Spatula, Spoon and Saturday

Eating and Cooking all the things in Melbourne

Vegetable Biryani

I made this last week and I’m having a hard time trying to remember how I made it! I always order Vegetable Biryani at Indian restaurants and they are always so yummy and buttery and somehow I haven’t been able to replicate that. I guess I’m not game enough to put in more oil and butter! But also I don’t cook the hell out of my vegetables the way it’s done (properly I guess) because I like the crispness in the veggies. So feel free cut them in smaller pieces and cook them for longer if you like softer veggies.

Roughly, from my hazy memory, I use (for four):


  1. 1 onion, sliced
  2. 1/2 cup of cashew nuts
  3. 2 tbsp sultanas
  4. 2 tbsp of vegetable oil


  1. 1 cup of basmati rice, rinsed well to get rich of excess starch
  2. 1 tsp of turmeric powder (I’m unemployed and cannot afford saffron!)
  3. 1 tbsp of vegetable oil

Vegetables and Sauce

  1. 1/2 broccoli florets and stems, sliced into bite-sized pieces
  2. 1/2 cup of cauliflower florets and stems, sliced into bite-sized pieces
  3. 1 small carrots, cut into chip size
  4. 5 long beans, sliced
  5. 5 button mushrooms, cut into thick slices
  6. 1/3 cup of frozen peas
  7. 1/2 cup yoghurt
  8. 1 tbsp of crushed ginger
  9. 2 cloves of crushed garlic
  10. 1 star anise
  11. 5 cloves
  12. 5 green cardamon pods
  13. 2 sticks of cinnamon
  14. 3 dried bay leaves
  15. 1 tsp garam masala
  16. 1 tsp Vegeta vegetable stock dissolved in 1/2 cup of hot water
  17. 2 tbsp of butter

First things first, we need to make the fried onion garnish. Fry the onion slices in low-medium heat in the vegetable oil until it’s very brown. Set aside. Leave the leftover oil in the frying pan.

Place the washed basmati rice in boiling. Add the turmeric powder (don’t spill this! I spilled like 1 tsp of tumeric powder and about a square metre of my kitchen tiles are STILL yellow after much scrubbing!), salt and oil. Bring to boil and then turn to the heat to medium. Stir occasionally.

Use the onion oil, fry the star anise, cinnamon, cardamon, bay leaves, cloves until fragrant. Add the ginger and garlic paste and fry for 1/2 a minute. Add a little bit of water if necessary. Add all the vegetables (except peas), garam masala and half of the yoghurt. Keep frying until the vegetables soften. This should take about 10 minutes also. Keep adding water if necessary. Check the rice. Drain it at about 70% cooked (taste it, it should still be crunchy in the middle). Add the rice to the vegetables as well as the frozen peas. Add the rest of the yoghurt and the butter. Add the concentrated vegetable stock.

At this point you can either cover the frying pan with a bit of foil and turn the heat down to cook out the rice and vegetables or put it in medium-hot oven (aout 180’C which is what I did because I was making the Butter Chicken at the same time) for about 10 minutes or so.

Top with the sultanas and the fried onions. Very yummy with Butter Chicken!