Hyderabadi Vegetable Biryani & Mirchi Ka Salan

Whenever I see/hear "Hyderabadi Biryani", I starting drooling... Not for the non-veg version though.. Wait!! Am I making a mistake by saying "Non-veg version of Hyderabadi Biryani"??? Oh yes, I am.. Isn't Hyderabadi Biryani always made with Chicken or Mutton or whatever...?

Being married to a Tamilian brought up in Hyderabad, I thought my DH will be the right person to show me a place that serves authentic veg version of this biryani. But he was also thoughtful when I asked for it. He and my in-laws did know a couple of joints that served the veg version, but all of us were quite skeptical because these joints are famous only for the non-veg biryani and always had the risk of (read: accidentally) mixing up both. So no taking chances!!

Now what? Put on your thinking hat and start experimenting.. That's what I did. Some enormous googling, some addition, some innovation and lots of patience resulted in a lip-smacking (authentic looking and tasting) Hyderabadi Veg Biryani! Traditionally, these biryanis are slow-cooked in dum-style i.e. a big vessel holding alternate layers of gravy and rice cooked not on direct heat, but kept over a bed of hot charcoal. I have used to oven-method to replicate it.

And what more could be a perfect partner for biryani other than mana Mirchi Ka Salan? Ever since I saw Malar's version of Mirchi ka Salan, I was looking out for an opportunity to do this exquisite combo! So here goes our very own Hyderabadi Delights Vegetable Biryani and Mirchi Ka Salan, hand-in-hand all the way to Pari's "The Combo Event" hosted to celebrate her 100th post. Hearty congrats dear!
Hyderabadi-style Vegetable Biryani
Basmati rice slow-cooked with vegetable gravy
Serves 2

What we need:
For rice:
Basmati rice - 2 cups
Water - 3 cups
Ghee - a tsp
Cardamom pods - 2
Salt - to taste

For Gravy:
Mixed Vegetables - 2 cups
I have used Carrots, French Beans, Potatoes, Green Peas, Cauliflower. I micro-waved them for 5 minutes. You can also par-boil them or use Frozen vegetables.

Onion - 1 big, thinly sliced
Tomato - 1 big, chopped into big cubes
Green Chillies - 2 to 3, slit
Coriander leaves - a bunch
Mint leaves - a handful
Ginger-Garlic paste - 1 tbsp.
Thick Yoghurt - 4 to 5 tbsp.
Turmeric powder - a tsp.
Cashews - 10 to 15
Oil/Ghee - 3 to 4 tbsp.
Salt - to taste

Whole Garam Masala:
Cinnamon stick - 1" inch piece
Cloves - 4 to 5
Bay Leaf - 1
Star anise - 1
Cardamom pod - 2 or 3
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp.

Biryani Masala powder:
Dry-roast the following ingredients and powder them: Cinnamon stick (2" inch), Cloves(4 to 5), Green Cardamom (4 to 5), Black Cardamom (1), Cumin (2 tbsp), Red Chilli (3 to 4), Peppercorn (1 tbsp)

For Garnishing:
Saffron strands
A tbsp of milk
Uff, that was a long list. Don't panic, you'll feel rewarded at the end! ;)

How to do:
Cooking the Rice:
1. Wash and soak the basmati rice for an hour.
2. Heat Ghee in a heavy-bottomed vessel. Drain and add the rice to this. Meanwhile boil 3 cups of water separately.
3. Stir till the rice becomes a little hard. Add the boiling water, cardamom pods and salt to this.
4. Cook till all the water is absorbed and holes start appearing on the surface. Switch off, cool and fluff it up with a fork. Set aside.

Preparing the Gravy:
1. Heat Oil or Ghee in a wok. Throw in all the ingredients marked under "Whole Garam Masala" and fry till the aroma is released.
2. Now add the cashews and fry till the cashews turn golden brown.
3. Add the Onion, green chillies and ginger-garlic paste. Fry till the onions start to turn brown.
4. Throw in the tomatoes, half of the coriander and mint leaves and stir for a couple of minutes. Add the salt, turmeric powder and 2 (heaped) spoonful of Biryani Masala powder.
5. Mix and add the vegetables. Coat them well with the masala and fry for 5 minutes till they are done. Remember, we have par-boiled them; so it should not take more time to cook.
6. Add the Yoghurt/Curd, give a good mix and remove from the flame. Add the remainder of coriander and mint leaves and mix.

