Vegetarian Biryani (Pilaf)

January 6, 2014

Author Notes: A simplified version of famous Indian spiced rice pilaf. Serve with

Serves: 2-3


  • 2 cups Basmati rice
  • 1 cup chopped boiled potatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell peppers
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onions
  • 1/4 cup green peas
  • 1/4 cup corn
  • 1 tablespoon minced green chillies
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon shredded ginger
  • 1 tablespoon red chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 3 tablespoons biryani masala
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • salt, to taste
In This Recipe


  1. Boil water in a large pot, add some salt, 1 tbsp of biryani masala, rice and cook for 6-8 minutes. Leave the rice slightly undercooked.
  2. In a non-stick pan, heat oil, add cumin seeds and let them sizzle for 20-30 seconds.
  3. Add onions, garlic and ginger – cook for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add add tomatoes and cool until the oil separates. This may take 4-5 minutes.
  5. Add the potatoes, green peppers, green peas, corn – mix well and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Add red chili powder, garam masala, biryani masala, salt – mix well and cool for 3 minutes.
  7. Using cooking spray or olive oil, grease the bottom and sides of a heavy bottom pot or a ceramic pot (stove top safe).
  8. Spread a ladle full of veggie mixture to the bottom of the pot and then spread a ladle full of rice. Keep layering.
  9. Sprinkle about 1/2 cup of water over the layered rice & veggie mixture.
  10. Drizzle clarified butter or regular butter over the rice. This will prevent the top layer of rice from getting dry.
  11. Cover and cook the layered rice & veggies over medium-low heat for 20 minutes or until the rice is completely cooked. Halfway through, using a spatula, check the bottom of the pot, if the rice is sticking to pot, then add a little more water.

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