Vegetable Biryani ( Chawal)
by Tarla Dalal
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A dish that is synonymous with Indian cuisine in many restaurants the world over, the Vegetable Biryani deserves to be so popular! A masaledar gravy chock-full of veggies and paneer, is sandwiched between rice that has been cooked with spices and perked up with saffron-tinged curd. This whole arrangement is drizzled with ghee and cooked covered till the flavours mingle, merge and multiply manifold, and an irresistible aroma wafts out of handi, making this a visual, aromatic and culinary treat par comparison.
- Combine 4½ cups of water, bayleaf, cinnamon, clove, cardamom, rice and salt in a deep non-stick pan, mix well and cover with a lid and cook on a medium flame for 10 minutes or till the rice is cooked.
- Strain the rice using a strainer and keep aside.
- Heat the oil in a non-stick kadhai and add the cumin seeds.
- When the seeds crackle, add the onions and sauté on a medium flame for 1 to 2 minutes or till the onions turn translucent.
- Add the ginger-green chilli paste, turmeric powder, coriander powder, chilli powder and garam masala and sauté on a medium flame for a few seconds.
- Add the tomatoes and 2 tbsp of water, mix well and cook on a medium flame for 4 to 5 minutes.
- Add the mixed vegetables, paneer, salt and milk, mix well and cook on a medium flame for another 2 to 3 minutes, while stirring occasionally.
- Add the sugar, mix well and cook on a medium flame for 1 more minute.
- Combine the curds, coriander and saffron colour in a bowl and mix well.
- Add the prepared rice, mix well and divide into 2 equal portions.
- Put a portion of the rice in a handi and spread it evenly with the back of a spoon.
- Add the prepared vegetable gravy on it and spread it evenly.
- Top it with the 2nd portion of the rice and spread it evenly.
- Pour the ghee evenly over it and cover it with a lid.
- Place the handi on a non-stick tava (griddle) and cook on a slow flame for 25 to 30 minutes.
- Serve hot.
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