Vegetable biriyani can be made easily in a pressure cooker...its a quick and healthy one pot meal. I love to cook in pressure cooker as it saves time and gives a healthy and quick meal.
It was back in 2010 that I posted pressure cooker chicken biriyani and it slowly gained popularity. I learned to make biriyani in pressure cooker in the late 90s and I have made so many varieties of pulav and biriyani in pressure cooker....like the mushroom pulav, spinach-channa pulav, easy vegetable pulav, soya chunks-green peas pulav, spinach rice, coconut rice, and carrot rice to name a few. I love the ease at which a meal can be prepared in about 30-35 minutes. The rule here is do not put the weight on the hob of the cooker....once the lid is closed, wait for the steam to come and then simmer for 7 min exactly and open cooker after 20 min...easy na!! Keep in mind 7 min and 20 min!!
A word about adding water, the rule of thumb is adding water double the measurement of the rice taken, so if you are using 2 cups of rice...add 4 cups of water....I would suggest you to reduce 1/4 cup of water to be on the safe side....so that that the rice is cooked nicely but not sticky...so, 3 3/4 cups of water is ideal to get nice non sticky rice.
I always like to add vegetables that is available in my refrigerator.....there is no rule here...other than your favorite or available vegetables....and I do not favor potatoes in my biriyani, so with the exemption of that I think I can tolerate all the veggies in my biriyani.
A note on rice, I have seen people soaking rice for 20 min or so before cooking them, but from my experience, I always wash and clean the rice and put them into a strainer or colander....try it...you will understand why I insisted on this :)
Okay, so lets make vegetable biriyani, and yes! its a perfect lunch box meal for kids and adults ....and novice cooks are you listening?
Basmati Rice: 2 cups.
Water: 3 3/4 cups.
Salt as needed.
Assorted vegetables: carrots: 2, cauliflower: 1/4 portion, capsicum: 1/2 (cut into cubes) You can add green peas, baby corn or other vegetables available.
To Grind Coarsely:
Green Chilly: 1 large or two medium.
Garlic: 1 pod.
Ginger: 1 1/2 inch.
Coriander leaves: A small bunch.
Pudina or mint leaves: Half a bunch.
For the Gravy:
Refined Oil: 2 -3 tbsp.(or ghee or half and half)
Cinnamon: 1 1/2 pieces.
Jathipathri (Mace): Half.
Onion: 2, sliced.
Tomato: 2, chopped.
Kashmiri Chilly Powder: 1 tsp.
Coriander Powder: 1 tsp.
Garam masala: 3/4 tsp.
Turmeric powder: 1/4 tsp.
Lemon: Juice of half a lime.
Salt to taste. (about 1.5 tsp)
Broken Cashewnuts: 1 tbsp or 10 whole
Fried onions: Slice half an onion and fry and keep aside.
Chopped coriander leaves: 1 or 2 tablespoon.
Grind coarsely all that is under "Grind coarsely" and keep aside.
Wash and clean 2 cups of rice and put it into a strainer or aripa.
These are the vegetables I took to make this biriyani, you can see the coarsely grinded greens still in the jar and the vegetables excluding the onions and tomatoes are chopped.
Heat a pressure cooker. Add in oil or ghee add in the broken cashew-nuts first and then the raisins....once it is lightly fried....remove them and keep them aside. Fry half onion sliced...and keep aside.
Then add in the cinnamon, cloves, cardamon, and a little bit of jathipathri (mace). Add in the sliced onions ....stir for a few min and reduce flame.
Still on low flame. Add in the coarsely grinded mix.....stir for a few min...add in 1 tsp red chilly powder ( I used Kashmiri chilly powder, if using ordinary, add on 3/4 tsp. Add in 1 tsp of coriander powder, 1/4 tsp of turmeric powder, and 3/4 tsp of garam masala powder. Stir well, so that the raw flavor is diminished....keep the fire on low flame.
Once the masala is nicely mixed and browned...add in the tomatoes...you can add in a tbsp of water to make the tomatoes incorporate, but then its optional. Once the tomatoes are nicely sauted and oil has started to come up...add in the vegetables, and mix it well on low flame...maybe about 2 min, so that it is nicely incorporated.
Put the flame on high....Add 3 3/4 cups of water. Check salt and once the water has boiled...add in the strained rice.....squeeze in half a lime.
Mix everything well, and close the cooker with its lid....once steam starts coming...reduce the flame to the lowest and keep it on for 7 min....after 7 min switch off the fire and open the cooker after 15 to 20 min....ta da...your easy vegetable biriyani is ready....fluff the rice with a fork.....sprinkle on roasted nuts, raisins and fried onions...and lastly garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
Serve hot with curd, pappad or pickle