This post is sponsored by the Crock-Pot® brand.
I would always smirk when people would say that you transform into a different person once you have a baby. The way you feel, the way you react to things, the way you talk. It all felt like an exaggeration to me. Well, until I had a baby!
Now I am not sure how much I have changed, for better or worse, after being a mother but I can assure you my taste buds have definitely taken a turn. So many flavors that I mostly stayed away from before I was pregnant with my first child, were suddenly all I’d crave for. As if a switch was flicked in my head and suddenly all the gulab jamuns, jalebis and biryanis in the world were not enough to satiate me.
That was the time when really Biryani and I became friends. Biryani, a Mughlai Indian rice dish, with its roots deep in the Persian cuisine, is prepared with rice, spices, herbs and meat or vegetables, layered and packed into a clay pot. Then sealed from all the sides the pot is placed on heat and cooked following a cooking method very traditional in India called “dum” which if translated literally, means pressure. Biryani is slow cooked for a prolonged period of time until the meat and the spices and the dry fruits get acquainted with the rice and with each other. This dish is a powerhouse of flavors and in Hyderabad, the Indian epicenter of Biryani, it is cooked more than a hundred ways.
When I thought of cooking something in Crock-Pot Express Crock Multi-Cooker, Mutton curry and Biryani were the two things that popped first in my head. These two recipes are two of my favorites but because they take so long to cook in a traditional way, I end up staying away from them. But because the Express Crock cooks 70% faster than the traditional ways of cooking, I am warming up to these dishes again!
I made a Pressure Cooker Veg Biryani which is loaded with healthy and hearty vegetables. I wanted to add some protein to the dish to make it a wholesome one pot meal, so added edamame seeds. You can also use soy chunks which are another great source of protein and go well with a biryani. I have simplified a traditional biryani recipe to make it easier, quicker (thanks to this multi-cooker’s brown/sauté and pressure cook settings!) and definitely delicious. To make it more appealing to a larger group of people, including my kids who are not huge fans of spicy food, I kept the spice a minimum and so you can also enjoy the inherent flavors of sweet veggies like carrots and cauliflower. I cooked this recipe in the 6-Quart Express Crock model, but depending on your family size, the Express Crock is now available in a 4-Quart and 8-Quart sizes
Pressure Cooker Veg Biryani:
Biryani is traditionally cooked for a prolonged period of under "dum" pressure in a sealed clay pot. With this Pressure Cooker Veg Biryani I have tried to give the traditional recipe a simple, quick and delicious twist. Something you can whip up in less than 30 minutes on a weekday too.
- Basmati Rice- 1 cups
- Edamame Seeds- 1/2 cup
- Carrots- 1/2 cup cut in 1-2 inch chunks
- Cauliflower florets- 1 cup
- Red onion- 1/2 cup chopped + 1/4 cup (thinly sliced)
- Ghee- 1 tablespoon
- Canola or any cooking oil- 2 tablespoon
- Cinnamon Stick- 1 inch
- Green Cardamom- 2-3 count
- Cloves whole- 1/2 teaspoon
- Cumin seeds- 1/4 teaspoon optional
- Garam Masala- 1 teaspoon
- Golden Raisin- 2 tablespoon optional
- Cashews- 8-10 count optional
- Cilantro- 1/4 cup chopped
- Water- 3 cups
- Salt to taste
Wash rice 2-3 times in tap water. Set aside for 15-20 minutes.
In the meantime add ghee and canola oil to the Crock-Pot Express Multi-Cooker. Turn the multi-cooker on and set it to brown/sauté setting. As the ghee heats up (2-3 minutes), add golden raisin and cashews. Sauté for approx. 30sec.- 1 min. or until the raisins puff up. Fish the puffed raisins and golden cashews out and set aside for later.
In the same pot add sliced onion. Cook until brown and cryspy, 3-4 minutes. Fish brown onions out leaving the remaining ghee in the pot. Spread them on the paper towel.
Add cinnamon stick, cloves, cumin seeds and green cardamom to the same poy.. As they sputter, add chopped onion. Cook until golden, 8-10 minutes. Add salt and garam masala. Give it a quick stir.
Add veggies, rice and water. Close the lid and place the steam vent on lock position. Turn the pressure cooker to rice setting. The multi-cooker will tell you when the cooking process is over, approx. 12 minutes.
Once the food is cooked, multi-cooker automatically switches to "warm". At this point, turn the steam vent to open position. Wait till the steam has escaped from the pressure cooker.
Garnish with golden raisins, cashews, brown sliced onion and cilantro. Serve hot with raita.
Disclaimer: This Pressure Cooker Veg Biryani post was a developed in partnership with the Crock-Pot® brand. All opinions in this post are, as always, my own.