A traditional Indian rice dish that combines together the flavours of fresh vegetables and spices.


  • 2 cups rice
  • 1/4 cup brown lentils, rinsed
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and cut into halves
  • 1/4 tomato, grated
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 50g butter
  • Oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup fresh sugar beans, peeled (Gadra)
  • 1/2 cup fresh double beans, peeled (dubla)
  • 1/4 cup green beans, cut into halves
  • 1/4 cup ┬ápeas
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup sour milk
  • 5 tablespoons curry powder
  • 3ml turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder (jeera)
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder (dhania)
  • 1 teaspoon ginger and garlic paste
  • 2 sprigs curry leaf
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 6 mint leaves
  • 2 green chillies
  • 1 red chilli
  • 1 tablespoon clarified butter (ghee)
  • 2 bay leaf
  • 2 cinnamon stick
  • 2 aniseed
  • 3 cardamom (elachi)
  • Fresh coriander for garnishing
  • Few drops yellow food colouring


Preparing the biryani

  1. Steam the double beans and sugar beans separately until firm.
  2. In bowl add in the steamed beans, green beans, carrots and peas.
  3. Stir in 1/2 the quantity each of curry powder, chilli powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, curry leaf, thyme and mint.
  4. Add in the sour milk and mix well.
  5. Allow the vegetables to marinate for at least an hour although overnight is better
  6. .Place the rice into a large pot of water and bring to a boil. Rinse the rice 3 times, add in fresh water and return it to the stove top.
  7. Stir in 1 of each: bayleaf, aniseed, cardamom, and cinnamon stick.
  8. Add salt to taste.
  9. Cook the rice until firm.
  10. Drain the rice, add in a few drops of food colour and set it aside.
  11. In a pan melt the butter.
  12. Stir in 1/2 the quantity of onions and allow it to simmer until translucent in colour.
  13. Place the potatoes into a bowl and add in a few drops of food colouring and salt to taste.
  14. Mix well to ensure the potatoes are evenly coated.
  15. Deep fry the potatoes until crisp on the outside and soft inside.
  16. In a pot of boiling water, stir in the lentils.
  17. Add salt to taste.
  18. When the lentils are firm, drain and set aside.

Braising the vegetables

  1. In a pot stir in enough oil to cover the base of the pot.
  2. Add in the curry leaf, mint, thyme, onions, cinnamon stick, bayleaf, aniseed, cardamom, and clarified butter.
  3. When the onions turn a translucent colour, stir in the curry powder, chilli powder, cumin and coriander powder.
  4. Add in the green chillies and ginger and garlic paste.
  5. Simmer the mixture for a minute.
  6. Stir in the tomato and red chilli.
  7. Cook for 3 minutes.
  8. Add in the marinated vegetables.
  9. Add salt to taste.
  10. Simmer until the carrots and green beans are cooked.

Layering the biryani

  1. In a large pot add enough cooked rice to cover the base of the pot.
  2. Add in the cooked vegetables, potatoes, 1/2 the quantity of lentils and onion.
  3. Add another layer of rice, lentils, onion and coriander.
  4. Place a piece of foil over the pot and place it into a 2nd pot filled with water.
  5. Place a lid onto the pot and steam for 45 minutes.
  6. Serve the vegetable biryani hot.