Mughlai Biryani

Step by StepJump to Recipe

Veg Mughlai biryani recipe with step by step photos. This Mughlai biryani is a mild, lightly spiced, dum cooked and layered biryani made with rice, spices, mix veggies and dry fruits. It makes for a filling, tasty and satisfying meal when paired with raita or yogurt.

mughlai veg biryani recipe

Sharing my version of Mughlai biryani made with almond-melon seeds paste, curd, spices and fried onions (birista). The biryani is layered as well as dum cooked. Cooking biryani the way it is ideally made, takes time and effort. But the results are always good and worth the effort and time.

Unlike other biryanis, which are spicy or even medium spiced, This Mughlai biryani is mild and on the sweeter side. The biryani also has nuts added to it. If you are allergic to nuts, then do skip them.

Biryanis like this one makes for an ideal weekend lunch or dinner, which you can savor with your entire family.

For a quick cooking of the veggies, I have used a pressure cooker. Though you can cook the veggies in a pan or Instant pot too.

I have baked the Mughlai biryani in an oven. But you can even dum cook it on the stove top. I have mentioned the method in the step wise pics below.

Mughlai veg biryani

Serve this delicious Mughlai biryani with your favorite raita or curd. I usually make onion-tomato raita to be served with biryanis, but in the pics, served with onion raita.

Step-by-Step Guide

How to make Mughlai Biryani

Prepping

1. Pick and rinse 1.5 cups (300 grams) basmati rice in running water till the water runs clear of starch. Soak the rice in enough water for 20 to 30 minutes.

Soaked rice

2. After 20 to 30 minutes drain all the water from the rice. Keep it aside.

rice for Mughlai vegetable biryani recipe

3. Soak 10 to 12 almonds and 1 tablespoon melon seeds/magaz in ⅓ cup hot water for 30 minutes.

almonds for Mughlai vegetable biryani recipe

4. Later strain the almonds and melon seeds. Peel the almonds. Add both the almonds and melon seeds to a small grinder jar or a small blender. Also, add 1 tablespoon of desiccated coconut.

almonds for Mughlai vegetable biryani recipe

5. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of water. Grind or blend to a fine paste. Keep aside.

almond melon seeds paste

6. When the rice and almonds, melon seeds are soaking prep the other ingredients. Rinse, peel and chop all the veggies. Just to illustrate, I have used the below pic from another post 🙂

  • I have used 3 cups of mixed veggies (carrots, french beans, potatoes, mushrooms) including green peas. You can use your choice of mixed vegetables.
  • Slice 1 large onion thinly. (about 1 cup tightly packed thinly sliced onions).
  • Crush 1 inch ginger and 7 to 8 small to medium garlic cloves to a paste in mortar-pestle. (gives about 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste).
  • Chop a few mint leaves. (about 2 tablespoons of chopped mint leaves).
chopped veggies for veg biryani

Cooking Rice

1. Now we need to cook the rice. For cooking rice, you can use any method – microwave, pressure cooking or cooking in a pot.

For cooking rice in a pot, take a deep-bottomed pan. Add 5 cups of water and bring the water to a boil on a high heat.

making Mughlai vegetable biryani recipe

2. Add whole spices – 1 inch cinnamon, 1 medium tej patta (Indian bay leaf), 2 to 3 single strands of mace, 3 cloves and 3 green cardamoms.

making Mughlai vegetable biryani recipe

3. Now add the soaked rice.

making Mughlai vegetable biryani recipe

4. Next add ½ teaspoon salt or add as required.

making Mughlai vegetable biryani recipe

5. Keep the heat on high and cook the rice.

making Mughlai vegetable biryani recipe

6. The rice has to be 75% or ¾ᵗʰ cooked. The grains should have a slight bite to them when cooked. The rice should not be fully cooked but almost cooked.

making Mughlai vegetable biryani recipe

7. Next strain the rice in a colander. You can also rinse the rice gently with water so that the grains stop cooking. Keep aside.

making Mughlai vegetable biryani recipe

Preparing Vegetable Gravy

1. In a 2 litre stovetop pressure cooker, heat 3 to 4 tablespoons of ghee. Add 10 to 12 almonds.

almonds for Mughlai biryani recipe

2. Fry them till they get golden. Remove and keep aside on a plate.

making Mughlai biryani recipe

3. Next add 15 to 16 raisins. Fry the raisins till they swell and become plump. Remove and keep aside.

fried raisins

4. Then add 10 to 12 cashews and fry them till the cashews turn golden. Remove and keep aside on a plate.

fried cashews

5. Now add the thinly sliced onions.

adding thinly sliced onions

6. Begin to stir and sauté them on a low to medium heat stirring often. Onions take time to cook, so add a pinch of salt to quicken the cooking process. 

