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Veg Vegetable Biryani

Vegetable Biryani is a rich and aromatic Indian rice dish that is as colorful as it is flavorful, packed with a variety of spices, vegetables, and fragrant basmati rice. This dish is a vegetarian take on the traditional biryani, a staple in Indian cuisine typically made with meat. It's celebrated for its vibrant layers of flavor and texture, making it a festive choice for many occasions.

Veg Vegetable Biryani

Ingredients:

• 1 1/2 cups basmati rice, rinsed and soaked for 30 minutes
• 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or ghee
• 1 large onion, thinly sliced
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 1-inch piece of ginger, minced
• 1 bay leaf
• 1 cinnamon stick
• 4 green cardamom pods
• 4 whole cloves
• 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
• 1 teaspoon ground coriander
• 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
• 1 teaspoon garam masala
• 1/2 teaspoon ground paprika
• 2 cups mixed vegetables (carrots, peas, green beans, and potatoes), diced
• 1 can (15 oz) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
• 1/4 cup raisins (optional)
• 3 cups vegetable broth or water
• Salt to taste
• Fresh cilantro and mint, chopped (for garnish)
• Toasted cashews or almonds (for garnish, optional)
For the Cilantro-Mint Chutney:
• 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
• 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
• 1 small green chili (optional)
• 1 clove garlic
• 1 tablespoon lime juice
• 1 tablespoon water (or more as needed)
• Salt to taste

Instructions:

1. Prepare the Rice:
◦ Rinse and soak the basmati rice in cold water for 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.
2. Prepare the Cilantro-Mint Chutney:
◦ In a blender or food processor, combine the fresh cilantro, fresh mint, green chili (if using), garlic, lime juice, water, and salt.
◦ Blend until smooth, adding more water as needed to reach your desired consistency. Set aside.
3. Cook the Biryani:
◦ Heat the vegetable oil or ghee in a large pot over medium heat.
◦ Add the thinly sliced onion and cook until golden brown and caramelized, about 10 minutes.
◦ Stir in the minced garlic and ginger, cooking for another 2 minutes until fragrant.
◦ Add the bay leaf, cinnamon stick, green cardamom pods, whole cloves, and cumin seeds. Cook for 1-2 minutes until the spices are fragrant.
◦ Stir in the ground coriander, ground turmeric, garam masala, and ground paprika.
◦ Add the mixed vegetables and chickpeas, stirring to coat them with the spices. Cook for about 5 minutes.
◦ Add the drained basmati rice and raisins (if using). Stir to combine.
◦ Pour in the vegetable broth or water, season with salt, and bring to a boil.
◦ Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the rice and vegetables are tender and the liquid is absorbed.
◦ Remove from heat and let the biryani sit, covered, for another 10 minutes.
4. Serve:
◦ Fluff the biryani with a fork and transfer to a serving platter.
◦ Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro, mint, and toasted cashews or almonds if desired.
◦ Serve with the cilantro-mint chutney on the side.
Enjoy this aromatic and flavorful Vegetable Biryani, perfect for a satisfying vegan meal!

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