One Pot Vegetable Biryani

Mixed Vegetable Biryani in a pressure cooker - with vegan option
Vegetable Biryani

After all the meat that we had eaten to usher in the new year, it was time for some vegetable detox. On a serious note, I ended up buying way too many vegetables from the produce market on the way back from PYO strawberries at Phil Greig's. Further, biryani is a very easy to carry picnic food too, considering we are planning a small hike/picnic tomorrow - marking the completion of the 4 day weekend down under. The weather was quite unkind for the first 2.5 days. Here's hoping for better weather tomorrow. 

Coming to the biryani - there are many ways to make a biryani - from the cumbersome dum biryani to mughlai biryani to this adaptation of a pulao - a one pot meal. Most households in middle class India would make some version of a pressure cooker biryani with the dum biryani saved for special occasions.

Don't let the long list of ingredients deter you in anyway. It is very simple and easy to put together.

Note : I use a gas cooker which I will swear by anyday and the timings may vary if you use any other type of cooker.

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Ingredients : Serves 4
    An easy one pot, flavour packed meal of vegetables and rice ready in 40 minutes
  • 2 tbsp ghee/clarified butter (replace with oil for vegan)
  • 2 tbsp neutral oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 4 green chillies (adjust as per taste)
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 inch piece of ginger
  • 1 tsp whole black pepper corns
  • 1 2inch long cinnamon stick
  • 4 cloves
  • 4 green cardamom
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 small tomato
  • 2 medium sized potato
  • 1 medium sized carrot
  • 10 green beans
  • 1/4 cup green peas
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tbsp red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala powder
  • 1.5 cups of rice - I used sona masuri but you can use basmati rice
  • 1 cup of coconut milk
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • A generous pinch of kasuri methi(optional)
  • Salt to taste - I used about 1 tbsp
  • Coriander to garnish
How I made the One Pot/Pressure Cooker Vegetable Biryani
  1. Finely slice the 1 large onion
  2. Slit the 4 green chillies (adjust per taste)
  3. Heat 2 tbsp ghee and 2 tbsp oil in a pressure cooker
  4. Throw in the whole spices - 1 cinnamon stick, 4 cloves, 4 green cardamom, 1 star anise, 1 bay leaf
  5. Once the aroma rises, throw in the onions and sliced green chillies
  6. Turn the heat to low and let the onions fry. Keep an eye on them from time to time and proceed with the prep for the remaining.
  7. Peel the 4 cloves of garlic and inch knob of ginger. Pound them along with 1 tsp whole black pepper corns in a mortar and pestle to as fine a paste.
  8. Quarter the 2 potatoes.
  9. Chop the carrot into 2inch long pieces
  10. Chop the green beans into 2 inch long pieces
  11. Mix the onions. Add 1/2 tsp of salt to aid the browning
  12. Prepare the 1/4 cup of green peas by microwaving for 30 seconds in water if using frozen
  13.  Chop the 1 tomato
  14. Pick and wash the rice.
  15. Once the onions are dark golden brown, add the ginger garlic pepper paste
  16. Fry for a minute until the raw smell is gone. 
  17. Mix 1/4 tsp turmeric powder, 1 tsp coriander powder, 1 tsp cumin powder, 1 tbsp red chilly powder in a little water and add it to the cooker. 
  18. Fry for a minute and then throw in the 2 quartered potatoes
  19. Fry for about 5 minutes.
  20. Throw in the tomato fry until fat separates.
  21. Put in the 1.5 cups washed rice, 1 chopped carrot and 10 green beans. Fry for a minute.
  22. Add the peas, 1 cup coconut milk, 2 cups of water
  23. Put in the 1/2 tsp garam masala, generous pinch of kasuri methi and lemon juice. 
  24. Adjust the salt such that the water tastes a little bit on the salty side. 
  25. Close the lid. Increase heat.
  26. Once the pressure starts to rise, turn heat back to low and cook on low for 8-10 minutes and turn off. Let the steam release on its own.

    Serve with raita. I blended 4tbsp yoghurt with 2tbsp fresh coconut scrapings, salt and 1/2 tsp cumin seeds. To this I added another 4tbsp yoghurt and whipped it through. If you don't have coconut, just fresh cumin powder transforms the yoghurt to a delightful raita.
    Use whipped coconut cream or coconut yoghurt to make it a complete vegan meal.

Nutrition facts: Per Serving
366 calories
15.5 grams fat


Herbed Citrus Marinated Lamb Cutlets

Marinated Lamb Cutlets
French Lamb Cutlets

What better way to usher in the new year [and get back to giving the blog some attention] than to cook up something easy yet delicious?  These lamb cutlets that I made following the recipe from here were deliciously juicy and had us feeling like we had eaten at a fine dining restaurant. And yes, meat can be "Light and Refreshing". The orange is a very interesting addition which takes this to new levels. Make these and I am sure that you will agree.

Marinated French Lamb Cutlets

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Ingredients : Serves 4 as an appetizer
  • 12 french lamb cutlets
  • 1 small to medium sized orange
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2tbsp dried oregano
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
How I made the Herbed Citrus Marinated Lamb Cutlets
  1. Using a hand scraper, grate the medium sized orange to get the zest.
  2. Juice the orange
  3. Pound the 4 cloves of garlic in a mortar and pestle
  4. Mix the orange juice from 1 medium sized orange, orange zest, 2 tbsp of lemon juice including lemon zest, 1.5 tsp salt, minced 4 cloves of garlic and 1 tsp of freshly ground black pepper powder
  5. Using a fork, prick a few holes in the 12 lamb cutlets to help ensure better marination
  6. Place the lamb cutlets in a ziploc bag and pour the marinade over. Mix well and rub it in to ensure that all pieces are coated. Place the closed bag into the refrigerator overnight to marinade.
  7. Remove the cutlets from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes prior to cooking
  8. Preheat oven to 120 degree C
  9. In a pan, heat 1-2 tbsp of olive oil
  10. Place the lamb cutlets without crowding them and cook on high to seal the meat until there is a dark brown colouring on both sides. 
  11. Place these on a baking tray and put in the oven for about 15-20 minutes.  I had used an airfryer and hence they needed just under 10 minutes
The resultant juicy, light and flavour packed lamb cutlets were gone in minutes.
We had this with braised red cabbage as a main.
Lamb Cutlets Marinate

Light and Refreshing Marinated Lamb Cutlets using Oranges, Oregano, Lemon And Garlic