Sauté the onions till they turn golden and caramelize. Switch off the heat.

making Mughlai biryani recipe

7.  Keep the cooker on the kitchen countertop. Quickly remove ½ portion of the fried onions from the pressure cooker and keep aside.

making Mughlai biryani recipe

8. Keep the cooker back again on the stovetop. Add whole spices – 1 medium sized tej patta (Indian bay leaf), 3 cloves, 1 inch cinnamon, 2 single strands of mace, 3 green cardamoms, 1 black cardamom, 8 to 9 black pepper and 1 teaspoon shahi jeera.

Keep all the spices ready on a plate, so that the onions do not burn. Add all the spices in one go. If you remove the jars, add one by one, the onions will get burnt by then.

making Mughlai biryani recipe

9. Next add 1 tablespoon of ginger-garlic paste. Stir and saute for a few seconds.

ginger-garlic paste for Mughlai biryani

10. Add the mixed veggies and ½ teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder.

mix veggies for Mughlai biryani

11. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes.

mix veggies for Mughlai biryani

12. Add the ground white paste.

adding ground white paste for Mughlai biryani

13. Add ½ cup of fresh curd (yogurt).

curd for Mughlai biryani

14. Add ⅔ cup of water.

adding water for Mughlai biryani

15. Mix and stir very well.

making Mughlai biryani

16. Season with salt as required. Stir well and pressure cook the vegetable gravy for 8 to 9 minutes or 1 to 2 whistles.

making vegetable gravy for Mughlai biryani

17. When the pressure settles down on its own, then only open the lid. Check the gravy. If the gravy looks thin, then do simmer till it becomes slightly thick.

vegetable gravy for Mughlai biryani

18. Add ½ teaspoon garam masala powder or biryani masala powder to the gravy. Mix well.

adding garam masala powder to Mughlai biryani gravy

Assembling and Layering Mughlai Biryani

1. When the veggies are pressure cooking, soak ⅛ teaspoon saffron strands in 3 tablespoons of warm milk. Stir and keep aside.

saffron strands soaked in warm milk

2. Grease a heatproof oven-safe bowl with some ghee or butter.

bowl for baking Mughlai vegetable recipe

3. Pour the first layer of half of the vegetable gravy.

layering Mughlai biryani

4. Add some paneer cubes. Adding paneer is optional and you can skip this step.

adding paneer for Mughlai biryani

5. Layer with the rice. Also sprinkle some of the saffron soaked milk on the rice.

rice layer for Mughlai biryani

6. Now add half of the fried nuts, fried onions and half of the chopped mint leaves evenly all over.

nuts and onions layer for Mughlai biryani

7. Layer with the remaining vegetable gravy. Also top with the paneer cubes.

vegetable gravy for Mughlai biryani

8. Layer with half of the rice. Also sprinkle some of the saffron soaked milk on the rice. 

Repeat the rice layer, fried nuts, fried onions, mint leaves and saffron milk. Also sprinkle evenly 2 teaspoon rose water or kewra water (optional).

layering Mughlai biryani

9. Seal tightly with an aluminum foil.

baking Mughlai biryani

10. Place the bowl in a preheated oven and bake the biryani at 200 degrees celsius for 20 to 25 minutes. Once the baking is done, remove the bowl from the oven and give a resting time of 5 minutes before you serve the Mughlai biryani.

Check the bottom layer of the biryani with a spoon. If there is gravy at the bottom this means that the biryani is still not done. So continue to bake for some more minutes until the gravy is absorbed by the rice grains.

If dum cooking Mughlai biryani on a stovetop, then also you can cover with a foil or with a moist kitchen towel.

Place the pan on a hot tava/griddle. On a low to medium heat dum cook the biryani for 30 to 35 minutes.

