Cuisine: Indian Cooking time: 30 minutes Preparation Time: 15 minutes Serves: 4 – 6 people
Long-grain rice, preferably Basmati 1 cup
Water 2 cups
Salt 1/4 teaspoon
Oil 1 tablespoon
Pinch saffron 2
Milk 2 tablespoons
For Vegetable gravy:
Oil 2 tablespoons
Asafetida (hing) 1/4 teaspoon
Cumin seed (jeera) 1 teaspoon
Chopped tomatoes 4 medium
Green chili 1 finely chopped
Fine shredded ginger 1 tablespoon
Yogurt 1 cup
Red chili powder 1/2 teaspoon
Turmeric 1/2 teaspoon
Cubed paneer 1/2 cup
Sliced cauliflower 2 cup
Sliced carrots 1/2 cup
Chopped green beans 1/2 cup
Chopped green bell pepper 1/2 cup
Cashew nuts broken into pieces 2 tablespoon
Salt adjust to taste 1 teaspoon
Chopped mint leaves 2 tablespoon
Garam masala 1 teaspoon
Melted butter 4 tablespoons
Sliced almonds 2 tablespoons
Wash rice gently changing water several times until the water appears clear.
For fluffier rice, the rice should be soaked for at least 15 minutes prior to cooking.
Drain the rice and put it into the saucepan. Add water, oil, and salt, and bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling reduce the heat to low and cover the pan.
Cook about 15 minutes, or until the rice is tender and the water has evaporated. Turn off the heat and fluff the rice with a fork.
For a few minutes soak saffron in warm milk then gently fold the milk into the cooked rice.
Vegetable and Gravy:
Blend tomatoes to make a puree.
In a bowl add yogurt, ginger, green chili, salt, turmeric, chili powder – mix it well.
Add all the vegetables (cauliflower, beans, bell pepper, carrots, paneer, cashews, ginger and green chili) to the yogurt. Mix it well then let it marinate for 10 to 15 minutes.
Heat the oil in a saucepan. Test the heat by adding one cumin seed to the oil; if seed cracks right away, oil is ready. Add asafetida and cumin seeds.
After, the cumin seeds crack, add the tomato puree, and cook on medium-high heat. While cooking the tomato puree covers the pan, so gravy does not splatter all over the burner. Cook until tomato mixture starts leaving oil and reduces to about half the volume.
Add the marinated vegetables to tomato puree. Let it cook covered for 10 to 12 minutes on medium heat until vegetables are tender but not mushy. Stir the vegetables in between so they cook evenly.
Prepare The Biryani:
Preheat the oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit.
Take baking glass dish 9″ x 9″ or about the same size round bowl.
Put half of the cooked vegetables into the baking dish.
Spread half of the cook rice over vegetables. Over the rice, sprinkle with mint and garam masala.
Pour the remaining vegetables evenly over the rice.
Spread remaining rice evenly over vegetables.
Next sprinkle sliced almonds evenly over the rice, and then spread melted butter over the entire dish.
Cover the pan and bake for about 30 minutes.
Tips: Cooked rice expands to about 3 times its original size, so be sure to use the proper size pan.
Serving Suggestion: Serve with mint raita. Mint raita is plain yogurt mixed with salt, black pepper, and dry mint.
Variations: Vegetables can be added and even subtracted as per your choice. Saffron and mint are key ingredients for biryani.