The Humble Biryani for Midweek Meals

Midweek, everyone needs a little boost . Why not something delicious and light for lunch or dinner ?

I have been searching for an easy vegetarian biryani recipe for lunches ..which I can serve with my signature Daal makhani and cooling raita. I did find a lovely recipe thanks to @cookinacurry . It was very flavourful and one can tweak it as one likes.. this is my take , loved by the family !



Ingredients For 4-5 PERSONS



For Cooking the vegetables

1 tblsp ghee or any oil that you use

1 1/2 nos. large onions , sliced thinly

1 tsp cumin seeds

2 bay leaves

4 cloves

6 green cardamoms

1 1/2 inch stick cinnamon

2 '' ginger , coarsely grated

2 cups of chopped tomatoes with 1 tblsp tomato puree

1/4 tsp red chilli powder

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 big tsp coriander powder

1 cup cauliflower florets, cut a bit small size

1/2 cup quartered mushrooms

1/2 cup chopped beans

1/2 cup chopped red peppers

1/2 cup peas

50 ml water

1/4 tsp garam masala powder

Salt to taste


For the Rice

2 cups of basmati or long grain rice , soaked for 10 minuted

3.5 cups of water

salt to taste


For the layers

2 nos. large onions, sliced thinly

1/2 bunch of mint leaves , chopped

1/2 bunch of coriander leaves . chopped

1 small bowl of warm milk with saffron

1 tblsp ghee or butter

1/4 tsp cardamom powder



To Prepare: The thinly sliced onions in the layering ingredients are to be fried and kept aside.


  1. For Preparing the vegetables : Blanch the cauliflower in hot water for 7-8 minutes and then put it in cold water .

  2. Coarsely crush all the whole garam masalas - cumin , bay leaf, cardamom, cinnamon and cloves

  3. Heat ghee in a kadai or wok or any heavy bottomed pan and add the onions. Let them brown and then add the coarsely crushed masala and fry for a minute . Add the grated ginger and cook for another 2 minutes .

  4. Add the tomatoes and the puree and let it cook for another 3 minutes .

  5. Let the tomatoes soften and then add the powdered masalas . Let them cook for a few minutes and add the vegetables other than the cauliflower.

  6. Let the vegetables coat well with the masala and cook for a few minutes . Add the water and cover and cook. Season.

  7. After 5 minutes , add the cauliflower and the garam masala powder and cook for a few minutes. Switch off the gas and keep aside .



For preparing the rice :

  1. I cook the rice in a rice cooker and put it off 5 minutes before it is cooked .

  2. Drain the rice from the soaking and add to your pot, add water and salt and cook till nearly done.

For Layering :

  1. Pre heat the oven to 180 deg C .

  2. In a claypot or the dish you will be cooking your biryani in , paint a layer of butter or ghee .

  3. Then add a layer of the prepared vegetable gravy .


  1. Add a layer of rice and top with fried onions , mint leaves, coriander leaves , blobs of ghee or butter , milk infused with saffron and a bit of the powder .


  1. Again add the layer of vegetables and repeat the process as above

  2. See that the layers are equal .

  3. Place the claypot in the oven for 15-20 minutes and switch the oven off. Keep the claypot in the warm oven till you serve it hot with daal makhani and raita











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