This aromatic delicious spiced lip smacking Veg Biryani comes from the land of Malabar, Kerala. Traditionally Biryani is prepared with marinated meat and rice in “Dum” style. Here comes the veg version of the Malabar Meat Biryani wherein no marination is required and can be enjoyed by everyone. Spices and yogurt are used only in Biryani while it’s not used while making pilaf/pulao

This dish can be cooked in traditional style, pressure cooker or in Instant pot. Here I have cooked the veg masala part in pressure cooker to reduce the time of cooking , you can cook the veggies traditional way too.

I have prepared the dish traditional way and though it does sound time consuming, the result is worth it. Besides I always prepare rice and veg masala in parallel , this helps in reducing the cooking time. The dish doesn’t require any side dish yet it tastes best with raita, papad and pickle

There are 3 ways of cooking this traditional way: I have used dough to seal the biryani pot , you can also use aluminium foil. Both these methods require you to use greased deep heavy bottom vessel. Now in case you do not have it then grease regular vessel , layer biryani, cover tightly with a lid. Now heat tawa/girdle. Place pan containing hot water covered with lid on top of hot girdle. Place biryani vessel on top of this or directly place biryani vessel on top of tawa/girdle and then cook over low heat

*Ideally biryani should not stick to bottom of the pan if using deep bottom vessel, if it stills happens then you can place a thin layer of potato slices at the bottom and remove it once biryani is cooked. Do not forget to grease the dish before layering the biryani

Do check the video for better clarity in preparation and share your experience once you prepare the dish

Preparation Time: 65 mins Cooking Time: 40 mins Total time: 105 mins

Servings: 3


For Rice

  • 1 cup Basmati Rice/Any long grain rice
  • 3 Cloves
  • 2 Cardamom
  • 1 inch Cinnamon
  • Salt to taste
  • 3-4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon Ghee/Clarified butter
  • 1 small Bay Leaf
  • 1-2 stone flower/dagadi phool
  • 1/4 teaspoon peppercorns

For Veg Masala

  • 2 medium Onions , finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp Ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp biryani Masala (homemade/store brought)- adjust to taste
  • 3 tbsp Ghee/Clarified Butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon Pepper
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 3 Green Chilies crushed
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp Curd
  • 1/2 cup chopped veggies (Carrots, beans, peas, potato, cauliflower etc)

For Garnish

  • 1 tbsp Ghee/Clarified Butter for greasing
  • 3 tbsp Cashews
  • 3 tbsp chopped Coriander leaves/Cilantro
  • 2-3 tbsp chopped Mint leaves/Pudina
  • 1 big Onion, thinly sliced
  • Lemon juice as required

Steps to prepare

  • Clean and soak rice for 1 hour. Drain excess water and rest it aside
  • Melt 1 tbsp ghee in a pan, fry cashews and keep it aside, in the same pan, fry onions until caramelized and keep it aside
  • In separate pan, melt 1 tsp ghee, add bay leaf cardamom, cloves, peppercorns,stone flower and cinnamon
  • Saute until spices are aromatic
  • Add rice and mix well. Saute for 2 minutes
  • Add water and salt, bring to boil. Water should be slightly salty
  • Cover and cook until 90 percentage done
  • Immediately drain excess water to prevent it from further cooking
  • Gently fluff rice with fork and keep it aside
  • For veg masala: in a cooker, melt ghee.
  • Add ginger garlic paste and chilies. Saute for 3 minutes
  • Add onions and saute until translucent
  • Add tomatoes and saute until soft
  • Add in veggies and saute for 4-5 minutes
  • Add biryani masala and pepper. Mix well
  • Add curd, salt and water. Mix well.
  • Pressure cook for single whistle over high heat
  • Allow the steam to be released naturally
  • Grease a handi/deep bottom vessel. Add 1/2 veg masala on top
  • Layer with 1/2 of prepared rice. Sprinkle lemon juice.
  • Layer again with veg masala followed by rice. Sprinkle lemon juice on top.
  • Garnish with fried onions and cashews.
  • Sprinkle chopped coriander and mint leaves on top
  • Cover with a foil and lid or cover with lid and seal with dough
  • Cook over low heat for 15-20 minutes. Rest on the counter for 15 minutes
  • Remove the lid and dough/foil
  • Gently mix the biryani.
  • Serve warm with curry or raita and pickle
Malabar Veg Biryani
Posted by:Rekha Unni

Humble quirky soul embarking on beautiful journey of love called Life. Cooking is one of my favorite hobbies and I love experimenting with different types of foods. it's the love of cooking for my family which has made this hobby as one of my passions

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