Shobha's Delicious Vegetable Biryani

Biryani is the more exotic of meals and is often served on special occasions. There are many versions of vegetable, meat and fish Biryani.You can expect to cook delicious biryani with Shoba's recipe as she is an excellent cook. This dish is infused with a host of aromatic spices as well as butter or ghee. Vegans can skip the butter, use water instead of yogurt & still enjoy this Biryani.

Biryani is often served with side dishes, like roasted potatoes, salads, Raita, sauces & chutneys of various flavors including, Tamarind Carrot Chutney.

Shobana has also provided a recipe for the masala, (curry powder), that is used to flavor Biryani. Shoba suggests that you use a coffee grinder to grind these seeds. The advantage of grinding your own seeds is that the flavors are fresh & stronger.

It may be a good idea to have separate coffee grinders for spices & coffee, to avoid a mish mash of flavors. If you want to take the easy way, you could also choose to use the ground spices that you purchase at stores.

INGREDIENTS-Vegetable Biryani

  • 2½cups rice
  • a piece of cinnamon stick
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ cup brown lentils
  • ½ a cup of plain yoghurt
  • 4 oz. butter


  1. 2 large potatoes peeled and quartered
  2. 2 large onions, sliced
  3. 3 carrots skinned and cut into 1cm rings
  4. ¾ cup cut green beans
  5. small can butter beans (optional)
  6. ½ cup fresh peas (or frozen)
  7. 1 - 2 cups sliced cabbage cut into 2cm. squares
  8. 2 medium tomatoes grated
  9. 3 green chillies sliced
  10. ¾ cup chopped mint leaves
  11. ½ bunch coriander leaves, finely cut
  12. 1 tsp. each ground ginger & garlic
  13. Ground spices. See recipe box, Shoba's Biryani Masala. (Curry Powder)


  • Wash rice and boil enough water to fill just over ½ of a medium size pot
  • Add cinnamon stick, salt & rice. Boil for just 7-8 minutes to remove starch. The rice should still be hard in the center. Strain, set aside
  • Boil ½ cup brown lentils until soft but still firm
  • Steam potatoes in the microwave until semi-soft then fry in 1 cup of oil till crisp on the outside. Fry the onions in the same oil till golden brown. Set aside.
  • Put the same oil in large pot. Heat on medium temp.
  • Add cinnamon stick, ginger,garlic, ground spices, green chillies, tomatoes, salt and stir well-2 min.
  • Add carrots, cabbage, green beans & butter beans–cook for +5 min. until cabbage is soft
  • Add yoghurt, mint, coriander leaves. Stir, then add the peas & lentils on top of vegetables
  • Sprinkle half of the fried onions over the top and set the potatoes over this
  • Lay half the rice over the veggies
  • Chop up the butter into cubes and place half over the rice
  • Mix remaining onions & butter with rest of rice & layer this over the top
  • Seal pot with foil & steam for 30 mins. In a moderate oven
  • Serve with salads and side dishes

Shoba's Biryani Masala (Curry Powder)

  1. In a coffee grinder crush these spices into a fine powder
  2. 1 tbsp. cumin seeds
  3. 1tbsp. fennel seeds (soomph)
  4. 2 tbsps. coriander seeds
  5. 1 tbsp. chilie powder
  6. 1 tsp. tumeric powder
  7. 4 cloves
  8. 6 green elachi pods(cardomon)

For more of Shoba's recipes check:

Delicious Pumpkin Soup

Shobha's Easy Baked Beans

Mince Kebaabs

Shobha's Pea Dhall

If you have any questions or would like to add a recipe of your own, email me, Nirmala, at email address.
I will be happy to help in any way I can. The site will be regularly updated with tasty recipes and hints and tips. You can also reach me at Contact

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