Awadhi Vegetable Biryani


I was keen to begin this mega marathon with a biryani and what better than a traditional Awadhi Vegetable Biryani. It hails from the beautiful city of Lucknow and is also called Lucknow Biryani. I was surprised to find that this Awadhi Vegetable biryani does not use the popular biryani masala or even garam masala. It uses a lovely combination of whole spices with ginger and garlic paste and a beautiful medley of vegetables and long grained basmati rice.

The best part of this biryani was the time needed to make it and also the fact that it is very light on the stomach. It does not leave you feeling lethargic and unable to do anything therafter though I would recommend an afternoon siesta after a sumptuous meal such as this. The Burani raita perfectly compliments this Awadhi Vegetable biryani. It is an easy to make quick raita and perfect for garlic lovers like me.

For other rice dishes, check out Tava Pulao, Mushroom & Egg Rice and Tamarind Rice


Serves 2

Recipe adapted from here


For the rice

1 cup Long grain basmati rice

4 cups Water

3/4 tsp Salt

2 Black cardamom

2 Green cardamom

3 Cloves

1″ Cinnamon stick

1 Bay leaf

For the vegetables

2 tbsp Ghee

1 tsp Cumin seeds

3 Cloves

1″ Cinnamon stick

2 tbsp Ginger garlic paste

160 gms Yogurt

50 gms Potatoes

50 gms Carrot

50 gms French beans

50 gms Cauliflower

50 gms Shelled green peas

For assembly

1/4 cup Fried onions

2 tbsp Finely chopped fresh coriander

8-10 drops of kewra

2 tsp Milk

Few strands of saffron

100 gms Wheat dough


  • Soak the basmati rice for half hour in sufficient water
  • Peel and chop the potatoes and carrots
  • Chop the cauliflower and french beans
  • Heat a pan and add 2 tbsp of ghee
  • Once the ghee is hot, add the cumin seeds, cinnamon stick and cloves
  • After a minute, add the ginger garlic paste and let it cook on low flame for a couple of minutes
  • Add the yogurt, vegetables and salt and mix well
  • Cover and cook on medium flame till the vegetables are tender, around 7-8 minutes
  • Turn off the heat and set aside
  • Heat the 4 cups of water with 3/4 tsp salt and let it come to a boil
  • Tie up the cloves, cinnamon, black and green cardamoms and bay leaf in a muslin cloth and add it to the water (See Note 2)
  • Let the water continue to boil for another 7-8 minutes for the flavours of the spices to be infused in it
  • Drain the water from the rice and add it to the boiling water and cook till almost done, around 4 minutes
  • Drain the water from the cooked rice and retain the water
  • Take out and discard the spices in the muslin cloth
  • Roll out the wheat dough into a round shape like a roti to the circumference of your biryani pot
  • Heat a tava on medium heat
  • Prepare all other ingredients for assembly -chopped coriander, fried onion, kewra, milk mixed with saffron strands, cooked vegetables, cooked rice
  • In your biryani pot (any deep pot), add half the rice
  • Top it with fried onions and half of chopped coriander
  • Add the vegetables and spread over the coriander layer
  • Spread the balance rice, coriander, kewra, saffron and milk
  • Pour 1/2 cup of the water used to cook the rice
  • Cover the pot with the wheat dough and seal it on the edges of the pot to ensure no steam escapes (See Note 3)
  • Place it on the tava and cook on medium heat for 10 minutes
  • Serve warm with Burani Raita
  • Enjoy!!!


  1. You can either buy fried onions from the store or thinly slice 1 medium onion and fry it till golden brown. If you are frying it yourself, fry it at the beginning and set aside before proceeding to make other parts of the biryani
  2. If you do not have a muslin cloth to tie up the spices – Empty a tea bag of the tea and put the spices in and staple it. Drop it in the boiling water to infuse it with the spices
  3. Instead of the wheat dough, you can place a clean kitchen towel on the pot and close it with a lid tight enough to ensure that no steam escapes


This is my post for the Biryani / Pulao / Khichadi Festival for the alphabet ‘A’

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#99

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