Biryani basically came to India travelling through Arab countries, in India it got various touches from Hyderabad, Delhi and Lucknow. you will be shoked to know that just Hyderabadi Biryani has over 40 variations, so one can imagine how many types are there in total.
For vegetarians Paneer/Vegetable biryanis are a good options and they too have a number of cooking methods, out out which I am sharing one!
Biryani is basically known for its flavorful, aromatic tastes and I will make sure that the flavorful taste is maintained even with least number of ingredients. They may use either already cooked curries and veges to be mixed in the cooked rice or even everything is cooked together.
So let’s get started!
(Serves 4-5, Tbsp. = Table spoon & Tsp. = Tea spoon)
Chawal (Rice) – 2 cups (If available go for Basmati Rice)
Paneer (Cottage Cheese) – 100 gm, cut into square pieces
Gajar (Carrot) – 1, chopped into small pieces
Shimla Mirch (Capsicum) – 1, chopped into small pieces
Aloo (Potato) – 1, chopped into small pieces
Matar (Green Peas) – 1 cup, boiled (If available)
Boda ( French Beans) – few strands, chopped into small pieces
Hari Mirch (Green Chillies) -2, chopped into small pieces
Pyaz (Onion) – 2, grinded into paste
Tamatar (Tomato) – 1, grinded into paste
Kaaju (Cashew)- 4 to 5 pieces, grinded into paste
Badi Elaichi(Black Cardamom) – 2
Chhoti Elaichi (Green Cardamom) – 2
Dal-Chini (Cinnamon) – 2, small pieces
Kali Mirch (Black Peppercorn) – 7-8
Laung (Clove) – 2
Tej patta (Bay leaf) – 2
Lal Mirch Powder (Red Chilli) – 1 tbsp
Jeera (Cumin) – 2 tbsp
Garam Masala- 2 tbsp
Haldi powder (Turmeric) – 2 tsp
Dhaniya powder(Coriander powder) – 3 tbsp
Hari dhaniya (Green coriander leaves) – few strands, chopped
If available you can also use Biryani Masala – 2 tbsp
Kesar (Saffron) – 1 pinch
Namak (Salt) – 2 tbsp
Koela (Wood Coal) – 1 Small piece
Ghee – 5-6 tbsp
Lehsun-Adrak paste (Ginger Garlic paste) – 2 tbsp
Lemon juice – from 1 lemon
Food Colour – few drops (Optional)
Take the rice in a bowl and clean it thoroughly, now put the pressure cooker over flame and add 4 tbsp of ghee to it, followed by 1 tej-patta, 1 piece dal-chini, 1 laung, 1 chhoti elaichi, 1 badi elaichi, 4-5 pepper corns, ½ tbsp. of jeera, kesar keep mixing everything for 2 min and then add rice to it, after a min add food colour and water in order to get exactly cooked rice (not over cooked or under cooked).
Now put a sauté pan over the flame, add 1 spoon of ghee to it, followed by ½ tbsp of jeera and chopped- gajar, beans, Shimla mirch, aloo and boiled peas. Fry them all, add ½ tsp salt and some water to cook to vegetables fully, cover with lid if required.
Once the vegetables are cooked, take them out in a bowl and keep aside.
Now in the same sauté pan, add 2 tbsp ghee and add 1 tbsp of jeera, followed by chopped green chillies, 1 chhoti elaichi, 1 badi elaichi, 1 laung, 1 tej patta, 1 piece dal-chini, 4-5 pepper corns, followed by pyaz paste, lehsun-adrak paste, fry everything by alternating high and medium flame until pyaz is fully fried and leaves the sides of the pan. At this point add haldi powder, garam masala, dhaniya powder, biryani masala (if available), fry for everything for 2 min at medium flame and then add tomato paste and kaaju paste to the masala, cook for 5 min and add paneer pieces and fry for good 5-10 min at medium flame, cover the lid for few min and again stir the mix, add some water if required. Add 1 tbsp salt to the mix.
Once the paneer masala is ready, and the rice is also fully cooked, take 1/3 of the total rice out of the pressure cooker. On the remaining rice put a layer of the cooked beans gajar mix. Now put a layer of half of the separately kept rice followed by a layer of the cooked paneer masala and chopped green coriander leaves and cover this layer with the remaining rice. Now cover the pressure cooker with lid with the whistle removed.
Switch on the flame for a min and keep it medium. Now remove the pressure cooker from the flame, and remove the lid, take a very small bowl (which can easily go inside the cooker), add koela(coal) to it (after heating it over the flame, once it catches fire), add a drop a of ghee on it, once it starts giving out smoke, keep it inside the cooker and cover the lid for a min (This is a process to give the biryani a smoky flavour).
Now nicely mix the different layers of the biryani, and add lemon juice to it, give a good mix and serve with homemade raita+papad and love!!
If you are a paneer lover then do visit some of my other recipes like:
Paneer Kolhapuri- http://thechatorivirgo.com/recipe/paneer-kolhapuri/