Biryani is a delicious and aromatic rice preparation, traditionally made using meats. But over the years, recipes for biryani using vegetables too have been invented! The method of preparation and ingredients used differ in each community.
Biryani preparation involves various steps and the process can sometimes become lengthy. The main step being ‘Dum’ which is also the last one. In Jhatpat Vegetable Biryani, we will be skipping many steps including the last one. Yes, some might call this pulao. But, the taste is almost like that of a Dum Biryani. The word Jhatpat implies a quick method, where we get a delicious outcome in less time.
During my childhood, when we didn’t know how biryani tasted, my mom would prepare a dish on these lines where she would saute the vegetables separately and mix them with the prepared masala rice. Topped with ghee and accompanied by an onion tomato salad and a fried papad, it would taste awesome. She surely must have learnt it from our neighbours, as traditionally we do not cook such dishes.
Those days were different, where we never ate outside food and cooked only traditional and nutritious dishes. There was simplicity and lots of happiness in that era of ‘Having Less’…. You might say…. of everything! There was no invention of recipes, and were followed just in their original forms! But, we surely had the privilege of learning new recipes from our varied neighbours, as in those days there was one more habit… Of ‘Sharing’ with each other the delicacies that we cooked!
For more such delicious dishes, do go through the following recipes too…
1. Biryani Rice
Here’s the recipe for the delicious Jhatpat Vegetable Biryani….
- 1 1/2 cup Basmati Rice
- 3 Onions…. Finely Chopped
- 1 1/2 Tomatoes…. Finely chopped
- 1/2 cup Green Peas
- 1/2 cup Mixed Bell Peppers (Red, Yellow, Green)…. Diced
- 1/2 cup Cauliflower florets
- 1/2 cup Carrots…. Diced
- 2 Potatoes…. Cut lengthwise into flat wedges
- 1/4 Soyabean Chunks
- 100 gm Paneer (Cottage Cheese)
- 1/4 cup Cashewnuts
- 10 Garlic Cloves
- 1″ Ginger
- 1 tsp Turmeric Powder
- 2 tsp Red Chilli Powder
- 3 tsp Corriander Seed Powder
- 2 tsp Garam Masala
- Salt to taste
- 3 cups Water
- Oil for frying the potato wedges
- Homemade Ghee
For The Tempering :
- 6 tbs Oil
- 2 Cloves
- 2 green Cardamom
- 1 Black Cardamom
- 3 sticks Cinnamon… 1″ each
- 3 Black Peppercorns
- 1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
- 1 Bay Leaf
For The Garnishing :
- Fresh Corriander Leaves…. Chopped
- To make the Jhatpat Vegetable Biryani, first wash the basmati rice twice and then soak it in sufficient clean water for half an hour. The other option is to rinse it thrice and drain out all the water and keep aside for an hour.
- In the meantime wash and chop all the mentioned vegetables and set aside.
- Soak the soya chunks in hot, slightly salted water for about 10-15 minutes. Drain and wash it twice in clean water, squeezing the chunks well with each wash. Finally squeeze out water from all the chunks and set aside.
- Grind the ginger and garlic to get a smooth paste.
- Heat a pan and add the oil to it. Add the cauliflower florets and saute for a while. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- Saute the paneer cubes in the same oil for a few minutes and set aside.
- Now add the potato wedges and fry adding a pinch of salt. When done, transfer to a plate and set aside till further use.
- In the same pan add some more oil if required and heat it and add all the whole spices to the hot oil.
- As soon as they splutter, add the chopped onions and saute adding a tiny amount of salt to hasten the cooking of the onions.
- Saute till translucent and add the ginger garlic paste. Mix well and saute covered for few more minutes.
- At the same time heat the water for cooking the rice, till it reaches boiling point.
- Now add the turmeric powder to the onions and mix well. Saute and add the chopped tomatoes, bell peppers and the soya chunks. Cover and cook for a while.
- Add the chopped carrots and the green peas and mix. Also add all the spice powders and mix well. Cover and cook for about five to six minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Uncover and add the soaked rice and salt to taste. Saute lightly and add the hot water. Stir and bring to a boil.
- Cook on high to medium flame till half the liquid has evaporated. Then lower the flame and let the rice cook, covered with a lid.
- When all the liquid has evaporated and the rice is fully cooked, add the fried potatoes, sauteed paneer, cashewnuts and some homemade ghee and mix.
- Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve the aromatic Jhatpat Vegetable Biryani with some salad and boondi raita or with some Paalak Raita as accompaniment!