biryani pan covered with lid

Method 2

36. You can also seal the pan with a moist cotton cloth.

veg biryani covered with wet cloth

37. Then keep a lid on top.

lid on top of veg biryani

38. Then keep a heavy weight on the lid.

weight on lid for veg biryani

39. Take a tawa (griddle/skillet) and heat it on medium flame. You can begin to preheat the tava when you start assembling the veg biryani.

making veg biryani recipe

40. When the skillet becomes hot, then lower the flame. Keep the sealed veg biryani pan on the tawa. Keep the flame to the lowest and cook veg biryani for 25 to 30 minutes. You can also dum cook veg biryani for the first 15 minutes on direct low flame and then for the last 10 minutes, place the pan on the hot tawa/skillet and cook on a low flame.

making veg biryani recipe

For baking biryani

41. You could also preheat the oven to 180 degree Celsius (356 degrees Fahrenheit) and then bake the vegetable biryani in a preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes. Please remember to use an oven proof glass utensil like the pyrex bowl for baking in the oven. You will have to assemble the biryani as mentioned above in the oven proof utensil. Cover with aluminium foil or the pyrex bowl lid and then bake.

42. After 25 to 30 minutes, switch off the flame. Using a fork or spoon check the bottom layer of the biryani. There should be no liquids at the bottom. If there are liquids, then continue to dum cook for some more time. After dum cooking, give a standing time of 5 to 7 minutes and then serve the dum biryani.

Hyderabadi veg biryani

43. While serving the veg biryani, make sure you equally serve the vegetables as well as rice layers. Here is a photo of the layers inside.

layers of the Hyderabadi veg biryani

44. Serve this delicious Veg Biryani with your choice of raita, onion-tomato salad (kuchumber), mango pickle, roasted papad. Other accompaniments for this Hyderabadi vegetable biryani are mirchi ka salan and shorba gravy.

Hyderabadi vegetable biryani

Note: This veg biryani recipe is from the archives (July 15, 2010) and has been republished and updated on 3 August 2020.

A vegetable biryani recipe from the land of the nawabs – Hyderabad. The Hyderabadi vegetable biryani recipe is light, a bit spiced, aromatic and deliciously yum.

Prep Time 45 mins

Cook Time 45 mins

Total Time 1 hr 30 mins


Cuisine Hyderabadi, Indian

Course: Main Course

Diet: Vegetarian

Difficulty Level: Moderate


Servings 5

For assembling and layering

Preparation

  • Pick and rinse basmati rice in running water till the water runs clear of starch. Soak the rice in 1 cup of water for 30 minutes.

  • After 30 minutes drain the rice and keep aside.

  • When the rice is soaking prep all the veggies and other ingredients. Keep aside.

Cooking rice

  • Take a deep bottomed pan. Add water and heat the water on a high flame.

  • When the water becomes hot, add all the salt and following spices tej patta, green cardamoms, cloves, black cardamom, cinnamon, strands of mace.

  • Bring the water to a boil. Then add the rice.

  • Just gently stir with a spoon or fork, after you add the rice.

  • Do not reduce the flame and continue to cook the rice.

  • The rice has to be ¾ᵗʰ cooked. The grains should have a slight bite to them when cooked. The rice should not be fully cooked but almost cooked.

  • Drain the rice in a colander. Gently fluff and keep aside.

Making vegetable curry/gravy

  • In a pressure cooker or a pan, heat ghee. Add the following spices – shah jeera, tej patta, green cardamoms, cloves, black cardamom and cinnamon. Sauté the whole spices till they crackle.

  • Now add the onions. Stir and sauté them on a low to medium flame.

  • Add a pinch of salt to quicken the cooking process.

  • When the onions are cooking, take 1 cup fresh curd (yogurt) in a bowl and whisk the curd with a spoon or wired whisk till it become smooth.

  • Sauté the onions till they become golden brown or caramelize.

  • Then add the ginger-garlic paste and sliced green chillies. You can also finely chop the ginger-garlic and add.

  • Sauté till the raw aroma of ginger-garlic goes away.

  • Add the turmeric and red chili powder. Stir and mix well.

  • Next add the chopped veggies. Sauté for a minute or two.

  • Lower the heat and add the whisked curd (yogurt). Stir and mix well as soon as you add the curd. Then add water.

  • Season with salt. Stir again.

  • Pressure cook for 1 whistle on medium flame. If cooking in a pot, then cook till the vegetables are done. Don’t over cook the vegetables.

  • Warm 4 to 5 tablespoons milk in a microwave or in a small pan on the stove top. Add ¼ teaspoon of saffron strands. Stir and keep aside.

