Veg Biryani | Veg Dum Biryani Recipe

Veg Biryani | Veg Dum Biryani Recipe

Prep Time : 45 mins
Cook Time : 45 mins
Total Time : 1 hr 30 mins


For soaking rice

  • 1.5 cups basmati rice – 300 grams, preferably aged basmati rice
  • 1 cup water for soaking rice

Veggies and herbs

  • 1.5 cups cauliflower florets – 150 grams
  • 1 cup chopped potatoes – 100 grams or 2 medium-sized
  • ½ cup chopped carrots – 100 grams or 1 medium to large carrot
  • ¼ cup chopped french beans – 50 grams or 11 to 12 french beans
  • 8 to 10 white button mushrooms sliced or chopped, (optional)
  • ¼ to  cup chopped bell pepper – 50 grams or 1 small to medium (optional)
  • ½ cup green peas – fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup thinly sliced onions (heaped) – 115 grams onion or 1 large onion
  • 1.5 tablespoons finely chopped ginger – 10 grams or 2 pieces of 2 inch ginger or 1 tablespoon ginger paste
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic – 5 grams or 10 to 12 medium garlic cloves or ½ tablespoon garlic paste
  • 2 green chilies – slit or sliced

For cooking rice

  • 3 green cardamoms
  • 1 black cardamom
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 inch cinnamon
  • 1 tej patta (Indian bay leaf)
  • 2 single mace strands
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt or add as per taste

For biryani curry/gravy

  • 3 tablespoons Ghee (clarified butter) – use 3 tablespoons oil instead
  • 1 teaspoon shah jeera (caraway seeds)
  • 1 tej patta (Indian bay leaf)
  • 3 green cardamoms
  • 1 black cardamon
  • 1 inch cinnamon
  • 1 cup Curd (yogurt), whisked – 200 grams
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli powder or cayenne pepper or paprika
  • ½ cup water for pressure cooking and ¾ cup water for cooking in a pan
  • 2 tablespoons cashews
  • 1 tablespoons raisins (without seeds)
  • 2 tablespoons almonds – raw or blanched, peeled and sliced
  • salt as required

For assembling and layering

  •  cup chopped coriander leaves (cilantro) – 20 grams
  •  cup chopped mint leaves – 5 grams
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons milk
  • ¼ teaspoon saffron strands
  • 2 teaspoons kewra water (pandanus water) or rose water


Soaking rice

  • Pick and rinse basmati rice in running water till the water runs clear of starch. Soak the rice in 1 cup of water for 30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes drain the rice and set aside.
  • When the rice is soaking prep all the veggies and other ingredients. Set aside.

Cooking rice

  • Take a deep bottomed pan. Add water and heat the water on a high flame.
  • When the water becomes hot, add the salt and following spices: tej patta, green cardamoms, cloves, black cardamom, cinnamon, strands of mace.
  • Bring the water to a boil. Then add the soaked basmati rice.
  • Just gently stir with a spoon or fork, after you add the soaked rice.
  • Do not reduce the flame and continue to cook the rice grains.
  • The rice has to be ¾ᵗʰ cooked. The grains should have a slight bite to them when cooked. The rice should not be fully cooked.
  • Drain the rice in a colander. Gently fluff and keep aside.

Making vegetable curry/gravy

  • In a 2-litre pressure cooker or a pan, heat ghee. Add the following spices – shahjeera, tej patta, green cardamoms, cloves, black cardamom and cinnamon. Sauté the whole spices till they crackle.
  • Now add the onions. Stir and sauté them on a low to medium flame.
  • Add a pinch of salt to quicken the cooking process.
  • When the onions are cooking, take 1 cup fresh curd (yogurt) in a bowl and whisk the curd with a spoon or wired whisk till it become smooth.
  • Sauté the onions till they become golden brown or caramelize.
  • Then add the ginger-garlic paste and sliced green chillies. You can also finely chop the ginger-garlic and add.
  • Sauté till the raw aroma of ginger-garlic goes away.
  • Add the turmeric and red chili powder. Stir and mix well.
  • Next add the chopped veggies. Sauté for a minute or two.
  • Lower the heat and add the whisked curd (yogurt). Stir and mix well as soon as you add the curd. Then add ½ cup water in the pressure cooker. For cooking in a pan, add ¾ cup water.
  • Season with salt and mix again.
  • Pressure cook for 1 whistle on 3 to 4 minutes on medium heat. If cooking in a pot, then cook until the vegetables are tender. Don’t over cook the vegetables.
  • Warm 4 to 5 tablespoons milk in a microwave or in a small pan on the stove top. Add ¼ teaspoon of saffron strands. Stir and keep aside.
  • When the pressure settles down on its own, remove the lid and check the gravy.
  • If the vegetables are under cooked, then keep the cooker on the stove top and simmer the vegetable biryani gravy without the lid, till the vegetables are tender.
  • If there is too much of water or stock in the gravy, then simmer until some of the water evaporates and dries up. Note that the vegetable gravy should have a medium or slightly thick consistency and should not be watery.
  • Now add cashews, raisins and almonds (blanched or raw) to the vegetable gravy. Mix and stir. Set aside. Do a taste test and check the salt in the vegetable gravy. Add more if needed.

Assembling and layering

  • Now in a thick bottomed pan, layer half portion of the vegetable gravy first.
  • Then layer half portion of the semi-cooked rice.
  • Sprinkle half of the chopped coriander leaves (cilantro), mint leaves and saffron milk.
  • Layer the remaining vegetable gravy.
  • Layer the last portion of the rice. Sprinkle the remaining coriander leaves, mint leaves, and saffron infused milk on the top. Sprinkle rose water or kewra water.
  • You can make 2 layers or 4 layers like I have done. But do note that rice should be the top layer and the vegetable gravy should be the bottom layer.

Dum cooking

  • Now seal and secure the pot with an aluminium foil. Then cover with a lid. You can also seal the pan with a moist cotton cloth and then cover with a lid.
  • Take a tava/griddle/skillet and heat it on medium flame.
  • When the tawa become hot, then lower the flame. Keep the sealed veg biryani pan on the tawa.
  • Keep the flame to the lowest and cook for 30 to 35 minutes. You can dum cook hyderabadi veg biryani for the first 15 minutes on a direct low flame and then for the last 10 minutes, place the pan on the hot tawa/skillet and cook on a low heat.
  • Once done using a fork or spoon check the bottom layer of the biryani. There should be no liquids at the bottom. If there are liquids, then continue to dum cook for some more time.
  • After dum cooking, give a resting time of 5 to 7 minutes and later serve the hyderabadi veg biryani. 

Serving Suggestions

  • While serving, make sure you equally serve the vegetables as well as the rice.
  • There are various sides that pair best with a veg biryani. Biryani is usually accompanied with a raita (yogurt dip). You can choose to pair it with Cucumber Raita, Onion Tomato Raita and Boondi Raita, or you could enjoy biryani with any savory raita of your liking.
  • You can also pair it with Kachumber Salad (onion-tomato salad), plain Curd (Yogurt), Mango Pickle, some lemon wedges or roasted papad.
  • The hyderabadi veg biryani is usually served with Mirchi ka Salan (Green Chilly Curry) and raita. If desired you can serve biryani with a simple soupy Shorba gravy.
  • You can also enjoy biryani as it is without any sides or accompaniments.


  • Store the biryani leftovers in your refrigerator for a day only. While reheating steam for 5 minutes in a pan or Instant pot. You could even lightly sauté the biryani stirring frequently in a frying pan or skillet until warm or hot.

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