Veg Kerala biryani recipe with step by step photos – another post of a biryani recipe. Full of flavors, aroma and delicately spiced veg Kerala biryani recipe.
At home we love rice based dishes like pulao and biryani. Of course biryanis always top the list. Being a one pot meal, I don’t have to cook anything else with biryani. Just a side vegetable raita will do.
I generally don’t experiment much with veg biryanis. usually I make this Hyderabadi veg dum biryani or my mom’s veg biryani recipe. One time I tried this Restaurant style veg dum biryani recipe which was more restaurant style. And I have making this version also a couple of times. Another biryani which I make at times is this Quick vegetable biryani in pressure cooker.
Last time I had experimented with Andhra biryani. I always thought that with all the spices, veggies, yogurt nothing can go wrong in a biryani. But I was wrong. The texture and flavor of the biryani was good. But something was just amiss in the taste. Will again try to develop this one.
Coming to this Kerala biryani recipe. I had bookmarked a recipe of Kerala vegetable biryani in a book from a long time. Just was not getting the time to make this biryani. Whilst the other biryanis have the predominant flavor of yogurt in them, the Kerala biryani has a predominant flavor of coconut milk. The veg gravy is cooked in coconut milk. overall the Kerala biryani is much milder and less in heat since it has less spices than the Tamil Nadu or Hyderabadi veg biryani.
Along with the spices, herbs, cashews and raisins the biryani is mild, delicately balanced in flavors and has a light sweet taste. Again one of the best biryanis. An elaborate process of making this biryani, but worth it. Trust me on that.
To make it easier, I have given step by step pics of the main steps. Some prep work need to be done with making the coconut milk. You can also use store brought coconut milk.
Please include all the ingredients mentioned in this Kerala biryani. Don’t skip. Thats what makes this Kerala biryani really good.
This Kerala biryani recipe is adapted from neeta dutta cook book “1000 great Indian recipes the ultimate book of Indian cuisine”. The book is without pics and just has straight forward recipes, both veg and non vegetarian. But a good book covering Indian cuisine vastly. I have tried some recipes from the book. Except for one veg jalfrezi recipe, all the others have turned out good. But the Kerala biryani rocked.
How to make Kerala biryani
1. First soak 2 cups rice in 4 cups water for 30 mins and then cook till its ¾th done. You can cook in a pan, pressure cooker, microwave or in a rice cooker.
2. Whilst the rice is cooking, you can prep the veggies and keep them aside. Then heat 4 to 5 tbsp oil and add ½ cup sliced onions. Fry till the onions become light brown.
3. Now add ¼ or ½ cup chopped cashews, ¼ cup raisins, 2 sprig curry leaves and fry till the whole mixture becomes golden brown. Make sure you don’t burn the mixture. Fry on a low flame. By the time onions turn golden browned, the cashews, raisins and curry leaves would have also turned browned. In case you can’t do this way, then fry all of them one by one.
4. Keep this fried mixture aside.
Making vegetable gravy for Kerala biryani
5. Use the same oil in which we fried the onions etc. Take about 2 to 3 tbsp of this oil in a pan. Add the whole spices – 2 inch cinnamon stick, 7-8 cloves and 4-5 green cardamoms. Fry till the oil becomes fragrant.
6. Add the remaining sliced onions and fry till they are lightly golden.
7. Add 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste and 2 green chilies and fry for a minute.
8. Add the dry spice powders: 1 tsp coriander powder, 1 tsp fennel powder, ½ tsp black pepper powder, ¼ or ½ tsp red chilli powder and ¼ or ½ tsp turmeric powder. Fry for some seconds.
9. Add 2 cups chopped vegetables and stir. Saute for a minute.
10. Now add 2 cups coconut milk.
11. Stir and then add ½ cup water along with ½ or 1 tbsp lemon juice (or ¼ cup yogurt). If using yogurt, then add at this stage. stir well and add salt. Cover the pan and let the veggies cook. The curry would reduce a bit once the veggies are cooked.
