Vegetable Biryani

Ingredients

for the vegetable layer
50 grams of cauliflower, broken into small florets
50 grams of carrot, chopped 3/4" long diagonally
50 grams of french beans, chopped 3/4" long diagonally
50 grams shelled peas
½ capsicum, halved and sliced 3/4" long
1 big potato, halved and sliced into 3/4" long ribbons
1 onion, halved and sliced 3/4" long
1 tomato, halved and sliced 3/4" long
2 green chilies, chopped 3/4" long diagonally
3 bayleaves
3 cloves
½ inch cinnamon stick
1 big cardamom
¼ teaspoon cardamom powder
¼ cup of vegetable oil
1 teaspoon of Zaiqa Biryani Spice Mix
salt to taste
for the rice layer
cup of basmati rice (long grain)
cups of water
2 cloves
2 bayleaves
1 tablespoon milk
½ tablespoon vegetable oil
salt to taste
few drops of colour (optional)

Preparation

1. for the vegetable layer
2. In a wok, heat the oil and let all the whole spices except cardamom powder temper till they release the wonderful aroma.
3. Then add onions and fry them till golden brown. Add the remaining vegetables along with cardamom powder. Allow them to cook till tender.
4. Add the Zaiqa Biryani Spice mix. Divide the cooked vegetables in 2 portions. Set aside.
5. for the rice layer
6. In a big pan, boil water with salt, bayleaves, cloves, milk and oil (the ingredients under rice layer). You can cover the pan while the water boils.
7. Add rice, allow it to cook uncovered on medium-high flame till hald cooked like al dente stage. Strain the rice, reserving the liquid. I usually use this liquid to make curries or even knead dough. Divide the strained rice in 2 portions.
8. Grease a heavy bottom big pan or vessel liberally. Spread one layer of rice in the vessel. Sprinkle 1-2 drops of color on top. Now spread one layer of vegetables on top of it. Repeat with the second layer of rice, color and vegetables. You can divide in more layers if you like. Seal the vessel with aluminium foil.
9. Place the vessel on low flame and allow the biryani to cook for 5-10 minutes. Place a griddle pan (tawa) on low flame and move the biryani vessel onto the griddle. Now allow it cook on this indirect heat for another 20-30 minutes or longer if desired.
10. Serve hot with boondi raita, mix veg raita or bathua raita.

Notes