Friday, August 6, 2010

Paneer Biryani 2.0 (With Green Masala)

We both love Paneer Biryani. I had tried lot of variations earlier but liked this one of all. The richness and spices of Green Masala mesh well with the bland flavour of Paneer. Good for large get together and feeding a big crowd. I am glad that I can make fairly good and consistently tasty Biryani now after many trails and experimentation with different procedures and cooking mediums. The Biryani tastes better the next day when the spices are well absorbed.

Cooking time: 3o minutes
Preparation tim: 20 minutes

Rice (Basmati) - 1 and 1/2 cup
Cottage Cheese ~ Pre-fried Paneer - 2 cups
Onions (sliced) - 4 cups
Tomatoes (chopped) - 2 cups
Cinnamon stick - 2"
Cardamom - 2-3
Cloves - 3-5
Garam Masala powder - 2 tablespoon
Nutmeg Powder - 1 teaspoon
Saffron strands crushed soaked in 3-4 tablespoon of Milk

Green Masala -
Coriander leaves - 1/2 cup
Ginger paste - 1 tablespoon
Garlic paste - 1 tablespoon
Green Chillies - 3-4
Mint Leaves - 1/2 cup
Khus-Khus - 1 teaspoon

Biryani Masala - Around 1 & 1/2 tablespoon
For the Biryani Masala -
Fennel seeds (optional) - 1/2 teaspoon
Cumin seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
Mace - 2
Cinnamon - 1
Cardamom - 2
Caraway seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
Cloves - 3-4
Nutmeg (grated) - 1 whole - 1/2 for rice assembly + 1/2 for spice powder

1. Wash and soak Rice in water for 1/2 half an hour before preparation. Under cook the rice with 1:1 1/2 proportion of rice and water respectively. For 1 and 1/2 cup Rice, I used 2 and 1/2 cups of water. Cook with salt and few spoons of oil. Once done, spread on a tray and allow to cool.
2. Grind all the ingredients of Biryani Masala to a fine smooth dry powder and keep aside.
3. Grind all the ingredients of Green Masala with little water and keep aside.
4. In a deep dish pan, heat few spoons of ghee, add the spices - Cloves, Cinnamon sticks and Cardamom. Once they proliferate in size, add Onions and saute till they turn translucent. Add chopped Tomatoes as well. Once they are completely cooked, add the Green Masala and cook till its no longer raw and changes its color from bright green to mossy green. Once done, add the spice powder and cook to a collective consistency. Adjust salt and add 1/2 teaspoon on grated nutmeg powder. Add pre-fried Paneer at this stage and cook for 2-3 minutes with the lid covered. Turn off the flame.
5. Assembly: Take a deep dish Pasta pot or stock pot, heat few spoons of ghee to coat the bottom of the pot. This entire procedure needs the gas on low flame. Add a layer of cooked rice. Sprinkle Nutmeg powder and Garam Masala powder. Add a layer of cooked curry. Again top it with Rice-Nutmeg powder-Garam Masala powder and curry. Once you reach the final layer up and above, add few spoons of ghee on top of the Biryani. Sprinkle Nutmeg powder and Garam Masala powder. Pour the Saffron milk and cover the lid. Seal off the lid on the sides with a dough. Cook for 3-5 minutes maximum since the Rice and Curry is already cooked. Serve hot with a side scoop of Biryani. Supplement with Raita of Choice or Mirchi Ka Saalan.

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