Mughlai biryani

11. Serve veg Mughlai biryani hot or warm with onion tomato raita or biryani gravy or plain yogurt.

Mughlai biryani


More tasty Biryani varieties

Please be sure to rate the recipe in the recipe card or leave a comment below if you have made it. For more vegetarian inspirations, Sign Up for my emails or follow me on Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter.

mughlai veg biryani recipe

Mughlai Biryani

This veg Mughlai biryani is a mild, lightly spiced, dum cooked & layered biryani made with rice, spices, mixed veggies and dry fruits.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Cuisine Awadhi, Mughlai, North Indian
Course Main Course
Servings 4
Units

Ingredients

for cooking rice

  • 1.5 cups basmati rice or 300 grams basmati rice
  • 1 inch cinnamon
  • 1 medium tej patta (indian bay leaf or tamalpatra)
  • 2 to 3 single strands of mace
  • 3 cloves
  • 3 green cardamoms
  • 5 cups water for cooking rice
  • ½ teaspoon salt or add as required

for white paste

  • 10 to 12 almonds, blanched in hot water and peeled
  • 1 tablespoon melon seeds (magaz) soaked in hot water
  • 1 tablespoon desiccated coconut
  • 2 tablespoon water for grinding

for mughlai biryani gravy

  • 3 to 4 tablespoon Ghee
  • 10 to 12 almonds
  • 15 to 16 raisins
  • 10 to 12 cashews
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced or 140 to 150 grams onions or 1 cup tightly packed thinly sliced onions
  • 1 medium sized tej patta (indian bay leaf or tamalpatra)
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 inch cinnamon
  • 2 single strands of mace
  • 3 green cardamoms
  • 1 black cardamom
  • 8 to 9 black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1 tablespoon Ginger Garlic Paste or 7 to 8 garlic cloves + 1 inch ginger, crushed to a paste in mortar-pestle
  • 2.5 to 3 cups mixed veggies (carrots, french beans, potatoes, mushrooms, cauliflower, broccoli etc)
  • cup green peas, fresh or frozen
  • ½ teaspoon kashmiri red chili powder
  • ½ cup Curd (yogurt)
  • cup water for pressure cooking
  • ½ teaspoon Garam Masala or biryani masala powder
  • salt as required

for layering

  • 150 to 200 grams Paneer optional
  • 3 tablespoon warm milk + ⅛ tsp saffron strands
  • 2 tablespoon chopped mint leaves
  • 2 teaspoon rose water or kewra water

Instructions
 

preparation

  • Pick and rinse basmati rice in running water till the water runs clear of starch. Soak the rice in enough water for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes drain the rice and keep aside.
  • Soak 10 to 12 almonds and 1 tbsp melon seeds/magaz in 1/3 cup hot water for 30 minutes.
  • Later drain the almonds and melon seeds and add them to small grinder jar. Also add 1 tbsp desiccated coconut
  • Add 2 tbsp water and grind to a smooth paste. Keep this white paste aside.
  • When the rice and almonds + melon seeds are soaking prep the other ingredients. Rinse, peel and chop all the veggies.
  • Slice 1 large onion thinly (about 1 heaped cup thinly sliced onion).
  • Crush 1 inch ginger and 7 to 8 medium garlic cloves to a paste in mortar-pestle. Gives about 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste.
  • Chop a few mint leaves. About 2 tbsp chopped mint leaves.

cooking rice

  • Take a deep bottomed pan. Add 5 cups water and bring the water to a boil on a high flame.
  • Add whole spices – 1 inch cinnamon, 1 medium tej patta, 2 to 3 single strands of mace, 3 cloves and 3 green cardamoms.
  • Now add the rice and add 1/2 tsp salt or add as required.
  • Keep the flame on high and cook the rice.
  • The rice has to be 75% or ¾th cooked. The grains should have a slight bite to them when cooked. The rice should not be fully cooked but almost cooked.
  • Next strain the rice in a colander. You can also rinse the rice gently with water so that the grains stop cooking. Keep aside.

