Monday, February 8, 2016

Recipe: Rice Cooker Vegetable Biriyani with Mint and Cilantro

Biriyani is one of those dishes that I'd hope would be my last dish on Earth - I just love it THAT much! However, making a true Biriyani is very complicated - it must be layered with rice, it takes hours, and I just don't have the patience for it. Husband-ji makes an incredible festival Biriyani for holidays like Christmas that is much adored by my family. Chef extraordinairre husband-ji came up with this easy recipe for me that is sautéed first, and then cooked completely in the rice cooker, which means I can easily make it on a week night when I'm short for time! It takes minimal time, and it has maximum flavour!

Madh Mama's Rice Cooker Vegetable Biriyani with Mint and Cilantro
(serves 4-6)


- 3 tbsp oil
- 2 green chillies (split lengthwise)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 inch cinnamon stick
- 1 mace (javitri)
- 3 cloves
- 6 peppercorns
- 4 cardamom pods
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 1/2 red onion (sliced lengthwise)
- 3 tsp ginger/garlic paste
- 1/2 cup or 1 cup cashew nuts
- 5 tsp biriyani paste (found at the Indian grocery store)
- 1 potato (cubed)
- 1 cup frozen peas/carrots
- salt (to taste)
- 2 cups rice
- 4 1/4 cups water (or however much water your rice cooker takes for 2 cups of rice - each cooker is different)
- 1/2 cup chopped mint
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- a sprinkle of fried crispy onions (found at the Indian grocery store)

(This is my favorite brand of biriyani paste)


Split the chillies lengthwise, chop the potato into cubes, cut the onion lengthwise. Chop the mint and cilantro. Wash rice and keep everything aside.

Heat up the oil in a large pan under medium heat. Add green chillies, bay leaves, cinnamon, mace, cloves, peppercorns, cardamom, and cumin. Sautée for about a minute until the green chillies are blistered.

Add onions and sautée.

When the onions are halfway done, add ginger/garlic paste and cashews.

When the onions are cooked, add the biriyani paste and stir for about 15 seconds.

Add the potatoes and sautée for 1 minute.

Add the peas and carrots, and salt, and sautée for another minute.

Add the rice and evenly mix everything together. 

Then add this mixture to the rice cooker, with the chopped cilantro and mint. Add the normal amount of water that you would use for 2 cups of rice. Do not use too much water, or else it will get soggy! Turn the rice cooker on.

When the rice is done, give it a toss to mix it up.

Serve topped with a small handful of fried crispy onions.

And voilà

This Biriyani goes great by itself, or with raita or Mirch Ka Salan.



  1. hi I am a beginner in cooking. I always mess up my measurements, can anyone tell me what is the standard cup size in recipes and where can I buy a measuring cup online?

    1. I cup=8oz u can measuring cups almost anywhere, dollar store, grocery store. It's a little less than a soda can. But also try Amazon if you want to buy online.

    2. It depends what country you're in. Here in Canada we use cups and tablespoons and teaspoons, but when I look at recipes from the US they use actual measurements like ML and such. I would think even eBay would sell these things.

    3. Dear Anonymous beginner cook,
      If you are in Indian you can buy a set of measuring cups at

      Or the upscale department stores like HomeStop in India have them too.
      A cup = 8 oz or about 240ml.

      That biryani looks truly scrumptious, Alex!

    4. A "cup" is a standardized measurement in the Imperial system. Apparently it's about 236.588 millileters.

    5. Thank you everyone, time to don the chef hat :)

  2. We experiment a lot with biryanis but saddly I have never managed to recreate the scrumptious one I ate once in the UK. I will definitely look for biryani paste. - Pad

  3. Interesting, another Pad exists! Anyway, I wanted to say that the gifs are a great idea - not as intense as a video, not as static as a photo.

  4. Okay, *second* comment to disappear :S.

    The gifs are a great idea! Not as intense as a full video, not as static as a photo.

  5. Made this last night except I bought the wrong Kitchen of India item (I bought actual Biryani not paste) so I blended up some tomatoes yogurt lime juice and Shawn masala spice. My husband couldn't believe I cooked this. He even brought it to lunch with him the next day which he has never done before. LOVE THIS RECIPE!


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