Saturday, April 27, 2013

Vegetable Biryani

I try to make my Biryani using less clarified butter than the traditional requirement. I think the spices adjust quite well and it tastes good too. But if you are looking for richer taste, please feel free to add more ghee.

Biryani is a very elaborate affair. But once it's ready it is worth the wait.
Vegetable Biryani - (1)
Layered Basmati Rice with Vegetables
2 cups Basmati rice, soak for 30 minutes, drain
Whole spices/Khada Masala
3 cloves
1 green cardamom
1 black cardamom
1 bayleaf
2 pieces of 2" cinnamon
salt to taste
Garnish 1
1 tbsp milk
Few strands of saffron
Grind to paste
4 Kashmiri chilies, soaked in water till they are plump
1 medium red tomato, chopped
2" ginger, peeled, chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled, chopped
1 green cardamom, seeds only
6 fresh mint leaves
1 tbsp clarified butter/ghee
1 cup chopped onion
1 medium red tomato, chopped
Garnish 2
1 tbsp oil
1 cup thinly sliced onion
A pinch of sugar
5 fresh mint leaves, shredded into ribbons
2 cups mixed vegetables like carrots, green peas, green beans, cauliflower florets, potatoes
1/4 cup yogurt
1 cup water
salt to taste
1/4 cup yogurt
1 tsp sugar
Suggested Accompaniment
1. Cook Basmati rice adding double amount of water and whole spices and salt. Make sure it is not cooked fully. Set aside. Discard whole spices.
2. Warm milk and saffron strands and stir to get a bright yellow orange color. Add this mixture over half-cooked rice so only some rice grains get coated with saffron mixture.
4. Grind masala paste for the gravy and set aside.
4a. Heat oil in a saucepan for garnish (2). Add a pinch of sugar. As it caramelizes, add thinly sliced onions and fry till they are brown. Add shredded mint leaves. Set aside for later use.
5. Heat oil and ghee in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Add onions. saute till onions are browned. Add masala paste and tomatoes. Saute for 15 minutes adding spoonful of yogurt from time to time. Add coriander-cumin powder with Mughlai garam masala. Add salt to taste.
6. Add vegetables and 1 cup water. Bring to boil. Cover and let it cooked till vegetables are semi-cooked. Adjust for salt and sugar.
7. Spray or butter an ovenproof container. Spread a layer of rice at the bottom. Add vegetable mixture on top. Layer with another layer of rice and then vegetables. Continue till all the mixture is over. Make sure that rice is the topmost layer.
8. Spread browned, caramelized onion on top. Drizzle saffron + Milk Mixture.
9. Cover tightly using aluminum foil.
10. Bake in the preheated oven (350F) for about 30 minutes.
11. Serve with Raita, achar and papad.
Note -
1. For garnish, you can also fry cashews and raisins and add along with caramelized onion. Even potatoes can be cut into chips/French fries and deep fried and added as a garnish along with caramelized onions.
2. Use more ghee for tempering. Add ghee for cooking rice and also drizzle more ghee around before sealing the biryani with aluminum foil. This gives richer taste but more calories as well!
3. Instead of using oven, biryani can also be "baked" using indiret heat method. In that case, heat an iron tawa. Place Biryani pot on top and let it cook on a very low heat for about 1 hour. Tratitionally, wheat dough is sealed around the lid so that the steam is not escaped. This method is called "Dum chadhana".


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