Dish: Veg Dum Biryani (Hyderabadi Vegetable Dum Biryani)
Letter V stands for my all time favorite vegetable Vankaya (brinjal/ eggplant), but I stopped myself from making yet another vankaya recipe (I already posted 4 recipes with eggplant in this month). So I made yet another favorite of mine, Vegetable Dum ka Biryani.
The first time I ever had veg dum biryani was some 8 years ago when my MIL made it when she visited us. It was quite a lengthy and time taking process — marinating the veggies, par boiling the rice, layering and then cooking on dum. I tried to make the process a little bit simpler and slightly faster than my MIL’s dish.
Instead of marinating the veggies, I cook them with spices so they don’t taste bland in the final dish. I either microwave basmati rice or pressure cook for only 1 whistle, so rice still holds its shape and does not turn mushy.
Biryani tastes great as is, but served with a side of gravy curry and tangy raita, it tastes absolutely amazingly delicious. We made tomato-onion raita and it went really well with the spicy biryani.
2cupsBasmati rice- washed, rinsed and soaked for 30 minutes
For Curry Layer:
1Onion- large, chopped
4cupsVegetables - chopped (Potatoes, carrots, green beans, cauliflower, green pepper, green peas, broccoli etc. are great to use here. Avoid veggies that have lot of water and the ones that lose their shape when cooked)
½cupYogurt- whisked well
2tspschili powderRed (or more to taste)
¼cupMint- finely chopped
¼cupCilantro- finely chopped
1Onion- large, thinly sliced
For the Rice Layer: Cook the soaked basmati rice along with the other ingredients listed under 'for rice layer' either in the microwave (with 2½ cups of water for 8~10minutes) or in the pressure cooker (with 3cups of water for 1 whistle). Rice should hold its shape and should not be mushy.
For the fried onions: Heat 2tbsp oil in a large nonstick pan; add the thinly sliced onions and cook on medium flame, until the onions are caramelized, takes about 15~20 minutes. Set aside.
For the Curry: Heat 2tbsp oil in the same pan and add the chopped onion and cook until it starts to turn lightly browned around the edges.
Add ginger-garlic paste and cook for 1 minute.
Next add the vegetables, cover and cook until they turn tender. To speed up the cooking process, I microwave the veggies until fork tender and then add them to the onion mixture.
Then add tomato puree, ground coriander, ground cumin, red chili powder. Cook for 4~5 minutes.
Finally add whisked yogurt, mint, cilantro and salt. Cook for 2~3 minutes, turn off the stove and set aside.
Assemble/ Layer the Biryani: Now that all the layers are ready, it's time to assemble the dish. In a heavy bottomed deep pan (I use a pressure cooker), add 2tsp oil. For the first layer, add 1/3rd of the rice followed by ½ of the curry mixture and ½of the fried onions. For the second layer, add 1/3rd of the rice followed by remaining ½ of the curry. For the final layer, add the remaining 1/3rd of the rice, sprinkle the remaining ½ of the fried onions and the chopped mint and cilantro. Cover the pan tightly and cook for 10~12 minutes.