Mamta's Kitchen

Vegetable Biryani Pulao/Pilaf Rice 1, With Paneer Cheese (Easy One Pot)

Sabji Aur Paneer ki Biriani

Mamta Gupta


This biryani is a complete meal in itself, combining rice, vegetables and paneer cheese (carbohydrates, proteins and fat). Do not be put off by the long list of ingredients, including vegetables. Once the ingredients are ready, it is an easy dish to make. You can use a few less vegetables, depending on what you have in the fridge/freezer. The quantity of vegetables is a guide only.

To serve for a buffet, one idea is to heap a couple of spoons full of fresh biryani inside freshly cooked and crisp Yorkshire Pudding and serve hot.

Serves approximately 6


  • 2 cups Basmati or any other long grain rice

  • 3 1/2 cups hot water

  • A few saffron threads

  • 100 gm. Paneer Indian Cheese, cubed. In UK, paneer is available from Indian shops and some supermarkets.

  • 1 onion, thinly sliced, for garnish (optional, for special occasions)

  • Oil for deep frying.

  • A pan with a tight fitting lid

  • Masala or Spice Mix

  • 2-3 tbsp. oil

  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds

  • 2 bay leaves*

  • 2-3 cloves*

  • 2 large black cardamoms*

  • 4-6 small green cardamoms*

  • 6-7 black peppers*

  • 1 inch piece of cinnamon*

  • *If you do not have these whole spices, which make garam masala, you can use 1 tsp. of ground Garam Masala instead

  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder

  • 1 tsp. coriander powder

  • 1/2 tsp. chilli powder

  • Salt to taste

  • Vegetables (you can use more or fewer or different vegetables): /b>

  • 2 onions, peeled and sliced

  • 1/2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated

  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, peeled and grated or crushed

  • 200 gm tinned tomatoes or 2 large tomatoes peeled and chopped

  • 1 medium potato, peeled and cubed

  • A few bite size florets of cauliflower

  • 1-2 carrots, peeled and cubed or sliced

  • 2 tbsp. frozen or shelled peas

  • 1 Courgette (tori/turai), thickly sliced or Lauki (doodhi/bottle gourd)

  • 1/2 green/red/yellow pepper, stalk and core removed and chopped into large pieces

  • 2 green chillies, sliced

  • For garnish (Optional):

  • 10-14 ready salted cashew nuts

  • 2 onions, sliced and deep fried


  1. Preparing ingredients:

  2. Measure all ingredients and keep aside.

  3. Prepare all vegetables.

  4. Heat oil and deep fry paneer cubes until lightly brown, keep aside. Keep on absorbent paper to drain oil. Paneer should be fried in quite hot oil, otherwise pieces stick together.

  5. Deep fry potatoes, courgettes and cauliflower individually and keep aside (they all take different times to fry). For everyday meals, vegetables do not need to be fried, as shown in pictures.

  6. Deep fry the garnish onions, drain and keep aside on a kitchen towel. Keep aside. Ready fried onions can be used for garnish.

  7. Making masala and vegetables:

  8. Heat 2-3 tbsp. oil in a large pan.

  9. Add cumin seeds and whole spices and wait until cumin seeds splutter.

  10. Add ginger, garlic and onions and fry until golden brown.

  11. Add all ground spices, stir for a few minutes and add tomatoes. Cook until oil separates.

  12. Add all vegetables, adding frozen peas last.

  13. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring from time to time.

  14. Add Paneer and stir it in.

  15. Cooking Biryani:

  16. Add rice to the vegetable mix, stir well to coat the rice with the mix.

  17. Add 3 1/2 cup of water and saffron, bring to boil and turn heat to low. Cook covered until all water absorbs. This takes about 10 minutes. Do not keep opening the lid to have a peep! Glass lidded pans are better for this reason.

  18. Serve hot, garnished with deep fried onions and cashew nuts. Also serve roasted/grilled papads (papadoms/popodoms/papodoms), fresh natural yoghurt and pickles of choice. My favourite with this dish is a href="recipe_display.php?id=10031"> Sweet Mango Chutney and dry roasted/grilled papadoms (papads). These are the common things served with a vegetable biryani.


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