  • When the pressure settles down on its own, remove the lid and check the gravy. If the vegetables are not cooked well, then keep the cooker on the stove top and simmer the vegetable biryani gravy without the lid, till the vegetables are cooked. If there is too much of water or stock in the gravy, then simmer till some water dries up. The veg biryani gravy should have a medium or slightly thick consistency and should not be watery.

  • Now add cashews, raisins and almonds (blanched or raw) to the vegetable gravy. Mix and stir. Keep aside. Do check the salt. Add more if required.

Assembling & layering

  • Now in a thick bottomed pan, layer half of the veg biryani gravy first.

  • Then layer half of the rice.

  • Sprinkle half of the chopped coriander leaves (cilantro), mint leaves and saffron milk.

  • Layer the remaining veg biryani gravy.

  • Layer the remainder of the rice. Sprinkle the remaining coriander leaves, mint leaves, saffron milk on the top. Sprinkle the rose water or kewra water. You can make 2 layers or 4 layers like I have done. But do note that rice should be the last layer.

Dum cooking biryani

  • Now seal and secure the pot with aluminium foil. Then cover with a lid. You can also seal the handi with a moist cotton cloth and then cover with the lid.

  • Take a tava/griddle/skillet and heat it on medium flame.

  • When the tawa become hot, then lower the flame. Keep the sealed veg biryani handi on the tava. Keep the flame to the lowest and cook for 25 to 30 minutes. You can also dum cook veg biryani for the first 15 minutes on direct low flame and then for the last 10 minutes, place the handi on the hot tawa/skillet and cook on a low flame.

  • Once done using a fork or spoon check the bottom layer of the biryani. There should be no liquids at the bottom. If there are liquids, then continue to dum cook for some more time. After dum cooking, give a standing time of 5 to 7 minutes and then serve the dum biryani. 

Serving Biryani

  • While serving, make sure you equally serve the vegetables as well as rice.

  • Serve the delicious hyderabadi veg biryani with your choice of raita, onion salad, mango pickle, roasted papad. other accompaniments for this biryani are mirchi ka salan and veg shorba gravy.

For baking veg biryani

  1. You could also preheat the oven to 180 degree Celsius/356 degrees Fahrenheit and then bake the veg biryani in the oven for 30-35 minutes.
  2. Please remember to use an oven proof glass utensil like the pyrex bowl for baking in the oven.
  3. You will have to assemble the vegetable biryani as mentioned above in the oven proof utensil and then bake it.
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Tips 

  • Ingredients: Do try to use all the ingredients as mentioned in the recipe.
  • Rice:  Use a good quality basmati rice – preferably aged basmati rice. You can even use Sella Basmati Rice which is parboiled basmati rice (known as sella basmati rice in Hindi and converted basmati rice outside India). For sella basmati rice, you will need to soak the rice grains for an hour. The cooking time will also increase for this variety of basmati rice.
  • Cooking of rice: Cook the rice grains till they are ¾ᵗʰ done. They will have a slight bite to them and will be slightly undercooked. Do not cook the rice all the way as they will become mushy by the time the biryani is dum cooked. 
  • Spices: The lovely fragrance and aroma in a biryani comes from using whole spices. Thus the spices need to be fresh and in their shelf life. 
  • Curd (Yogurt): Use fresh yogurt that is slightly sweet and not sour. The curd or yogurt should also be made from whole milk. Do not use fat-free yogurt or curd made from toned milk as it will split while cooking.
  • Biryani gravy: The curry or gravy for the biryani should have a medium to medium-thick consistency. It should not be watery like a stock or broth as this will lead to the rice becoming mushy or very soft after dum cooking.
  • Vegan variation: Use almond milk yogurt or cashew milk yogurt. Replace ghee (clarified butter) with oil. You could use any vegetable oil or neutral tasting oil. 
  • Serving Suggestions: Biryani is usually accompanied with a raita (yogurt dip). The raita can be a simple onion raita or made with a mix of onion, tomatoes and cucumber. In Hyderabad, biryani is served with mirchi ka salan (green chilli curry) and raita. You can even serve biryani with a soupy gravy known as shorba gravy.

Calories: 437kcalCarbohydrates: 67gProtein: 12gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 836mgPotassium: 637mgFiber: 7gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 2712IUVitamin B1 (Thiamine): 1mgVitamin B2 (Riboflavin): 1mgVitamin B3 (Niacin): 3mgVitamin B6: 1mgVitamin B12: 1µgVitamin C: 37mgVitamin D: 1µgVitamin E: 1mgVitamin K: 17µgCalcium: 152mgVitamin B9 (Folate): 58µgIron: 2mgMagnesium: 78mgPhosphorus: 250mgZinc: 2mg

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