12. Add the fried onions, cashews, raisins and curry leaves to the cooked rice.
13. Once the vegetables are cooked we can start layering the biryani. The curry has cooked now.
Layering and making Kerala biryani
14. Grease an oven proof pyrex bowl or pan with oil. Layer the vegetable gravy first. Then layer the rice.
15. Spread the chopped mint & coriander leaves on top. Sprinkle the saffron water. Dot with some oil or ghee.
16. Spread another layer of the veg gravy. Now spread the fourth layer of rice. sprinkle the chopped mint & coriander leaves and saffron water. Dot with some oil again. Cover with an aluminium foil.
17. Bake the Kerala biryani in a preheated oven for 200 degrees C at 25-30 mins. The below pic shows biryani after the baking. I prefer to bake biryani rather than dum cook on stovetop as I don’t have to worry about the base layer getting burnt 🙂
18. serve the Kerala biryani with raita. I served with veg raita made from soy yogurt.
More Tasty Biryani varieties
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for the rice
- 2 cups rice soaked in 4 cups water
- ¼ or ½ cup chopped cashews
- 2 sprig curry leaves
- ¼ cup raisins
- ½ cup thinly sliced onions
- 4 to 5 tablespoon oil
- a pinch of saffron in dissolved 1.5 tablespoon water or yellow food coloring. a pinch of turmeric dissolved in water can also be used.
- salt as required
for the vegetable gravy
- 2 cups chopped veggies - i used small eggplant (brinjal) potato, carrots and peas
- 1.5 cup thinly sliced onions
- 2 inch cinnamon stick
- 7 to 8 cloves
- 4 to 5 green cardamoms
- 2 cups coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon Ginger-Garlic Paste
- 2 green chilies - chopped
- ½ cup water
- 1 teaspoon Coriander Powder
- 1 teaspoon fennel powder
- ½ teaspoon black pepper powder
- ¼ or ½ teaspoon red chilli powder
- ¼ or ½ teaspoon turmeric powder (haldi)
- ½ or 1 tablespoon lemon juice or ¼ cup curd (yogurt)
- ½ tablespoon chopped mint leaves and coriander leaves
- salt as required
- First soak the rice for 30 minutes and then cook till its 3/4th done.
- Heat oil and add 1/2 cup sliced onions
- Fry till the onions become transparent.
- Add the cashews, raisins and curry leaves.
- Fry till the whole mixture turns golden. Don't burn.
- Remove and add the fried onions, cashews, raisins and curry leaves to the cooked rice.
making vegetable gravy
- In another pan, add this leftover oil. Add more oil if required. Heat it.
- Add the whole spices - cinnamon, cloves and green cardamom.
- Fry till the oil becomes fragrant.
- Now add the onions and fry till light golden.
- Add the ginger-garlic paste and green chilies. Fry for a minute.
- Add the dry spice powders and fry some seconds.
- Add the vegetables. Saute for a minute.
- Add the coconut milk. Stir and then add water along with lemon juice.
- If using yogurt, then add at this stage. Stir well.
- Add water. Cover the pan and let the veggies cook. the curry would reduce a bit.
- Once the vegetables are cooked we can start layering the biryani
layering and making kerala biryani
- Grease a oven proof bowl or pan with oil.
- Layer the vegetable gravy first. Then layer the rice.
- Spread the chopped mint & coriander leaves on top.
- Sprinkle the saffron water. Dot with some oil.
- Spread another layer of the veg gravy.
- Now spread the fourth layer of rice.
- Sprinkle the chopped mint & coriander leaves and saffron water.
- Dot with some oil again. Cover with an aluminium foil.
- Bake kerala biryani in a preheated oven for 200 degrees c at 25-30 minutes.
- You can also cook the layered biryani in a tightly covered pan on stove top for 25 to 30 minutes.
- Serve kerala biryani hot or warm with raita or kuchumber