Closely related to the pulao or even biryani, Tehri a.k.a Tahri or Tehari is a one-pot, fragrant and spiced Vegetable Rice dish from the cuisine of Uttar Pradesh. Since a Tehri recipe is primarily vegetarian, one of the most integral vegetables that is used in this dish is a potato. There may or may not be other veggies, but a Tahri recipe must have potatoes. Try this flavorful rice dish at your home too.
Table of Contents
About This Tehri Recipe
A delicacy from Uttar Pradesh, also Awadhi cuisine, this Vegetable Rice or Tehri recipe has a medley of mixed vegetables with potatoes being the prominent one. Plus, there’s obviously basmati rice and some spices. But don’t get intimidated with this list, as it is quite easy to prepare.
As I’ve discussed about Tahri, pulao and biryani below, the method of making this Tahari recipe may also look like making a pulao, but the dum cooking technique (slow cooking in a tightly sealed pot not allowing any steam to escape) makes the difference in the taste and flavors. Since mostly pulao is not cooked on dum.
In addition to the must add potato, other vegetables that are a common in any Tahri are cauliflower and green peas. To this, I’ve added carrot and French beans and even you can use whichever vegetable mix you prefer.
You can even make a one or two Vegetable Rice like a simple potato, cauliflower or green peas, potato Tahri, or opt for the basic Aloo Tehri recipe that has only potatoes. My particular Tehari recipe is adapted from the cookbook ‘Classic Cooking Of Avadh’ by the famous Jiggs Kalra.
This easy Vegetable Rice, paired with a creamy raita or just plain curd/yogurt, makes for an ideal weekend lunch. So, do make it at home and enjoy with your near and dear ones.
How to make Tehri
1. Rinse 1.5 cups (300 grams) basmati rice very well in water till the water runs clear of starch. Then, soak the rice in enough water for 20 to 30 minutes.
2. After 20 to 30 minutes, drain all the water and set the soaked rice aside.
3. Rinse and soak 2 cups mediums size cauliflower florets in hot water for 15 to 20 minutes. This blanching step is optional and only to get rid of any insects or worms in the cauliflower.
After blanching the cauliflower, drain water and keep the cauliflower florets aside. Also, chop the rest of the vegetables and set aside.
Make Veg Tahri
4. Heat 3 tablespoons ghee in a deep thick-bottomed pot or pan. Keep heat to a low so that the ghee does not burn.
5. Add the following spices:
- 1 tej patta
- 4 green cardamoms
- 2 black cardamoms
- 4 to 5 cloves
- 2 sticks each of 1 inch cinnamon
On low heat sauté the spices until they splutter and become fragrant.
Instead of ghee, you can also use mustard oil or sunflower oil.
6. Then, add 1 cup heaped sliced onions.
7. Stir and begin to sauté the onions.
8. Sautéing the onions takes a lot of time. So, add a pinch of salt for quick cooking of the onions.
9. Sauté till the onions become golden.
10. Then, add 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste.
11. Sauté for some seconds till the raw aroma of ginger and garlic goes away.
12. Add ¾ cup chopped tomatoes.
13. Sauté the tomatoes for a minute or two.
14. Then, add 1 cup tightly packed diced potatoes.
15. Sauté the potatoes for 3 to 4 minutes on low to medium heat.
16. Next, add ½ cup chopped carrots, ⅓ cup chopped French beans, ½ cup fresh or frozen green peas and the blanched cauliflower florets.
17. Mix the vegetables with the rest of the ingredients.
18. Then, add 1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves, 3 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves and 3 slit green chilies.
19. Also, add 1 teaspoon red chili powder, 1 teaspoon coriander powder and ½ teaspoon turmeric powder.
20. Stir and mix very well.
21. Add ½ tablespoon lemon juice.
22. Then, add rice.
23. Gently mix the rice very well with the masala and sauté for a minute.
24. Pour 2.5 to 3 cups water. You can also add 1 teaspoon rose water or kewra water at this step.
Note that you have to add either rose water or kewra water and not their essences. If using either rose or kewra essence, then only add 1 to 2 drops.
25. Season with salt according to taste. Stir to combine. Check the taste of the water and it should be slightly salty.
Cook Vegetable Rice
26. Cover the pan with a tight fitting lid, so that the steam does not pass from the sides. If you want, you can also seal the pan with an aluminium foil and then cover the pan with the lid.
27. On low heat (sim), cook the Tahri till all the water is absorbed and the rice grains are fluffy and soft.
It took me 20 minutes to cook the rice. Time will vary depending on the size and volume of pan, the thickness of pan, flame intensity, etc.
You can check the rice grains while cooking once or twice. If the rice grains look undercooked, add a few tablespoons of hot water or as needed. Gently stir without breaking the rice grains. Cover and continue to cook.
28. Once done, give a resting time of 5 minutes. Then, gently fluff and serve the Veg Tahri with Raita or plain curd (yogurt). You can also garnish it with some fried onions while serving.
- Whenever using cauliflower, blanch cauliflower florets in hot water for about 15 to 20 minutes. This will you to get rid of any insects/worms in them.
- Use any good brand of basmati rice to make Tehri. Aged basmati rice is perfect to make this traditional dish. The amount of water that you need to add will depend on the quality and age of rice.
- You can cook the recipe in mustard oil or sunflower oil instead of ghee. You could also use any neutral oil.
- For sautéing onions quickly, add a pinch of salt. You have to stir often when sautéing onions so that they cook evenly.