making vegetable gravy for mughlai biryani

  • In a pressure cooker, heat 3 to 4 tbsp ghee.
  • Add 10 to 12 almonds. Fry them till they get golden. Remove and keep aside in a plate.
  • Next add 15 to 16 raisins. Fry the raisins till they swell and become plump. Remove and keep aside.
  • Then add 10 to 12 cashews and fry them till the cashews turn golden. Remove and keep aside.
  • Now add the thinly sliced onions. Begin to stir and sauté them on a low to medium flame. Onions take time to cook, so add a pinch of salt to quicken the cooking process.
  • Sauté the onions till they turn golden and caramelize.
  • Switch off the flame. Keep the cooker down. Quickly remove 1/2 of the fried onions from the pressure cooker and keep aside.
  • Keep the cooker back again on the stove top. Add whole spices – 1 medium sized tej patta, 3 cloves, 1 inch cinnamon, 2 single strands of mace, 3 green cardamoms, 1 black cardamom, 8 to 9 black pepper and 1 tsp shah jeera. (keep all the spices ready in a plate, so that the onions do not burn. Add all in one go. If you remove the jars, add one by one, the onions will get burnt by then. )
  • Next add ginger-garlic paste. Stir and saute for a few seconds.
  • Add the mixed veggies and 1/2 tsp kashmiri red chili powder. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Add the ground white paste, 1/2 cup fresh curd/yogurt and 2/3 cup water.
  • Mix and stir very well.
  • Season with salt. Stir well and pressure cook the vegetable gravy for 8 to 9 minutes or 1 to 2 whistles.
  • When the pressure settles down on its own, check the gravy. If the gravy looks thin, then do simmer till it becomes slightly thick.
  • Add 1/2 tsp garam masala powder or biryani masala powder to the gravy. Mix well.

assembling and layering mughlai biryani

  • When the veggies are pressure cooking, soak 1/4 tsp saffron strands in 3 tbsp warm milk.
  • Grease an heat proof oven safe bowl with some ghee or butter.
  • Pour a first layer of half of the vegetable gravy.
  • Add some paneer cubes.
  • Layer with the rice. Also sprinkle some of the saffron soaked milk on the rice.
  • Now add half of the fried dry fruits, fried onions and half of the chopped mint leaves evenly all over.
  • Layer with the remaining vegetable gravy. Also top with the remaining paneer cubes.
  • Layer with half of the rice. Also sprinkle some of the saffron soaked milk on the rice.
  • Repeat the rice layer, fried dry fruits, fried onions, mint leaves and saffron milk. Also sprinkle evenly 2 tsp rose water or kewra water (optional).

cooking mughlai biryani

  • Seal tightly with an aluminum foil.
  • Place the bowl in a preheated oven and bake veg biryani at 200 degrees celsius for 20 to 25 minutes. 
  • Once the baking is done, remove the bowl from the oven and give a resting time of 5 minutes before you serve the biryani.
  • Serve mughlai biryani with onion tomato raita.

Notes

Substitutions you can make
  1. Curd – thick coconut milk.
  2. Ghee – butter or oil.
  3. Melon seeds – pumpkin seeds.
  4. Desiccated coconut – fresh coconut.
  5. Paneer – tofu.

Nutrition Info (Approximate values)

Nutrition Facts
Mughlai Biryani
Amount Per Serving
Calories 696 Calories from Fat 279
% Daily Value*
Fat 31g48%
Saturated Fat 15g94%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 7g
Cholesterol 59mg20%
Sodium 696mg30%
Potassium 653mg19%
Carbohydrates 89g30%
Fiber 10g42%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 20g40%
Vitamin A 6116IU122%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 1mg67%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 1mg59%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 3mg15%
Vitamin B6 1mg50%
Vitamin B12 1µg17%
Vitamin C 21mg25%
Vitamin D 1µg7%
Vitamin E 2mg13%
Vitamin K 6µg6%
Calcium 355mg36%
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 64µg16%
Iron 4mg22%
Magnesium 122mg31%
Phosphorus 317mg32%
Zinc 3mg20%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Like what you see?

Stay up to date with new recipes and ideas.

This Mughlai Biryani Post from the blog archives, first published in December 2015 has been republished and updated on December 2022.

Share This Recipe:

PinWhatsAppPrintShares2.5k

Meet Dassana

Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

Get My Secrets to Great Indian Food
Sign up for my FREE Beginners Guide to Delicious Indian Cooking

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. We moderate comments and it takes 24 to 48 hours for the comments to appear. We thank you for your understanding and patience. If you have made the recipe, then you can also give a star rating.

Your Recipe Rating




28 Comments

    1. white ground paste is made from almonds, melon seeds and desiccated coconut ground with some water. i have mentioned in the ingredient section of recipe card and also in the instructions.

  1. Thanks a million, for presenting such a Wonderful recipe!!!
    I made this and it turned out to be a splendid dish. But, its a little bit difficult to separate the condiments and eat the dish at the same time. It would be great, If You Could present us with a Dum Pukht Style Biryani recipe with exotic spices using home made ground masala. Because,We don’t find such a dish in Restaurants. All We get there is a bland Veg Biryani cooked in Ghee with out any spices.

    1. thanks for this feedback raj. nice to know. i do plan to add dum pukht style biryani. agree with what you say about the biryani served in restaurants.

See More Comments