Coconut Milk Veggie Biryani: Step by Step Recipe

Coconut Milk Biryani is slightly different from the traditional biryani recipe, in that the addition of thick coconut milk adds a mild sweetness and creaminess to the biryani. It also balances the stronger spices in this dish beautifully. If you are looking for an intensely aromatic, mildly spiced, and incredibly flavourful biryani, this recipe is totally for you! Especially for those who have a low tolerance to spice and prefer a much milder version of the dish, this hits the spot 🙂

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I made a mixed vegetable raita (tomato, banana stem, onions and fresh coriander) to go with this, and it was just perfect 🙂

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Rich, flavourful and really mild biryani! Read on for the recipe 🙂

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Ingredients

To Grind

  • Fresh coriander leaves  – a handful
  • Fresh ginger – a small piece
  • Green chillies – 2 big

For Biryani

  • Basmati rice – 2 cups
  • Mixed vegetables, chopped – 1/2 cup (cauliflower, potato, green peas, carrot and green beans)
  • Ghee – 3 tbsp
  • Green elaichi (cardamom) – 2 pods
  • Cinnamon – 2 inch stick
  • Cloves – 4
  • Bay leaf – 1
  • Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Red chilli powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Kitchen King powder – 1/2 to 1 tsp
  • Thick coconut milk – 1/2 cup
  • Salt to taste
  • Sugar – 1/2 tsp

For Garnish

  • Cashewnuts – 8 to 10, broken
  • Ghee – 1 tsp

Method

  1. Take green chillies, fresh coriander and ginger in a mixer grinder with very little water.
  2. Pulse into a coarse paste.

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  1. Saute thinly sliced onions, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon and bay leaf in ghee or oil until onions are golden.
  2. Add the cut up mixed vegetables to this.
  3. Add the dry masalas – turmeric, red chilli powder, garam masala powder
  4. Add salt to taste
  5. Add sugar to balance out everything
  6. Mix well, let this cook for 3-4 mins on medium flame

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  1. Add coconut milk to this (use thick milk, or first milk of coconut if extracting fresh)
  2. Add water in the ratio of 1:1.5 cups basmati rice to water.
  3. Mix well.
  4. Turn down the flame to medium-low. Add basmati rice to this and mix well.
  5. Cover and cook for 15 minutes in medium-low flame. Switch off the stove and let the biryani cook in retained heat for another 15-20 minutes. After 30-35 mins in total, remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork gently.
  6. Add sautéed golden cashew nuts to garnish (optional).

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Serve biryani hot with raita of your choice.

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TIPS & TWEAKS

  • You can also add half coriander leaves and half mint leaves for the green paste. I had no mint at home at the time of making this.
  • If using freshly extracted coconut milk, use the first (thick) milk.
  • If using coconut cream, use 1/4 cup of coconut cream.
  • Do not be impatient while cooking biriyani. Let it cook in retained heat at least for 15-20 mins after the initial 15 mins on the stove.
  • Do not be in a hurry to open the cooker! This standing time will ensure that the grains are well cooked , separate and fluffy.
  • You can even add paneer to this biryani if you prefer. Saute it with some ghee until golden brown, and add at the end while adding the cashew nuts.
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