Transform Your Vegetable Biryani

This article is authored by Dr. Shweta U. Shah. A practicing homeopath, she follows a patient-centred perspective, emphasizing the benefits of natural remedies and herbs, homeopathy and whole food nutrition.

Let’s have no more boring white rice! With only a handful of ingredients, you can effortlessly transform your rice into a flavour-loaded biryani. These recipes promise to fulfill your taste requirements as well as your health goals.

The delightful biryani has a cult status!


The biryani is often called –the food of gods, and most rightly so! It is a complete dish served with elaborate accompaniments. The biryani uses a layering technique wherein, the meat and vegetables are cooked separately with the spices, while the rice is par-boiled. The two are then layered in a pot and cooked on low heat. The biryani may have strong or subtle flavours depending upon the region of origin. However, the complex use of spices and herbs is the binding factor in all biryanis. The process of cooking in ‘dum’ style makes sure that the gorgeous flavours and aromas permeate the rice, making every bite blissful.

Squeeze lots of lime juice, toss generous amounts of coriander leaves and finely chopped onions and sprinkle some sev. Scoop the usal with soft pav for a delicious meal!

Biryani – the vegetarian way

Ingredients in a biryani tend to vary, but they always include a blend of spices, coriander leaves, mint leaves, fried onions, and yogurt. These ingredients are combined with meat and vegetables and marinated for about 3 hours, and then cooked together with rice, fried onions and cashews.

When cooking the rice, add cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and bay leaf into the water to infuse a ton of flavor. A vegetarian biryani which is fully loaded with spices and veggies can be as good as its meat counter-part. Indeed, the vegetarian versions can be ambrosial enough to make you go vegetarian with each spoonful!

5 biryani recipes to fill you up!

    • Zafrani biryaniZafrani means saffron - and this recipe is a flavourful, colorful and delicious gastronomic wonder, which is a huge hit at dinner parties. It is a fragrant rice, cooked with whole spices, herbs and a host of vegetables. Make sure you use good quality saffron and soak it in some warm milk for 5 minutes before adding to the rice. The condiment gives a fantastic colour and taste to the basmati rice and the herbs tie up the dish wonderfully well. All you need to do is add a pinch of garam masala to the marinade and you’ve taken your biryani to a whole new level! The spices in the masala are carefully hand-picked from the best of the farms, ensuring quality and consistency of the spices. Serve your biryani with fresh coriander and dollops of yogurt raita.
    • Biryani with a Mexican twist: Do something different with your biryani – give it a strong Mexican twist! Get inspired by the fail-safe combination of Mexican flavours - fresh coriander, bell pepper, and kidney beans. Sprinkle some grated cheese and nacho chips and you’ve converted the dish into something incredible! Serve with a yogurt dip and spicy salsa. So simple and decidedly flavourful, you’ll crave it at least once a week!
    • Garlic butter biryani: This one’s chockfull of bold flavours and robust aromas! Buttery and garlicky – it’s so good, you can eat it plain! The showstopper of the dish is the garlic – slice them thinly and fry them golden and crispy; it sure is the crowning glory of this recipe. A really easy rice dish, bursting with fresh vegetables; serve it piping hot with just about anything – yogurt, kadhi, raita, salad or curry. It’s always a huge hit!

  • Paneer butter masala biryani Eat BreakfastThis classic Indian dish is a must-try! Ensure that the cottage cheese stays deliciously moist and the vegetables are spiced to perfection. This biryani is absolutely perfect for entertaining. Slice the onions thin, and deep fry them. Top the biryani off with lots of fried onions, cashews and raisins. Coriander and mint leaves add freshness to the rice. Adding a dash of Paneer masala lends a depth of flavour and amazing richness to the dish. The formulation for Tata Sampann Paneer Masala is crafted by Chef Sanjeev Kapoor, and helps you make the best restaurant-quality paneer dishes at home.
  • Moong biryani: No, it doesn’t taste anything like khichdi! Whole moong and wholegrain basmati rice come together beautifully, along with peas, carrots and loads of coriander. The most magical part about this dish is that it comes together with so few ingredients and this recipe makes for a quick midweek wholesome dinner for the family. It is full of fibre, vitamin C and is packed with protein-rich mung beans. Garnish with plenty of fried cashews and serve with spicy kadhi. The savouriness of the moong paired with fresh herbs and peas makes this dish a true show-stopper.

Tried these recipes? Share your feedback with us in the comments.


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