May 11, 2007

Paneer Biryani

(This is my entry for the letter "P" in Nupur's A-Z series)

A unique combo of rice, vegetables, and spicies, this dish is loved by all. Café Noorani near Mahalaxmi serves the best biryani I have eaten till now. My non-veg eating friends would always tell me what I am missing out when I would not eat the Chicken Biryani. But, I feel that vegetable biryani has a charm of its own.

This recipe is from my male friend N, who happens to be an expert in making biryanis and pilafs. This guy is very special to me as he introduced me and my hubby. N and I are from the same college; he was my senior. Later, he joined company X and started working on the same project as my hubby. When I joined company X two years later, he introduced me and my hubby. Thus, started my love story. I often ate N’s head and made inquiries about what type of guy my hubby was. Over time, our friendship has really grown special. As I had written earlier, all these bachelors are expert at cooking some dish or the other. I keep warning them that if I meet their wives, I am going to spill my guts and name all their culinary successes. I will see to it that they spend at least one day per week in the kitchen

N had once made Paneer Biryani and I totally fell in love with it. It was awesome. I sat down with him and noted the recipe. Let me divide the process in four parts.

Paneer Biryani

Serves: 5-6
Cooking level: Medium – Tough (4/5)
Preparation time: Approx. 1 ½ hr

Making the rice
1.Wash 1 ½ cup of basmati (or any long grained rice) in 2-3 changes of water.
2.Add double the quantity of water.
3.Microwave for 12 minutes. The funda is we need half-cooked rice. So, using microwave works fine.
4.Take out rice from microwave and hold under running cold water. This helps in separating the rice.
5.I got this tip from Nupur’s biryani recipe. Add 10-15 saffron strands to a tablespoon of milk. Soak it for some time. Add this mixture to the cooked rice.

Frying the nuts and bolts:)
1.Heat 1 tbsp ghee in a pan.
2.Add ¼ cup of mized cashewnuts and raisins to the ghee.
3.Fry for some time. Drain on paper napkins and keep aside.

Making the gravy

1.Heat 1 tbsp ghee on medium flame.
2.Add 1 tsp cumin seeds, and after they splutter add 3 small sliced onions. Fry till the onions turn dark brown. Don’t loose your patience and keep frying.
3.Next, add 1 tbsp Hyderabadi Biryani masala, 1 tsp red chilli powder, ½ tsp turmeric powder, 1 tsp garam masala, and salt to taste.
4.Mix all the ingredients. Now, add 1 cup green peas and 2 cups of cauliflower florets. (You can add other veggies too). Again, mix the veggies and spices. Add 1 ½ cup water and bring it to a boil. When the vegetables are half cooked, add 1 packet of paneer. Stir well, taking care that you don’t break the paneer pieces.

Assembling the biryani
1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.Spread ghee on the sides of a baking pan. Add basmati rice and spread in a layer. Next, sprinkle the fried nuts on the rice. Now, spread a layer of the cooked vegetables. Repeat this process again.

3.Bake for 10-15 minutes.
4.Serve hot with raita.

Verdict: Simply delicious and spicy. Though the process is time consuming, the yummy biryani is worth it.

Check out other yummy biryanis from fellow bloggers:
1. Shilpa's Kofta Biryani, Making Biryanis, and Belgaum style biryani.
2. Pavani's Vegetable Biryani.
3. Asha's Easy Aloo Biryani and Three tier vegetable biryani.
4. Sig's Easy breezy chicken biryani and Tamil style mutton biryani.
5. Nupur's Vegetable biryani.
6. Sia's Veg biryani
7. Trupti's Veggie biryani


musical said...

Yummy biryani, Swaps! and i agree, spneding time on making briyani is totally worth it :).

Have a good weekend, dear.

Vcuisine said...

Swapna, Nice variation and it must taste good. Viji

trupti said...

Cute post, Swapna. ;)

I really liked the idea of using paneer in the Biryani...I just love the taste of browned paneer, and this is a perfect way to have it!

Happy Mother's day.


TheCooker said...

This looks SO good. Chock-full of family favourites. I'm definitely going to try this.

Sig said...

Hey cute story Swapna, so you are indebted to N for life, huh? :)
Biryani looks delicious!
Have a great weekend!

Sandeepa said...

That is a delicious Biryani. I like it how you recorded the time and the toughness level too

Nupur said...

Oh, this I HAVE to try...looks like something that everyone would fall in love with!

annie said...

i wanted to share this persian recipe , the dish i had went iwas in LA in westwood , they have bunch of persian restaurants . I tried this and I picked up One from the net from the

Reena said...

yummy biriyani!!!

Sanchu said...

I tried it last month and it was simply superb...thanks.