Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Layered Vegetable Biryani ~ 7 day Blogging Marathon

Only today and tomorrow left to send in your yummy entries to 'Best Food I have Eaten or Blogged about' event on my blog!. Winner gets a cookbook by Raghvan Iyer.
Event open to all US and non-US residents. For details check out the side bar 'ON GOING EVENT'

Here is to the first day of our Blogging Marathon - Layered Vegetable Biryani.
What's Blogging Marathon? you ask....Its an event where lot of bloggers get together and blog continously for 7 days (or more, in this case 7 days) on one particular theme they choose, brainchild of Srivalli of Spice your Life.
I chose 'Rice' as my theme for the next 7 days. So be prepared so see 7 rice varieties over the next 7 days!!

I made this last weekend for a potluck at a friend's place. Lovely company and yummy food kept us awake late into the night!
The biryani did turn out great with all the veggies in yogurt gravy and all also all the whole garam masala.
Only problem I had was, at the time I had to layer my biryani, I couldn't find the right tray to do it in. I usually like to use the big tin foil tray which are deep to do this. But bad luck....I couldn't find one and there was no one to go out and get one.
All I could find to take my biryani to the party was a big hotbox I had hidden in my cabinet. I surely couldnot layer it in that...I would not look good from any angle!!...
For that reason, I mixed the layers up to look uniform all over. Garnished with coriander leaves, took it to the potluck.
Well I guess it did taste good, since it was almost done....and I was happy.
As for the pics....I layered it like I wanted it to look like in a small cup and turned it over, thats why it looks so good!!!
The whole process takes about an hour fifteen minutes. But its not at all difficult to do it!
Below I hope I wrote it out as you can understand it....If not surely ask me questions.

Two ways to do it:

1. Cook rice completely as you wish, and layer it for easiness sake.
2. Cook rice to 90%, drain water completely, layer and bake in oven preheated to 375 degrees for 20 min or until cooked.


4 cups uncooked basmati rice

Whole Garam Masala for rice

4 elaichi
4 cloves
2 pieces cinamon
1 tsp shahi jeera
1 tsp jeera
2 bay leaves
2 anise star petals
salt to taste
1 tsp oil

For Gravy Curry

6 elaichi
6 cloves
4 peppercorns
3 pieces of cinamon
1 tsp shahi jeera
1 tsp jeera
4 bay leaves
2 anise stars
cashew nuts as required

1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
1 small onion, chopped small
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 can tomoato puree, 10 oz
5 green chillies, slit

2 small potatoes, cubed
1/2 cup peas
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup cauliflower florets
1/2 cup beans, chopped
1/2 cup yogurt, blended with some water
paneer cubes, as required shallow fried in oil
1/2 cup mint leaves, chopped
1/2 cup coriander leaves, chopped

Salt to taste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
3-4 tbsp oil

For Garnish:

1/2 cup onion, preferably red, cut lengthwise
1/2 cup coriander leaves, chopped



Wash and soak rice for atleast 30-40 min.
Boil about 10 cups of water.
Add the whole garam masala, oil and salt. When it boils, add drained rice.
When the rice starts to boil and 'dance', check to see it its 90% cooked.
Drain the water.
From here you can go either way -- drain water, cover and cook, till completely cooked or layer it with the gravy, cover and cook in the oven.

Heat oil in a big pan.
Fry paneer pieces in shallow oil and keep aside.
Fry cashew nuts to golden brown and keep aside.
In the same oil, put all the whole garam masala, saute for a minute.
Add the onions and saute till translucent.
Add the ginger garlic paste and fry for a minute.
Add the tomatoes and green chillies and cook till soft.
Add the tomato puree and cook for 5 minutes, till you see oil separating.
Add the potatoes first and cook for couple of minutes. Next add the green beans, carrots, cauliflower and green peas. Add turmeric, salt, cover and cook till cooked and not mushy.
Add the blended yogurt and mix well. Cook for another 5 min.
Add in the chopped mint and coriander leaves.
Add the fried paneer cubes, cook for another 5 minutes.

If using completely cooked rice, add the cashews, onion slices to the gravy and remove from heat.
If using 90% cooked rice, add cashews and onions while layering.


Add one layer of cooked or 90% cooked rice to the botton of the tray.
Add the gravy next. Add the cashews and raw onion slices.
Add the next layer of rice. Top with chopped coriander leaves.
If using 90% cooked rice. Cover and cook in pre-heated oven until cooked.
If you want you can sprinkle saffron colored milk on the top.

Garnish and Serve warm with side dishes of you choice.

Check out all the wonderful bloggers who are taking part in the blogging marathon for the next 7 days along with me.

 Srivalli, Azeema, Bhagi, Champa, Gayathri Anand, Gayathri Kumar, Harini, Jay, Kamalika, Meena, Mina, Padma, Pavani, PJ, Priya Mahadevan, Priya Suresh, Priya Vasu, Rujuta, Santosh, Saraswathi, Savitha, Shanavi, Sowmya, Suma, Usha, Veena


  1. Looks absolutely delish. Love veg. biryani.

  2. Looks so tempting that I want to grab that plate right now..Yummy!!And thanks for the reminder about the event.Will post mine today

  3. OMG-- this looks swell !! Smitha i am drooling here !

  4. Wow! The layers looks so perfect, a very exciting vegetarian dish.

  5. wow!!!that looks awesome smitha and loved the write up :-)

  6. wow it was really very very good... loved your excellent presentation....

    Dish Name Starts with F

  7. extra ordinary effort...lovely more thing, can u change my name as savitha....bcoz it was a typo.not savithri..

  8. Your biryani looks great, love it!

  9. Looks absolutely tempting And sooo delicious..

    following u..


  10. Looks awesome very patience work. Love this recipe sounds different.

  11. this looks absolutely gorgeous!! I am just drooling over this right now..perfect layers, texture n lovely colors..yummy!!

    US Masala

  12. Love biryani! Looks very inviting and delicious!

  13. Awesome..I could eat biryani at any time of the day :-) and good luck with your cooking marathon :-)

  14. Biryani looks so tempting
    Great recipe and lovely click...
    Thanks for sharing the recipe
    Best Wishes

  15. Looks good. I like the layering.

  16. Tempting the way u presented!!

  17. Smitha,Looks great!
    I just got the recipe for this one from a friend who makes a knockout biryani - will be blogging it after I test out the recipe sometime in the next few weeks -

  18. Very elegant, great looking irresistible vegetable briyani,love the way u have layered this dish..yumm!

  19. I love your colourful rice biryani.

  20. biryani looks deliicous,luv the presentation too,..

  21. Looks so pretty. Lovely presentation..

  22. Tempting looking briyani,nice presentation and click smitha!

  23. Lovely looking dish ... nice clicks !!

  24. oh beautifully decked up, can i come over...gorgeous! :)

  25. The Vegetable Biryani looks tempting and mouth watering.


Hi Guys!!!...Please leave a comment!..I love and enjoy reading all your comments!...