Vegetable Biryani is an exotic, aromatic rich Indian Mughlai pulao dish layered with rice, vegetable masala mix and nuts.
1. Wash basmati rice and cook adding little salt, green peas, whole spices (cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, bay leaves) until rice is 95% done (absorption method).
2. Wash vegetables, cut into desired pieces (cauliflower florets, potato, carrot, french beans, bell pepper) and fry in little oil until they are nice and tender. (you can also steam or boil and add it to the sauce)
3. In a heavy bottomed big pan, add little oil and when it get hot, add cumin seeds, few curry leaves (optional), when the cumin seed splutter, add 1 tbsp onion paste and sauté until they turn golden in color.
4. Add crushed garlic, ginger, green chillies and fry well until all raw flavours are gone.
5. Add garam masala, cumin powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, hing (asafoetida), black salt and tomato puree and stir well. Do not burn the spices.
6. Add little water and cook the spices nicely.
7. Add 1 tbsp yoghurt and blend it well with the spices. Add salt to taste and mix.
8. Add paste made with cashew nuts and water melon seeds and mix well. Add little water and cook stirring continuously.
9. Add in the fried mix veggies and mix well until the veggies are nicely coated with the masala sauce.
10. Add little water, mix, cover the pan with lid and cook for 2 mins until the veggies are nicely blended in the sauce.
11. Remove more than ½ quantities of the vegetable mix aside and start layering for the biryani.
12. In the pan, add few pieces of fried cashew nuts, fried onions, finely chopped coriander and then add little cooked rice over and spread evenly.
13. Spread little vegetable mix over the bed of the rice, some fried cashew nuts, fried onions and coriander.
14. Sprinkle little water of mint leaves (crush mint leaves in water and keep aside).
15. Repeat the layering until completely done.
16. Add little saffron colour, ghee, cover and steam cook for 4-5 minutes on very low flame.