Vegetable Biriyani

This is a simple, flavorful rice dish that I learned to make when I lived with my family in Manipal, India. I tasted it for the first time in Dr. Meera Baliga’s home. She shared her recipe with me, and I started making it for my family for weekend lunches. It pairs well with raita – a salad made with yogurt, tomato, cucumber, and onion.

Many times when I cooked this dish in Manipal, students from the nearby university would drop by and linger way past lunch time, until we were all so hungry, that I would have to invite them to join us for lunch! I soon learned that I would need to make a huge batch, because every time I cooked it, the heavenly smell wafted all the way down the street and into the dorms! So, this recipe is for those young, talented students that made me feel like I was the best cook on earth! See, what you turned me into – a blogger and foodie for life! I love each one of you and think of you often.

For the masala mix

2 teaspoons coconut oil
5 cardamoms
5 cloves
2 1-inch piece of cinnamon
1 tablespoon chopped ginger
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
½ cup chopped onion
½ cup grated coconut
½ cup chopped cilantro

Heat coconut oil in a small pan over medium-high heat. Add the cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon. Fry for a minute, remove from heat, and cool. Add the fried ingredients, onion, coconut and cilantro to a blender, and purée.

For the rice

½ cup coconut oil
½ cup cubed potatoes
½ cup cubed carrots
6 French beans, cut into diagonal pieces
½ cup fresh green peas
½ cup chopped tomatoes
3 finely chopped green chillies
½ cup grated coconut
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 cups Basmathi rice, washed and drained
4 cups water
Salt to taste

Heat coconut oil in a large pan. Add the masala mix and fry for five minutes. Add the vegetables, tomatoes, chillies, grated coconut, turmeric, rice, and salt, and fry for another five minutes. Add water, and bring to boil. Once it boils, turn heat as low as possible. Cover and cook for 15 minutes. Fluff up rice, and vegetables gently with a fork, and serve piping hot.

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9 thoughts on “Vegetable Biriyani

  1. My dear Margaret, I am always so happy when I receive your blogs. I am starting a binder, will print all the recipes out and start trying them out – maybe not as spicy as you wish, but will give it a try. Miss you and love you. As Lucas says: “lots, ‘n lots, ‘n lots!” Huge hug, Clary

  2. My dear Clary,
    It is wonderful to hear from you. Thank you for keeping up with my blogs. Happy thanksgiving. I know you are going to be very busy cooking for your family. I miss you and I promise to stop by before Christmas. Give Lucas a big hug for me. You made my day I will be thinking of you while I begin my prep work for our big thanksgiving dinner on Thursday. Love you and God bless.

  3. Hi Pris,
    Good to hear from you. I’ve started doing the prep work for thanksgiving dinner today. Will send you the menu. Depending on how everything turns out will share pictures and recipes. Wish all of you were here.

  4. My dearest Maggie,
    Wow the vegetable biriyani is just fantastic! My kids who don’t like vegetables very much gobbled up the rice and Doug thoroughly enjoyed it too! I left the chillies out and fried some chillies on the side for myself! Thanks so much do sharing! Can’t wait for the next recipe!

    • Julie dear,
      What a lovely message at the end of my busy day. I’ve been cooking and cooking for tomorrow’s thanksgiving dinner. We have about 25 people coming. Thank you for your feedback on the Vegetable Biriyani.
      Happy Thanksgiving. I love you.

  5. Thank you for the post dear Maggie!! I was one of them…… And loved every bit of it….you still are one of the best cooks…..sad to know that Dr Meera Balliga passed away a couple of months back……lovely memories….now a taste to go with it….xx

    • Hi Mini,
      It is always wonderful to hear from you. It broke my heart when I heard about Dr. Baliga, but as you said, we have beautifully memories of her. She loved to join us during our Friday evening worship.
      I was happy to hear from Steve recently. Thanks for keeping in touch. Love you always.

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