From Mom's Kitchen Meals

How to make: Vegetable Hyderabadi Biryani

February 18, 2018
How to make: Vegetable Hyderabadi Biryani

Vegetable Hyderabadi Biryani

Nah! It’s not a traditional Hyderabadi Biryani, as it’s a non-vegetarian dish but this one is a vegetarian rendition of the Hyderabadi Biryani, and it’s a tried and tested recipe from the mom’s kitchen.

I was to dread making biryani as I always was under the impression that it’s a daunting task to undertake, but witnessing the process of making biryani was a cinch. No doubt I took the leisure amount of time to photo shoot for the blog; wish I have taken the video.

Tip: It helps to get the required ingredients sorted and have them ready before working with the recipe and don’t let the list intimidate you. I promise it’s easy and will be devoured with all the credit to you.

By the way, I will thank my sister to help to execute mom’s recipe for the photo shoot and consulting mom when needed just to be true to her notes. Shout out to mom and Palak.

Did you know? The word “Biryani” is derived from Farsi word “Birian”  which means ‘fried before cooking’ and “Birinj” which means ‘rice’; It’s said that the dish originated in Persia; but the Jury is still out if it’s an Indian / Persian dish.

Biryani Ingredients: (makes for four people)

  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 4 cups water

Rice Spices:

  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 1-inch stick cinnamon
  • 1-2 pieces cloves
  • 8 – 10 fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Gadgets Required:

  • 1 sieve
  • 1 pot
  • 1 pan/ kadai
  • 1 casserole
  • Chopping board
  • Knife
  • Foil
  • 2-3 spoons

Dum Ingredients:

  • 2-3 coal pieces
  • 1 stainless steel wire roaster

Step 1: Prepare the Rice for the Biryani:

  • Boil 4 cups water in a pot.
  • Add 1 cup basmati rice to the boiling water.
  • Add the rice spices (cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, fresh mint, and salt) to the same.

Pointers to know if the rice is cooked:

  • The rice grain will double in size and very fluffed up.
  • Cook the rice grain to aldante.
  • Drain the cooked rice using the sieve.


  • 2 onions – thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup cubed carrots
  • 1/2 cup cubed potatoes
  • 1/2 cup green peas
  • 1/2 cup french beans
  • 1/2 cup green pepper
  • 1/2 cup cauliflower * we didn’t add the cauliflower 
  • Cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon garlic paste
  • 1 tablespoon ginger paste
  • 2 Green chilies cut into 1/2 inch strips and deseeded.
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water

Biryani Spices:

  • 100-gram ghee  (* We had used less than the measure stated here to excise the fat content).
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp Dhana jeeru powder (* ground coriander and cumin seed).
  • 1 tsp Red chili powder
  • 1 tsp Bhuna Hua Jeera powder (* ground roasted cumin seed).
  • 1 tsp Biryani spice blend (* ours is unique homemade Biryani masala blend; drop me a comment below if you would like the recipe for the same; You can use the Hyderabadi Biryani spice mix available in the market.)
  • Saffron threads
  • Salt to taste
Layer Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup Mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup Cilantro
  • 1/2 cup Onion barista (Fried Onions)
  • Biryani rice prepared (steps listed above)
  • Vegetable Biryani gravy (steps listed below)

Saffron Milk

  • Add the saffron threads to the warm milk and let it sit to brew the beautiful golden color and aroma saffron milk.

Vegetable Biryani Gravy Steps:

  • Saute the onions in the pan with the ghee on the medium flame.
  • When the onions turn translucent and have bits of brown edges add the ginger and garlic to the same.
  • Add the striped and deseeded green chilies to the mixture and let it cook.
  • Next, add the Biryani spices (turmeric jeeru powder, dhana jeeru powder, biryani spice mix, red chili powder) and let the spices get cooked to a cohesive mixture and release the spice oil to build the taste and aroma around.
  • Add the yogurt to the pan and mix it well.
  • Add the boiled/steamed (* traditionally fried ) vegetables to the gravy (carrots, potatoes, french beans, green peas, green pepper).
  • Add salt to taste.
  • Turn off the stove and add the water and 2 tablespoons saffron milk to the mixture to cool the gravy.

Ah! Take a breather all the hard work is done, it will come together in no time.

Layering the Casserole:
  • Layer 1: Add the thin (1 inch) layer of the rice in the casserole.
  • Layer 2: Spoon the saffron milk over the rice.
  • Layer 3: Ladle the Vegetable Hyderabadi Biryani gravy into the casserole.
  • Layer 4: Spread the cilantro, mint and onion barista.
  • Layer 5: Repeat the layer 1 to 4 to fill the casserole. (* let the last layer be of rice)
  • Layer 6: Garnish it with cilantro, mint and onion barista and left saffron milk.
How to smoke (dum) the Biryani? (Optional)
  • Heat the coal on the open flame over a stainless steel wire roaster.
  • Strategically place the coal in the casserole over a foil or a plate.
  • Pour 1-2 tablespoon ghee over the hot coal and quickly cover the casserole with a foil wrap tucking it in properly, so it doesn’t let the smoke escape.
  • Cover the casserole with a lid; Use the airtight lid if available.
  • Let it sit for 10 -15 min; to seep the smoke flavor into the Biryani. That’s a cherry on a top! Trust me. If you can do this step do not miss it for the world; it takes the Vegetable Hyderabadi Biryani to the next level.

Simmer the Vegetable Hyderabadi Biryani over a low flame and serve it hot with yogurt or by it self. People will definitely go for seconds.

  • It has a kick.
  • I would tag it as a gluten-free recipe.
  • It can in a cinch be made vegan-friendly dish simply by replacing following ingredients:
    • Ghee with a vegan-freindly butter or coconut butter.
    • Yogurt with vegan-friendly yougurt.
    • Milk with Almond/Soy milk.
Hyderabadi Biryani

Hyderabadi Biryani

Sharing the love from mom’s kitchen. We would love to hear from you on your experience from the recipe or just a quick hello. Thank you for reading!


Nidhi, Palak and Mom

You Might Also Like