The theme for this week’s blogging marathon is one of my favorite. My love for biryanis has made me try quite a few different varieties already. So when Valli had Biryani of different styles as one of the themes for this month’s marathon, I knew this was my chance to try 3 more delicious biryanis and add them to my repertoire.
This Kerala Vegetable Biryani from Veg Recipes of India has been on my to-make list for quite a while now. This is a layered rice dish with basmati rice and spicy vegetable curry cooked in coconut milk.
The addition of fried raisins and cashews add a sweet nuttiness to the biryani. Also fried curry leaves as garnish along with cilantro and mint is a typical Kerala or South Indian touch to this dish.
I usually layer the rice and curry in a pan and cook it on the stove top. But in the original recipe, Dassana baked her biryani and that seemed to be a more convenient, less messy way to make the biryani. I have to say I don’t mind the lightly burnt layer on the bottom of the stove top cooked biryani because my husband likes that part, but baking the biryani in the oven is easy and a no-brainer. The process is a little long, so give yourself some time — but it is going to be totally worth it at the end.
1½cupsMixed Vegetable - (I used frozen mixed vegetables, but any veggies like carrot, green beans, green peas, cauliflower, peppers etc can be used)
2Onion- medium large, thinly sliced
1ChiliesGreen - slit
1Cinnamon" Stick - piece
¼cupMint leaves- finely chopped
¼cupCilantroleaves - finely chopped
1Onion- large, thinly sliced
10 ~ 12Curry leaves
To make the rice layer: Boil 3~4 cups of water along with the spices and salt. Add the rice and boil for 6~7 minutes or until the rice is 70~80% cooked. Drain and set the rice aside until ready to use.
To make the Vegetable Layer: Heat 2tbsp oil in pan, add cardamom, cloves and cinnamon stick. Fry till the spices get fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add the onions and cook till they start turning lightly browned around the edges. Agg the ginger-garlic paste and cook for 1 minute.
Next add the potatoes and mixed vegetables. Add the coconut milk and all the spices. Cover and cook till the veggies are cooked through, about 10~15 minutes.
Once the veggies are cooked, add the lemon juice, stir well and set aside.
Prep the Garnish: heat 2tbsp oil in pan, add the cashews, curry leaves and raisins. Fry till cashews turn golden and raisins plump up. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
In the remaining oil, add the sliced onions and fry on medium flame, stirring occasionally, until the onions are golden and crisp.
To Assemble: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Grease a baking dish with cooking spray.
Layer half the veggie mixture in the bottom of the pan followed by half of the rice. Sprinkle half of the chopped herbs and fried onions. Finally top this with the remaining vegetables, rice, herbs and fried onions in that order.
Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 20~30 minutes.
Alternately this can be cooked in a heavy bottom pan on the stove top.