Thursday, November 10, 2011

Vegetable Biryani - in Microwave


Some people are dumb and then some are dumber. Always one way or the other.And then there are some who will not only act dumb but also tell the whole world about their "dumbness" as if that was the one thing the world wanted to know. In reality, the world could care less.

But I fall in the last category. I like to talk about my very own dumbness because I think it might act as a pep pill for anyone who is having a dumber time.When you have just tagged your boss on an office party picture he wasn't invited at and then unfriended him on FB; when you are feeling all time low because you just asked your daughter's teacher about her husband and she says she recently divorced to which you say "Good for him"; you desperately need some one dumber than you.

I do that for you; that is social work for me. Listen on.

Now remember the giveaway I had on my blog some time earlier ? Miri of Peppermill Recipes won it. On her suggestion I made the promised donation through GiveIndia (an excellent way to donate by the way) and then went on to FlipKart to order the book for her.

Click, Click, Click and Ka-boom. What did I do ? I clicked on "Cash-on Delivery option" that Flipkart has. And when did I realize that ? When I saw it right on the Order Status. By then the book had been put into a packet, bubble wrapped and was waiting at some book warehouse facility, spic, span and ready to be shipped.The carrier guy had been informed to extort the money from the receiver which in this case was Miri, the winner, ta-da.

So here I was gifting a "gift" to someone and asking "her" to pay for it. Perfect.

I balked, screamed and then went into action like Yoda. I e-mailed flipkart, I wrote on their Facebook wall, I held press conferences (okay, not that one). Also I mailed Miri telling her not to cough up any money to any unknown person knocking on her door with a book, any book. Flipkart got back politely, saying they will cancel the order. I breathed deep.

The next day, I got a mail saying, "The book has left Delhi and will be at the given address by so&so". "Hello ? Is this the new meaning of the word CANCEL?". I hyperventilated and this time wrote the choicest words on their wall, in the e-mail and also picked up the phone. I can be fierce at most times.

Finally Flipkart said they are holding the book(whatever that means) until any further notice from me. Sounded like a court injunction. Two days later my order status showed cancel. Three days later I again shipped the book and this time I made D double check and clicked on the Credit/Debit payment options.

What Miri had to suffer on her end for this trauma I do not know. She might have laughed at my "dumbness" with her spouse over a cup of chai. She never told me. All she said is she enjoyed the book, once she got it that is.

Oh, and the other winner Usha probably got a wind of the scam because she didn't want a "gift" she said. Instead she asked the gift money to be donated which was a lovely gesture on her part. Thanks you girls.

And I actually like FlipKart, even now.


This Vegetable Biryani is from Miri's blog.Everything is almost same as hers including the Parampara masala except that I did it in the microwave. I did not cook the rice before hand as is customary. I made the masala, vegetables, etc. and then I fried the rice for couple of minutes. In a big microwaveable bowl, put everything together, added water to rice in 2:1 ratio and zip,zap zoomed it.

It was delicious, the best I have ever made at home. It would have been dazzling with the fried onions she has but ahem..., umm.., I actually ran out of ummm.. onions. There I said it.


Vegetable Biryani in Microwave

Original Recipe -- Check this for measures etc.

Heat about 2 tbsp ghee or oil in a heavy bottomed pan.Add 1 onion thinly sliced , saute till nice and brown. Reserve half of the onions for garnish.
Since I ran out of onions, I had to do without it.

In the same pan, add
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp garlic paste
2-3 green chilli made into paste
lightly fry for 2-3 minutes.

Add 1 medium tomato chopped or pureed and fry for about 5 minutes till tomato is mushed and there is no raw smell

Add 1/4 tsp red chilli powder and 2 tbsp Parampara biryani masala. With a sprinkle of water fry for 2 minutes.
The Parampara definitely brings out the real taste.

1 tbsp chopped mint leaves and
3 tbsp coriander leaves

and mix
I added dried mint

Add the chopped vegetables( cauliflower, carrots, peas, beans, potatoes) and saute for couple of minutes. I added about 1&1/2 cup of frozen mixed vegetables.


Lower the heat and add 1/2 of yoghurt and salt and mix well. Cover & Cook for 5-7 minutes till veggies are just tender. Remove the masala and put in a deep microwave bowl.


Meanwhile wash 2 cups of rice and soak for about 15-20 minutes

In the same pan heat 1 more tbsp oil/ghee. temper oil with
2 Bay Leaf 4 cardamom
4 Clove
2" stick of cinnamom.

Add the rice which has been washed and drained
Saute the rice for about 3 mins at medium heat.



