South Indian Vegetable Biryani Recipe

There are times when I am quite sick of my own cooking and welcome trying out someone else’s recipe. With pulav’s the issue is, at least in my kitchen, no two pulavs taste the same so I rarely try some other recipe. One weekend, my friend B of the fiery tomato chutney fame was staying with us and said her mother makes it excellently and we should try it out, she called but couldn’t get the recipe because aunty was unwell. She then said, her mother in law’s recipe is also very good and we should try that… I realised only after I began speaking to aunty (B’s MIL) that she was telling me how to make Spicy Vegetable Pulav from Kuwait!! So in that sense, this is one of the most expensive pulav’s I have made!!

This pulav has a ground masala, something which I usually avoid!! But it was so worth the effort of grinding everything together. Its spicy enough to be eaten with just a simple raitha, but go ahead with making a side dish if you are in a mood for something more elaborate.

J’s mom’s Spicy Vegetable Pulav (serves 4)

2 cups basmati rice, washed and soaked in water for 10-15 mins

1 cup ground masala*

2 cups assorted vegetables of choice to be cut into chunks (I used potatoes, carrot, beans and cauliflower)

Salt to taste

2 Tbs vegetable oil

*For the Ground Masala

1 inch stick of cinnamon, 2-3 cloves, 2 green cardamom

½ cup thickly chopped onion

1 tbsp ginger garlic paste (or 1 inch piece ginger and 2-3 cloves garlic)

2-3 green chillies

11/2 Tbsp fennel seeds (saunf)

1 Tbsp poppy seeds (soaked for 10 mins in warm water and drained)

1 cup loosely packed mint leaves

½ cup loosely packed coriander leaves

1 small tomato (or about ¼ cup)

Method: Grind all of the above into a smooth paste with about 2 tablespoons of water to help in blending the whole mixture.

In a pressure cooker, heat the oil and add the ground masala paste to this. Fry till the oil begins to separate, stirring frequently. Add the chopped vegetables and fry for 2 minutes. Drain the water from the soaking rice, gently stir till the rice is coated with the spice paste. Fry for 2-3 minutes. Add 3½ cups of water to this, add salt to taste and cover and place the whistle. After one whistle, turn it off and wait for the steam to release, before opening and fluff with a fork. Serve hot with raitha.

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9 thoughts on “South Indian Vegetable Biryani Recipe

  1. Swapna says:

    Hi Anu, thanks…..I just followed the tips YOU sent me on photography…….. :)am glad to know there is a difference…

    I will send the snaps… But don’t post them anywhere pls…. I look awful 🙂

    • arundati says:

      am glad to know the tips helped….and no i wont post them… wanted them for myself… i couldnt have looked any good myself…all sun burnt and peeling!!

  2. Aparna says:

    I love one dish meals (less cooking to do!) and this one which features a lot here, though a different recipe.
    I still have mine waiting to see the light of the day on my blog. LOL

    • arundati says:

      yeah!! now that you mention it!! my god… almost 15 of us would land up and demand to be fed… remember the kurma and i think about 100 rotis we made one day… she asked each of us how many we’d eat and planned accordingly… fun times those were!

  3. Asha says:

    Sounds and looks very much like how my mom cooks Veg Pulav except Fenugreek seeds and Tomato. Looks mouthwatering, must try this way too. I love adding ground masala ro rice.

    Happy V day, enjoy the weekend A.

    • arundati says:

      hi asha, yes i think this is a very all encompassing south indian way of making pulav… i didnt add fenugreek seeds tho… nice to see you here

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