Chef Pankaj Shares Her Veg Biryani Recipe
Image Credit: biryani/ Instagram- bachelors_style_kitchen

The staple of many wedding feasts and late-night snacks, biryani is an essential element of Indian cuisine. There's a reasonable probability that you'll find the dish on the menu in any restaurant across India, with a few differences in preparation methods, and ingredients. Biryanis are well-liked in Hyderabad, Kashmir, Kolkata, and Lucknow (Awadhi). History records that biryani, originally Persian, was a staple in Mughal kitchens, with cooks incorporating regional flavours to create their variations.

However, Awadhi cuisine, which flourished during the rule of the nawabs, differs from its Mughlai cousin in terms of cooking methods and other small aspects. For example, it is noted for subtle, delicate flavours rather than spicy and intense overtones. Chicken biryani, chicken korma, galawati kebab, mutton korma, shami kebab, and other dishes are common components of an Awadhi buffet. The vegetarian version is equally delicious, though, if you live a plant-based diet or want to stop eating meat. Chef Pankaj Bhadouria, the first-ever winner of Masterchef India, is the ideal person to assist you in cooking it.

Pankaj Bhadouria, a successful teacher and enthusiastic home cook, believes that creations that are emphasised creativity, slow cooking methods, attention, and affection can never let him down. This may partly explain why she received a tonne of support on MasterChef India, the country's first television reality cooking competition. Better still? She ultimately prevailed and is currently crowned as India's first MasterChef.

chef pankaj/ Instagram- masterchefpankajbhadouria

She participates in a dizzying array of events daily, including television shows, Instagram reels, YouTube videos, restaurant debuts, and more! The result? A whopping 1.1 million (10 lakh) Instagram followers, 904K YouTube subscribers, and 5 million (50 lakh) Facebook fans. On her social media profiles, you may find various deliciously useful culinary tips, mouthwatering recipes, and a selection of amusing, simple-to-make treats made in kettles and other inventive devices.

However, traditional soul food dishes like vegetable upma, momos, and butter chicken continues to receive positive feedback. The recipe for her veggie biryani is no exception; it results from her extensive time spent in Lucknow. She adds that the biryani was her all-time favourite. Although Awadhi food is generally non-vegetarian, several vegetarian dishes are equally mouthwatering, such as vegetable tehri, tali bhindi ka salan, or Awadhi arbi ka korma. She goes on to say that this dish's most distinctive feature is that it is slow-cooked, a method that preserves the flavours and aroma, and is enhanced by rose and kewra water, as well as chilli flakes and black pepper. When the lid is lifted, this frequently results in a divine perfume that fills the entire house. Additionally, it's the easiest to prepare if you plan entertaining friends and family. Up to six people can be served in around 40 minutes of preparation and cooking.


1., 400 g basmati rice

2. 7 tbsp ghee

3. 2 large onions (sliced)

4. 1 tsp black cumin seeds

5. 8 cloves

6. *1-inch sticks of cinnamon

7. 1 whole piece of mace

8. ¼ tsp grated nutmeg

9. 3 tbsp ginger paste

10. 3 tbsp garlic paste

11. 100 g Shelled green peas

12. 100 g baby potatoes

13. 100 g small cauliflower

14. 100 g French beans (cut into 1-inch pieces)

15. 100 g carrots (sliced diagonally)

16. salt to taste

17. 1 tsp black pepper powder

18. ½ cup of yoghurt

19. 4 black cardamom

20. 4 green cardamoms

21. 2 bay leaves

22. ½ fresh mint leaves (finely chopped)

23. a few drops of rose water

24. a few drops of pine water

25. 2 tbsp unsalted butter

26. wheat flour (to seal the dish)


1. 250 g yoghurt, 5-6 garlic cloves (crushed)

2. ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp chilli flakes


1. After washing, let the rice soak in water for 30 minutes. Heat 4 tablespoons of ghee in the meantime.

2. Fry the sliced onions in batches until they turn golden brown.

3. Drain them on absorbent paper after removing them with a slotted spoon.

4. Cook half of the black cumin seeds in a pan until they start to sizzle.

5. Sauté until it leaves an aromatic flavour, then stir in two cloves, one cinnamon stick, half the mace, nutmeg, and peppercorns.

6. Stir in the pastes of ginger and garlic, and cook for one minute. After adding salt, pepper, and vegetables, this should be sautéed for two minutes at low heat.

7. Cook this mixture while adding yoghurt, salt, and pepper until all the vegetables are practically soft.

8. Pour eight cups of water and two teaspoons of salt to a boil in a sizable separate pan.

9. Place the remaining cloves, cinnamon sticks, mace, black cumin, and two green and black cardamoms in a tiny bundle on a piece of muslin. Add the bundle to the water. 

10. To give it time to infuse, cook on low heat for 20 minutes.

11. After draining, add the rice to the pan and heat through. Take the pot off the heat, then strain.

12. Save the water that was strained. Rice is prepared by adding the remaining ghee and stirring.

13. Spread half of the rice on the bottom of a heavy-bottomed heat-resistant casserole before assembling your biryani. 

14. Over it, scatter a layer of chopped mint and veggies. The onion that has been fried is placed on top of the remaining rice.

15. Dot the rice with unsalted butter and sprinkle with rose and pine water. After that, seal the dough by adding a cup of the saved filtered water and covering it with a lid.

16. After that, put it on a hot griddle and simmer it until steam starts to come out. Take it off the fire and let it stand for a while.

17. Yoghurt should be strained and smoothed out while waiting. Mix in the remaining ingredients.