Arranging/Cooking the Biryani:
1. Mix the saffron strands in milk and set aside.
2. Take an oven-safe vessel, or a heavy-bottomed deep vessel.
3. Arrange alternate layers of Cooked Rice and Gravy, starting with Rice and ending with rice, i.e both bottom-most and top-most layer must be rice.
4. Sprinkle the saffron-milk over the rice.
5. If using oven, cover the vessel with an aluminum foil and cook in the pre-heated oven for 20 to 30 minutes on 200° C.
For stove-top method, cover the vessel with a lid, lower it into a bigger vessel filled with water and place the whole arrangement on the stove on low-medium and cook for 20 to 30 minutes.

When ready to serve, dig out a layer all the way till the bottom and serve with some chopped coriander over it.

Mirchi Ka Salan
Chillies cooked in mildly spiced gravy
Serves 2

What we need:
Jalapeno Pepper / Long green chilli, medium-hot variety - 5 to 6
Turmeric powder - a pinch
Red chilli powder - 1 tsp.

To sauté and grind:
Onion, medium sized - 1
Tomato, medium sized - 1
Garlic - 4 to 5 pods
Ginger - 1" inch piece
Coconut, grated - 2 tbsp.

To Dry roast and powder:
Roasted Peanuts - 3 tbsp.
Sesame seeds - 1 tbsp.
Cumin seeds - 1 tbsp.

To Temper:
Cumin seeds - 1 tbsp.
Fenugreek seeds - 1 tsp.
Curry leaves - a sprig
Oil - 2 tbsp.

How to do:
Making the paste:
In a tbsp. of oil, gently sauté the diced onions, along with garlic and grated ginger. When the onions turn soft, throw the chopped tomatoes, saute for a couple of minutes. Sprinkle the grated coconut and switch off. Let the mixture and then blend to a smooth paste with very little water.

Making the dry masala powder:
Dry roast peanuts, sesame seeds and cumin and make a fine powder using a mixie.

Making Mirchi ka Salan:
1. Heat oil in a kadai and sauté the chillies till the skin starts turning white. Remove and set aside.
2. In the remaining oil, add the cumin, fenugreek seeds and the curry leaves. When the cumin crackles and fenugreek turns dark brown, add the ground onion-tomato paste.
3. Stir well till the oil starts to separate. Now throw in the turmeric powder, red chilli powder and powdered peanut-sesame-cumin powder. Sprinkle little water to avoid the burning.
4. When all gets blended well (you can see that mixture will no more stick to the pan), add a cup of water and salt.
5. When it starts boiling, add the sautéed chillies and stir. Adjust the consistency of water based on how thick you want your gravy.
6. Allow it to boil for a minute and remove.

Serve the Hyderabadi Vegetable Biryani and Mirchi Ka Salan together and relish the irresistible combo! :)

I agree the whole thing is a bit tedious process and involves a lot of work. But it is definitely worth every bit of it. So save it for a special occasion or a party-day where your efforts would be noticed and appreciated! :)

Hope you enjoyed today's combo. See you all soon with another interesting post. Till then, Happy Cooking and Happy Blogging!


SE said...

yummy yummy and tasty tasty...a perfect combination !!

Fathima said...

Hyderabadi Biryani makes me drool too... just like what this picture did to me :-)

Cool Lassi(e) said...

Looks downright delicious! Very nice that you have replicated a veg-version of this famous biryani. The side-dish looks fabulous and they look like they are made for each other!

Vineetha Sush said...

Hydrebadi biriyani is my favourite too..Never tried veg version though...
I have a good news for you..I tried your vegetable pulav today and it came out really really well...Thank you dear..Will post abt it soon...

Rachana said...

What an awesome combination!!!! Absolutely mouthwatering n yummy! Lovely Clicks!

Ambika said...

Way to go girl!! Absolutely yummy..that's the purrrfet combo, me going to hyd next month, can't wait to go eat biryani :) (Somehow some things taste better when I don't make them hehe)

Dolly Sharma said...

Rohini Ur Vegetable Hyderabadi Biryani and and Mirchi ka salan looks just Perfect. Awesome and inviting Clicks..just enough to make me hungry. Hats off to you for attempting an Non-veg Version...

Jeyashris Kitchen said...

what a lovely combo.the mirhka salan i am is quite new to me and going to try soon.biryani looks awesome.I too tried this once.

Sowmya said...

perfect combo....very inviting nlovely clicks da...btw..i'm drooling here;)

Nithya said...

Absolutely yummy.. Should have been a great feast. :) I love briyani and this combo makes me drool.

Namitha said...

Yes, it makes(made !) me drool too :D I haven't tried to cook the veg version yet...This looks absolutely yumm and what else other than, mirchi ka salan would go so perfect with this dum biryani...Loved the clicks too :-)

Ms.Chitchat said...

Mouth watering Biryani. Loved the combo. Clicks are too perfect and enhances the color of the Biryani.Thnx for sharing a wonderful veg version of the traditional Biryani.


