Corn on Cob, Potato Wedges, Carrots And Green Peas Biryani ....... With Onion Radish Salad topped on Air Fried Multigrain Pops .......
Biryani needs no introduction. It is a flavoured spicy rice that needs no curry to be served along with. Though some do serve some gravy based curry with biryani. For me Biryani tates best with some salad, raita or for that matter plain curds too. Too many things served with Biryani simply spoils its own lovely taste. However, its upto an individuals liking and taste of choice to serve any dish along with Biryani. I have served with biryani as it is with some onion and radish salad.
Basmati Rice : 250 gms.
Tomatoes : 4-5
Potatoes : 2
Carrots : 2
Green Peas : 1 cup
Coriander Leaves : 2 cups
Pudina Leaves : 1 cup
Onions : 2
Saffron : A large pinch
Corn on Cob : 2
To be ground : 1 inch ginger and 10-12 garlic.
Cashews : handful
Pepper corns : ½ tsp
Green cardamoms : 2-3
Black cardamoms : 2-3
Cinnamon pieces : 3-4 of 1” each
Curry leaves : Few
Bay leaves : 2-3 small one’s
Cloves : 7-8
Star anise : 2
Jaivitri : a pinch
Dry Powders :
Haldi Powder : 1 tsp
Chilly Powder : 2 tsp
Fennel Powder : 1 tsp
Coriander Powder : 1 tsp
Ghee : 3-4 tsp
Salt to taste
Wash and soak 250 gms of Basmati / Jeera rice in plenty of water for 30 minutes. Drain, wash again in plenty of water and keep it ready aside.
Grind 4-5 medium sized tomatoes to a fine puree. Keep this ready aside.
Peel of the skin of 2 large sized potatoes and slice them to wedges. Keep this ready aside.
Peel the skin of one large sized or 2 medium sized carrots and cut them into strips of 3 inches in length. Keep this also ready aside.
Peel of the out skin of Corn on cob and cut them into rings of 3 inch thickness. Keep this ready aside.
Peel of the pods of peas and retain about 1 cup of shelled peas. Keep this ready.
Pick, clean and chop finely and keep ready 2 cups of coriander (dhania) leaves and 1 cup of mint (pudina) leaves.
Grind to a fine paste with a little bit of water, one inch piece of cleaned ginger and peeled 10-12 garlic. Keep this ready aside.
Soak a large pinch of saffron in ¼ cup of warm milk and keep aside ready for use.
Slice thinly after peeling off the skin of 2 large onions. Keep slices of 1 onion aside and fry in hot oil the slices of remaining one onion till brown in colour, drain and keep aside. I would like to give a tip here. If you have a microwave oven, then deep frying of many a items can be avoided. These are some of the benefits of microwave.
Just put the sliced onion in a glass microwave dish apply 1 tblsp of oil over the onions and mix all over properly. Then microwave on high till done. Keep mixing in between for even browning. This will take about 8-10 minutes. Keep this ready aside. This is the method I always use for browning onions for any curry or garnishing.
Boil about 1.5 litres of water in a vessel. When it comes to boiling point lower the heat and add in the rice, mix well with a large spoon, add a tablespoon of oil and salt to taste. Adding of salt is very important for the biryani rice to get the correct salt consistency. Bring all to a boil again, let boil for 2-3 minutes. Remove from fire, cover and keep aside for 10 minutes. Check the rice, it should be 75% cooked only. If not let remain for another 10 minutes. If cooked, add plenty of cold water to cool down the rice and arrest further cooking of rice. Drain off the water properly. Put it in a colander so that all the excess water drains off. Keep this ready aside.
Take a thick bottomed kadai, add 3-4 tsp of ghee and bring it to heat till it melts, You can also add oil instead of ghee, the choice is yours. Now lower the heat and add in a handful of cashews and fry till a little bit of colour changes.
Then add ½ tsp of pepper corns, 2-3 green cardamoms (Split), 2-3 black cardamoms (Split), 3-4 cinnamon pieces of 1” each, few curry leaves, 2-3 small bay leaves, 7-8 cloves, 2 star anise, a little bit of jaivitri and fry well, then add in the remaining one sliced onion and fry till translucent. Now add ginger garlic paste and fry for 3-4 minutes.
Now add 1 tsp haldi powder, 2 tsp kashmiri red chilly powder, 1 tsp fennel powder, 1 tsp coriander powder and fry for a minute or two.
Then add the tomato puree and a little bit of salt to taste. Do not add too much as we have already added when cooking the rice. Mix well and bring to a boil. Now lower the heat to medium and add in the peas, potatoes, carrots, corn and mix well. Bring again to boil, then lower heat to minimum, add in some chopped coriander and mint leaves and cook till 60% done. Do not overcook the vegetables. Remove this from fire.
For further cooking of biryani I have used electric rice cooker. Sprinkle some fried onions at the bottom of the vessel of rice cooker. Then add in the cooked vegetable and level it.
Then add in the partially cooked rice and level it evenly.
Sprinkle the saffron milk in drops in a few places only.
Now sprinkle the remaining fried onions evenly on the rice.
Then sprinkle all over with chopped pudina (mint) and coriander (dhania) evenly. Now put some drops of ghee at a few places only.
Cover with a tight lid and top it with a heavy pan filled with water. Let cook till done. The rice cooker automatically switches off when done and goes to keep warm mode.
Wait for 10-15 minutes before you remove and serve the biryani hot with some salad and curds or raita or any other gravy curry of your choice.
If not using the electric rice cooker. Then just add the rice on top in a layer into the kadai once the vegetable are cooked. Do not mix, Just cover with a tight lid and cook till done. You can use any of the above methods.
However, I prefer to always use the electric rice cooker, as I would like to use it more often enough and not keep it as a show piece. Also I find the result of biryani cooked in it truly awesome with equal heat distribution. Moreover it keeps the food on warm mode for some hours. So you will get hot biryani when you serve it even after an hour or so. Serve the biryani always hot with raita, salad or any curry of your choice.