Mughlai veg biryani recipe step by step

Mughlai veg biryani

About the recipe

Mughlai vegetable biryani is a mild, lightly spiced, dum cooked & layered biryani made with rice, spices, mix veggies and dry fruits. Mughlai biryani made with almond-melon seeds paste, curd, spices and fried onions (birista). The Mughlai vegetable biryani is layered as well as dum cooked. Cooking Mughlai vegetable biryani the way its ideally made, takes time and effort, but the results are always good and worth the effort and time. In Mughlai vegetable biryani you can add nuts, if you realy like nuts. If you are allergic to nuts, then you can skip them.


Prep Time : 20 mins 

Cook Time : 30 mins 

Total Time : 55 mins 


What Ingredients it Requires ? 

Ingredients (1 cup = 250 ml)

For cooking rice:

  • 1.5 cups basmati rice or 300 grams basmati rice
  • 1 inch cinnamon (dalchini)
  • 1 medium tej patta (indian bay leaf or tamalpatra)
  • 2 to 3 single strands of mace (javitri)
  • 3 cloves (lavang)
  • 3 green cardamoms (hari elaichi)
  • 5 cups water for cooking rice
  • ½ teaspoon salt or add as required

For white paste:

  • 10 to 12 almonds, blanched in hot water and peeled
  • 1 tablespoon melon seeds (magaz) soaked in hot water
  • 1 tablespoon desiccated coconut
  • 2 tablespoon water for grinding

For veg biryani gravy:

  • 3 to 4 tablespoon ghee
  • 10 to 12 almonds (badam)
  • 15 to 16 raisins (kishmish)
  • 10 to 12 cashews (kaju)
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced or 140 to 150 grams onions or 1 cup tightly packed thinly sliced onions
  • 1 medium sized tej patta (Indian bay leaf or tamalpatra)
  • 3 cloves (lavang)
  • 1 inch cinnamon (dalchini)
  • 2 single strands of mace (javitri)
  • 3 green cardamoms (hari elaichi)
  • 1 black cardamom (badi elaichi)
  • 8 to 9 black pepper (sabut kali mirch)
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds (shah jeera)
  • 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste or 7 to 8 garlic cloves + 1 inch ginger, crushed to a paste in mortar-pestle
  • 2.5 to 3 cups mixed veggies (carrots, french beans, potatoes, mushrooms, cauliflower, broccoli etc)
  • ⅓ cup green peas, fresh or frozen (matar)
  • ½ teaspoon kashmiri red chili powder
  • ½ cup fresh curd (yogurt or dahi)
  • ⅔ cup water for pressure cooking
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala powder or biryani masala powder
  • salt as required
  • for layering mughlai veg biryani:
  • 150 to 200 grams paneer, optional
  • 3 tablespoon warm milk + ⅛ tsp saffron strands
  • 2 tablespoon chopped mint leaves (pudina patta)
  • 2 teaspoon rose water or kewra water

How to prepare the recipe:

  • pick and rinse basmati rice in running water till the water runs clear of starch. soak the rice in enough water for 30 minutes. after 30 minutes drain the rice and keep aside.
  • soak 10 to 12 almonds and 1 tbsp melon seeds/magaz in 1/3 cup hot water for 30 minutes.
  • later drain the almonds and melon seeds and add them to small grinder jar. also add 1 tbsp desiccated coconut
  • add 2 tbsp water and grind to a smooth paste. keep this white paste aside.
  • when the rice and almonds + melon seeds are soaking prep the other ingredients. rinse, peel and chop all the veggies.
  • slice 1 large onion thinly (about 1 heaped cup thinly sliced onion).
  • crush 1 inch ginger and 7 to 8 medium garlic cloves to a paste in mortar-pestle. gives about 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste.
  • chop a few mint leaves. about 2 tbsp chopped mint leaves.

Cooking rice for mughlai veg biryani:

  • take a deep bottomed pan. add 5 cups water and bring the water to a boil on a high flame.
  • add whole spices - 1 inch cinnamon, 1 medium tej patta, 2 to 3 single strands of mace, 3 cloves and 3 green cardamoms.
  • now add the rice and add 1/2 tsp salt or add as required.
  • keep the flame on high and cook the rice.
  • the rice has to be 75% or ¾th cooked. the grains should have a slight bite to them when cooked. the rice should not be fully cooked but almost cooked.
  • next strain the rice in a colander. you can also rinse the rice gently with water so that the grains stop cooking. keep aside.

Making vegetable gravy for mughlai biryani:

  • in a pressure cooker, heat 3 to 4 tbsp ghee.
  • add 10 to 12 almonds. fry them till they get golden. remove and keep aside in a plate.
  • next add 15 to 16 raisins. fry the raisins till they swell and become plump. remove and keep aside.
  • then add 10 to 12 cashews and fry them till the cashews turn golden. remove and keep aside.
  • now add the thinly sliced onions. begin to stir and sauté them on a low to medium flame. onions take time to cook, so add a pinch of salt to quicken the cooking process.
  • sauté the onions till they turn golden and caramelize.
  • switch off the flame. keep the cooker down. quickly remove 1/2 of the fried onions from the pressure cooker and keep aside.
  • keep the cooker back again on the stove top. add whole spices - 1 medium sized tej patta, 3 cloves, 1 inch cinnamon, 2 single strands of mace, 3 green cardamoms, 1 black cardamom, 8 to 9 black pepper and 1 tsp shah jeera. (keep all the spices ready in a plate, so that the onions do not burn. add all in one go. if you remove the jars, add one by one, the onions will get burnt by then. )
  • next add ginger-garlic paste. stir and saute for a few seconds.
  • add the mixed veggies and 1/2 tsp kashmiri red chili powder. sauté for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • add the ground white paste, 1/2 cup fresh curd/yogurt and 2/3 cup water.
  • mix and stir very well.
  • season with salt. stir well and pressure cook the vegetable gravy for 8 to 9 minutes or 1 to 2 whistles.
  • when the pressure settles down on its own, check the gravy. if the gravy looks thin, then do simmer till it becomes slightly thick.
  • add 1/2 tsp garam masala powder or biryani masala powder to the gravy. mix well.
  • assembling and layering

Mughlai veg biryani:

  • when the veggies are pressure cooking, soak 1/4 tsp saffron strands in 3 tbsp warm milk.
  • grease an heat proof oven safe bowl with some ghee or butter.
  • pour a first layer of half of the vegetable gravy.
  • add some paneer cubes.
  • layer with the rice. also sprinkle some of the saffron soaked milk on the rice.
  • now add half of the fried dry fruits, fried onions and half of the chopped mint leaves evenly all over.
  • layer with the remaining vegetable gravy. also top with the remaining paneer cubes.
  • layer with half of the rice. also sprinkle some of the saffron soaked milk on the rice.
  • repeat the rice layer, fried dry fruits, fried onions, mint leaves and saffron milk. also sprinkle evenly 2 tsp rose water or kewra water (optional).
  • seal tightly with an aluminum foil.
  • place the bowl in a preheated oven and bake veg biryani at 200 degrees Celsius for 20 to 25 minutes.
  • once the baking is done, remove the bowl from the oven and give a resting time of 5 minutes before you serve the biryani.
  • serve mughlai veg biryani with onion tomato raita.


Improve the Recipe with tips:

Substitutions you can make in Mughlai veg biryani:

  • curd - thick coconut milk.
  • ghee - butter or oil.
  • melon seeds - pumpkin seeds.
  • desiccated coconut - fresh coconut.
  • paneer - tofu.


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