Nandinis food said...

Droolworthy biryani and slurpy side dish!
Fantastic combo dear!!!

kitchen queen said...

both the biryani and mirchi ka salan make me drool.Pleas keep some for me.

Rekha shoban said...

really looks spciya....interesting one

kamalabhoopathy said...

Both look delicious and tempting.

Sushma Mallya said...

Looks like a perfect combo together,but never tried using it together...looks mouthwatering and so very delicious with those tempting clicks...and wish you a very happy holi rohini!!

Ash said...

Very tempting & perfect too....... Well prepared, well presented & well clicked...... A PERFECT 10!!!!!

But to be true a very scrumptious combo...... The rice is perfect with its grainy look & not messed up anywhere..... & the salan...since the day I saw it on Malar's space thought of trying it... but looks like the right & the auspicious mahurat has not yet arrived..... Lemme c when would I be able to give it a try..... ;-)


Unknown said...

looks delicious,..

Priya Suresh said...

Absolutely divine, wat a tempting and rice combo..

Sandhya Hariharan said...

Mouthwatering ... Rohini...
i had made my first biryani for the party and it was a total hit... didnt click pics... But will do it next time fr my post

Deepa G Joshi said...

mmmm Rohini, such a yummy combo..perfect..thanks so much for sharing the veggie version since I too am a vegetarian..


Sarah Naveen said...

Oh My!!!! so yummy dear!!!! both looks terrific and delicious...

Pavithra Srihari said...

chanceaae illa da..very yummyyy ..

Hi rohini , I have passed on awards , do collect it dear.

Sanjana said...

Rohini, these look SOOOOO good! The biryani looks perfect!

Saraswathy Balakrishnan said...

A perfect combination of briyani and curry looks so mouth-watering:)

Ramya Vijaykumar said...

A perfect hyderabadi style combo... I can never ask for anything more, yummy and delicious!!!

Kanchan said...

This is a perfect entry for combo event.
Adn the biryani looks perefect direct from hyderabad ;)

Latha said...

A great combo....both look so perfect....amazing clicks.

Tina said...

Nice combo..Looks delicious and yummy..

AdukalaVishesham said...

even though making biriyani is a time consuming process it is worth it... this combo looks really delicious...one thing u missed to complete the hyderabadi meal is the "double ka meeta"

~ Lopa said...

OMG, I simply love this.... I can eat Hydrabadi Biryani any time.... !

This is my first time on your blog, and definitely i am going to be back !

~ Lopa said...

Reading your story of search for a veg-biryani reminds me mine for the same... I was so so craving for it here, and forget perfect Veg-Hydrabadi Biryani, we dont even get decent Veg Indian food here so then ended up in my mission, i googled, asked, read and what now !

And i was so annoyed when on name of Hydrabadi Biryani there are so many recipes but nothing what i am looking for, how can a Biryani be without layers and what they were writing about was just some spicy pulaf calling it Hydrabadi Biryani !!

Then finally one day i came across something and tried it, and my husband who normally won't eat rice or left-over asked me next day if there was some Biryani left....yeyy... i so so love it, soon I am going to try your version. May be tomorrow or Saturday. Thanks :)

FoodLovers said...

yummy rohini ...

Unknown said...

Lovely combo Rohini. Biryani looks just perfect!

Ammu Madhu said...


Mythreyi Dilip said...

Perfect entry for the event!
Both biryani and mirchi ka salan looks irresistible da. Excellent presentation too.....

Gomathy S said...

First time here.. I love the veggie version of the Briyani.. looks perfect

R said...

alwayz wanted authentic recipes for hyderabadi biryani and mirch ka salan. will definitely try them out!! -Rupali

Sidhu said...

This is my first day of cooking and I tried your recipe for Veg biryani today and it came out fabulous... taste and smell made me feel home (Hyderabad). the only downside was the rice, i was using Kohinoor extra long basmati and they split when i soak them for 1hr.

Biggest lesson learned today: Get your ingredients ready and Cut your vegetables first. Then start :)

Dr saab said...

A big HELLO from Pakistan :)

i first had vegetable biryani at my cousins house, and i got addicted immediately .. but after a year of slacking and asking them to make it for me i decided to do something about it...

so i did what any self respecting cook would do (no i didnt ask for the recipe) i goggled it!! and the first picture was of your blog so i landed up here got a print and got to work..

and after eating it i have this to say to you .. I LOVE YOU..!! seriously it was delicious... i had half of it alone :$ and im still thinking of seconds.. im just thinking if i made it this good how delicious yours would be..!
thanks once again :)

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YUMMY dish as well as easy preparation...loved it
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