- While cooking the rice, you can even seal the pan with an aluminium foil and then cover it with a lid. This will ensure that the steam doesn’t pass from the edges.
- The time taken to cook this rice dish majorly depends on the size, volume, thickness of the pan used and heat intensity. Check the rice grains once or twice, while cooking.
- Once the rice grains are fully cooked, keep the pan to rest for 5 minutes. Then, gently fluff the rice and serve. Garnishing can be done with some fried onions.
Tahri vs Pulao vs Biryani
While Indian cuisine as a whole has innumerable ways to make a Vegetable Rice, but when it comes to popularity, a Biryani tops the list with the pulao coming a close second to it.
Tehri can be called as a variant of the pulao itself, though with its own set of differences. Tahri is made with more spices than a pulao and has a robust complex taste and flavor compared to pulao which is usually mild and light.
Tehari also involves the dum method of cooking unlike a pulao that can be pressure cooked. A Tahari recipe might also have spices similar to that of a biryani. But unlike a Biryani which has layers of par-cooked rice and gravy, both Tehri and Pulao do not have any layers.
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Tehri Recipe | Tahri (Vegetable Rice)
Veggies To Add
- 1 cup tightly packed chopped potatoes – 200 to 210 grams or 2 large potatoes
- 2 cups chopped cauliflower florets – 200 to 210 grams
- ½ cup chopped carrots – 115 grams or 2 medium-sized
- ⅓ cup chopped french beans – 50 grams or 12 to 14 french beans
- ½ cup green peas – fresh or frozen
- 3 tablespoons Ghee
- 1 cup sliced onions (heaped) – 175 grams or 3 medium-sized onions
- ¾ cup chopped tomatoes 155 grams or 3 medium-sized tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon Ginger Garlic Paste or 1 inch ginger + 6 to 7 medium garlic cloves – crushed to a paste in mortar-pestle
- 1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves
- 3 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves
- 3 green chilies – slit
- 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
- 1 teaspoon Coriander Powder
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1.5 cups basmati rice – 300 grams
- ½ tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon kewra water or rose water, optional
- 2.5 to 3 cups water or add as required
- salt as required
Whole spices to add
- 1 tej patta (Indian bay leaf)
- 4 green cardamoms
- 2 black cardamoms
- 4 to 5 cloves
- 2 inches cinnamon
- Rinse basmati rice in water very well till the water runs clear of starch. Then soak the rice in enough water for 20 to 30 minutes.
- After 20 to 30 minutes, drain all the water from the rice and keep the soaked rice grains aside.
- Rinse and soak 2 cups medium-sized cauliflower florets in hot water for 15 to 20 minutes.
- This blanching step is optional and only to get rid of any insects or worms in the cauliflower.
- After blanching the cauliflower, drain all the water. Set the blanched cauliflower aside. Also chop the rest of the veggies and set aside.
Making vegetable tehri
- Heat ghee in a thick bottomed deep pot or pan. Instead of ghee you can also use mustard oil or sunflower oil.
- Keep the heat to low so that the ghee does not burn.
- Next add the following spices and fry till the spices splutter and become fragrant – tej patta, green cardamoms, cardamoms, cloves and cinnamon.
- Add the sliced onions. Stir and begin to sauté the onions.
- Sautéing the onions take a lot of time. Thus add a pinch of salt for quick cooking of the onions.
- Sauté till the onions become golden.
- Then add ginger garlic paste. Sauté for a few seconds till the raw aroma of ginger and garlic goes away.
- Add chopped tomatoes. Sauté the tomatoes for a minute or two.
- Next add diced potatoes. Sauté the potatoes for 3 to 4 minutes on a low to medium heat.
- Next add chopped carrots, chopped french beans , fresh or frozen green peas and the cauliflower florets.
- Mix the veggies with the rest of the ingredients.
- Add chopped mint leaves, chopped coriander leaves, green chilies, red chilli powder, coriander powder and turmeric powder.
- Stir and mix to combine the ground spices. Add lemon juice.
- Then add the rice. Mix the rice grains gently and evenly with the masala and sauté for a minute.
- Pour 2.5 to 3 cups water. You can also add 1 teaspoon rose water or kewra water at this step. Season with salt as needed.
- Cover the pan with a tight lid. If you want you can also seal the pan with an aluminium foil and then cover the pan with a lid.
- On a low heat, cook the tehri till all the water is absorbed and the rice grains are fluffy and soft.
- If the rice grains are undercooked and all the water has been absorbed, add a about a few tablespoons of hot water or as needed. Cover and continue to cook.
- It took me 20 minutes for the rice to cook. Time will vary depending on the size and volume of pan, the thickness of pan, flame intensity etc.
- Once done, give a resting time of 5 minutes. Then gently fluff and serve vegetable tehri with a raita or plain curd.
- Preferably use aged basmati rice for a separate, non sticky, fluffy texture in the rice.
- Feel free to add your preferred vegetables.
- For a less spiced or spicier taste, reduce the ginger-garlic paste, green chillies and red chilli powder.
- Add water as needed while cooking rice. The quantity of water to be added depends on the quality and age of rice. Usually organic varieties of basmati rice need more water.
- You could also some nuts like cashews, almonds, pistachios in the tehri recipe if you like.
Nutrition Info (Approximate values)
This Tehri Recipe post from the archives first published in December 2015 has been republished and updated on 22 July 2022.