Vegetable Curried Rice

Vegetable Curried Rice (Vegetable Biryani)

Vegetable Curried RiceVegetable Curried Rice (Vegetable Biryani)

Serves 4


11 oz vegetables, diced or chopped

2/3 cup croutons

3 oz cottage cheese (Panir)

1 ¼ cups water (I)

2 onions, finely sliced

3/8 cup/ 75mL cooking oil

11 oz basmati rice

¼ cup ghee

2 5/8 cups / 600mL water (II)

  Singe-fry Masala 

1 tsp cumin, whole

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp chilli powder

 Follow-up masala 

5 cloves

2 cinnamon pieces 1” (2.5 cm)

6 cardamoms, green, regular

10 black pepper corns

3 bay leaves (tejpat)

5/8 cup/ 150 ml water (III)

2 tsps slat, to taste

 Finishing masala 

½ tsp saffron, soaked in milk

2 tbsps milk

 Garnish masala 

½ tsp garam masala


Soak saffron in milk and keep aside.  Dice the cottage cheese into pieces of 1” x 1” x ½” or smaller and keep aside. 


Bring oil to smoking in a saucepan and sauté fry the diced cottage cheese (panir) until light brown.  Remove and soak in hot water (I) and keep aside.


Take another heavy-bottomed, fairly large, cooking pot.  Add ghee and bring to high heat and sauté fry the rice till glazed.  Immediately add water (II) and bring to boil.  Depending on the quality of rice, the boiling, till the rice id done, make take 10-20 minutes.  Uncover and let the steam vaporize.  Keep aside.


In the remaining oil, brown the onions.  Then add the single-fry masala and stir fry for a minute or two.  Add the vegetables, and the soaked panir, after draining through a colander.  Mix together for 3-5 minutes, add the follow-up masala and the croutons and again stir fry for 2-3 minutes till the contents are well coated with the spices.  Add water (III) and simmer on low heat for 10 minutes to soften the vegetables.  Turn off the heat and let it settle.


Take an oven-proof casserole or a baking dish.  Layer the rice and vegetables with croutons, starting with the rice then the vegetables, again rice then vegetables, and finally only rice.  You can have one layer or two layers depending on the size of the dish and the oven. 


Make sure the rice is cooked and not wet, like normal rice.  In a pulao the rice grains should be separate and al dente.


Finally, spread the saffron with the milk over the rice and cover with foil.  Bake in the oven at moderate heat for 10 minutes or so.  Remove foil and sprinkle garnish masala just before serving. 


Note: Vegetables used here can be of any kind- carrots, potatoes, beans, cauliflower flowerettes, peas, gourds, squashes.