Put the rice over the masala, and mix gently. Add 1 tbsp of melted ghee. Add water, double the amount of rice. Add salt & sugar to taste.Heat few strands of saffron in 2 tbsp of milk and add that.

Now put in the microwave and select the option your MW has for rice. Mine has a button called "Rice" and that is it, your model might be different. Cook the way you would cook rice in your microwave. Also add water as you usually do for rice.

When done, fluff rice with a fork, garnish with the fried onions and serve immediately.


  1. Hope this experience will not stop any future giveaway from ur side! That is an awkward situation....
    I never made rice in MW- Simply sounds good and easy!

  2. Sandeepa,
    I know it was embarrassing for you but it was kinda funny too right ?
    Honestly though, did you do the tagging of boss thing you wrote...that would be plain "awkward" :).
    We all do dumb things every now and then...some hide it with an arrogance but then you end up laughing behind their back. So better to accept your problem and laugh together ...( thats what I have experienced )

  3. Thanks Sandeepa for all the recipes and the giveaway, it's really generous of you.

    Microwave biriyani sounds great. Will definitely give it a try.

  4. veg biryani my favourite one...perfectly done1

  5. Been there done that.I am used to being dumb like that now.Ha.
    Anyway biriyani sounds yum.Got to go look for parampara now.

  6. Aha re ... flipkart ar bongmom dujoner jonnei dukkhu hocche. :-)
    Biryani ta ki shundor fluffy hoyeche ... protyekta chaler dana alada alada ... daaarun!

  7. Prefect looking briyani, i do quite often like this in MW..

  8. Would love to see you hold forth at a press conference - now that's a 'recipe request' from me!

    I'm just smarting from some bad service myself. I'll end here otherwise I'll rave and rant and hold a press conference here.

  9. Sandeepa,
    I am so glad you wrote about this and even more glad that I have company.
    I am not really that familiar with FB and tagging so I won't comment on that but the teacher thing I understand. One of DD's teacher has 3 kids so one would assume she is married right? So at a school party I ask if the guy standing next to her was her husband. Wrong question but thank god she was engaged to be married to that guy. So the situation god diffused.

    How did LH's teacher react by the way?

    World is a complicated place forcing us to do dumb things.

    But correct me if I am wrong I think Flip Cart's service was not all bad right? They tried which is not what we can say for a lot other companies.

  10. Cham
    We wouldn't make ric in MW earlier, now that I have learned I do it quiet often.


    That part is "writer's license" :) I am not on FB at all other than the blog page. But a friend of mine did "unfriend" the boss.


    It is indeed easy and tasted very nice


    It is a good one also for kid's lunch boxes etc.


    If you don't get Parampara, I think you can try any other biryani masala


    Ei ekta "Lal Qila" brand rice kini aajkal for Pulao etc. , khub sundor hoy. Mone ache age amar chaal bhenge jeto, ajkal ar seita ekdom hoyna


    It is easy no ?


    Never in my dreams :) And Flipkart's service was not really bad, they tried their best but I guess too many people were involved on their side.


    I am not on FB either(other than blog page) so boss thing did not happen to me. The teacher thing did, but I said "Good for you" which incidentally she took in good spirits. I felt a bit awkward though because when 3 years ago this teacher got married(she was S's kindergarten teacher), we had even sent her a small gift !!!

    The FlipKart was a big mess up but it was Miri on the other end so i did not feel as embarrassed as I should have been. As I said, i do think FlipKart does an excellent job and finally they did managed to cancel.

  11. There was no problem at all! Atleast for me! I got the book and enjoyed it!
    Glad you liked the biryani, and even better you made the whole thing in the microwave!

  12. it's silly and funny, but not too silly and you are not the first one.:))writing abt something like instantly makes one feel better, so don't worry!!

  13. I've made rice in microwave but never biryani. Sandeepa darun hoyeche! Also, happy 5th anniversary. You make the blog world rich and vibrant with your posts like this :)

  14. I made this Biryani for my kids and they loved it a lot.Reading your posts have improved my cooking to a fair degree.

  15. oh my! i really need to cook more in the MW!

  16. Thank you so much to you and Miri. I did not have all the ingredients, but went ahead and tried it. I could not wait. usually I am usually the kind who will not venture into any new or old recipe unless I have all the ducks in a row.
    Well, this time I tried without the Parampara masala, cilantro, or mint (I know this is an essential ingredient). For the biriyani masala, I used 1 and 1/2 of my home-ade biriyani masala, and 1 and 1/2 tsp of Shan's masala. Also while frying rice, added javitri and nutmeg. Also cooked in a rice cooker. Came out quite well. Next time will definitely follow your recipe.
    Thank you again.


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