Biryani is probably a rice dish that everyone has heard of, if not seen. It is served at every Indian restaurant, and can have meat or chicken. Different regions are known for their biryani, with the most popular probably being Hyderabadi biryani.
A long time ago, I made biryani for the very first time. It sucked. The rice was wet, the spices were all wrong, the veggies were not cooked. I vowed never to bother ever again. I lied to myself. After a few more trials and errors, I finally figured out how to make a quick, yet delicious, and pretty much free-of-error biryani. I typically only make biryani when I have guests, or am hosting a party…because I can’t seem to make a small batch. I will say, briyani needs to be made with love and patience. Below is my recipe for you, which will serve lots of people.
*Add any vegetable you like
*Sometimes I also add soya balls
- basmati rice, 3 cups
- cinnamon, 2 sticks
- green cardamom, 4 pods
- black cardamom, 2 pods
- bay leaf, 2
- black peppercorn, 4
- mace, 2
- cloves, 4
- black cumin seeds (shahi/kala jeera), 2 tsp
- ginger garlic paste, 1 tbsp
- carrots, 3 cut into big chunks
- cauliflower, 1 head cut into big chunks
- potatoes, 3 cut into big chunks
- paneer, cut into thick cubes
- salt, to taste
- fried onions, 1 cup
- coriander leaves, one bunch, chopped lightly
- mint, one bunch chopped lightly
- green chilis, 4
- biryani masala powder, 1 bag
- yogurt, 2 cups
- oil, 3 tbsp
- cashews, 8-10 broken
- almond, 8-10 broken
- saffron, soaked in water
First, soak rice for 1 hour and keep aside. When the hour is almost up prepare biryani mix.
Preheat oven to 350.
In a large, heavy bottom pan that has a lid,that you can also put in the oven, add the oil and once hot add cinnamon through black cumin seeds. Once those splutter add ginger garlic paste. Stir till raw smell goes away. Add vegetables except for paneer, then add salt. Stir and cook till vegetables are about 3/4 cooked, and golden brown. Add half of coriander and half of mint and stir. Add green chilis and stir. Add biryani masala and stir till vegetables are coated in spice. Add half of the yogurt and stir. Add paneer and stir, divide the vegetables in half, then set aside.
Boil rice, with some oil, 1 tsp of black jeera and extra cinnamin and cloves if you wish. Boil till about 3/4 way cooked, about 5-7 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Bring the vegetable pan back up to heat with half of the vegetables in the pan. Add the rest of the yogurt and stir. Add both kinds of nuts. Here is where you will need to adjust seasoning. Add half of the fried onions over the top, then add half of the rice. Add the rest of the vegetables on top of the rice, then the fried onions. Then add the rest of the rice, with the rest of the mint and coriander on top of that. Sprinkle the saffron water over the top. Put the lid on and put into the oven for around half an hour, or until the vegetables are cooked completely.
Always serve biryani with raita.