A Mixed Bag – A bit of everything under the sun

Quick and Easy Restaurant style Vegetable Biryani

Posted on: April 19, 2010

Biryani is undoubtedly a finger licking food. But making it at home is a laborious process if you want to do it DSC04814the right way. But the biryani served in restaurants taste so mmm mmm good, I’ve always wondered how they do it. It’s spicy, it’s sweet, it’s creamy, it’s sour all at the same time. Surely they don’t bake it, they do some kind of a stir fry and give it to you within ten minutes of your ordering. I’ve been trying to imitate their taste by experimenting with the ingredients and I think i’ve finally hit the jackpot! I made this yesterday and it came so very close to the ones you order in restaurants. The first thing i wanted to do was post the recipe on my blog so I don’t forget it ;). And yes, also share it with everybody.

This recipe makes 6-8 servings. I’ve only eyeballed the measuremens. Play around with the quantities to suit your taste.


Vegetables of your choice – carrots, beans, potatoes, cauliflower, peas, lima beans (about 1 1/2 cups each) cut into large chunks

For the rice:

Rice – 2 cups

Water – 2 cups

Salt to taste

For the veggies:

Oil – 2 tbsp

Onion – 1 large

Tomatoes – 1 large

Jeera – 1 teaspoon

Ginger garlic paste – 1 tbsp

Cashews – a handful, cut into pieces

Green Chillies – 4 to 6

Whole Garam masala – 2 black cardamoms, 3-4 cloves, 1 inch cinnamon, 1 bay leaf

Butter – 4 tbsp

Coriander powder – 1.5 tbsp

Paprika powder – 1.5 teaspoon

Red chili powder – to taste

Garam masala powder – 2 teaspoon

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

Jaggery – 1/4 small cube

Tamarind – 1 inch piece

Yogurt – 1 cup

Kasoori Methi (Dried Fenugreek) – 2 teaspoon


1/4 cup Fried onions (store bought)

Though the ingredients look like a lot, most of it is easy to find in your kitchen.


For the rice:

1. The rice is best if it is cold. Use left over rice or prepare it a few hours before.

2. Wash rice thoroughly and add two cups of water (more or less depending on your cooker and type of rice. This is what works for me).

3. Cook in the pressure cooker upto three whistles or in the rice cooker until it is done.

4. If you are preparing rice especially for the biryani, you can spice it up by adding 2 green cardamoms, 1 inch cinnamon, 2-3 cloves, a handful of mint leaves and 1 teaspoon of jeera.

For the veggies:

1. Microwave the veggies until they are half done to reduce the cooking time.

2. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a pan. Add jeera, onions, a bit of salt and fry until light brown.

3. Add tomatoes and fry for a minute more

4. Transfer this to a mixer. Add a tablespoon of ginger garlic paste, green chillies, a handful of cashews and a few mint leaves if you like.

5. Blend it into a fine paste and set aside.

6. Next, heat oil in the pan again. Add jeera, 1-2 black cardamoms, bay leaf, cinnamon and cloves.

7. Add turmeric and the veggies. Transfer the onion tomato cashew paste. The cashews are one of the secret ingredients which give the biryani a rich taste.

8. Add pepper, paprika powder, chili powder, coriander powder, salt and mix.

9. Soak the jaggery and tamarind in 3 tbsp of water, mash it well until all the taste is transferred to this water and then add it to the vegetable mixture. This is anothe secret ingredient which gives the biryani a sweet and sour taste.

10. Add 4 tbsp of butter (another secret ingredient) and let it cook until the vegetables are done. If you have cream, you can add in a tablespoon or two at this point.

11. Once done, turn off the flame, add a cup of yogurt and crush the dried fenugreek leaves with your hands and drop them in.

12. Add deep fried onions (available in stores). This is anothe secret ingredient and makes a huge difference to the biryani.

13. Add raisins for extra taste, mix with rice and serve hot with raita.

All this is done in about 45 minutes or so and it tastes delicious. It has all the tastes at the same time and plays tricks in your mouth. Hope you like it. Do let me know how it turned out for you and what additions you made. Enjoy!

You might want to note the recipe down on printable recipe cards for future reference.

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2 Responses to "Quick and Easy Restaurant style Vegetable Biryani"

nice! a touch of cinnamon should give it an aroma, but you have nailed most of the things in your preparation and I believe it should indeed turn out delicious šŸ™‚ …enjoy!

[…] Quick and Easy Restaurant style Vegetable Biryani […]

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