2cupsMixed Vegetablescarrots, french beans, potatoes, green peas and cauliflower
½teaspoonRed Chilli Powderoptional
Salt as required
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In a mixer jar blend cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg and mace into a smooth powder. Add green chillies and chopped up ginger pieces with little water and make it into a smooth paste. Set aside.
Blend garlic into a smooth paste and add peeled shallots and grind into a smooth paste. Set aside.
In a thick bottomed pan (preferably deep), heat oil and ghee. Add the shallot-garlic paste and also add the ground Biryani Masala. Keep stirring continuously. Initially the paste would completely absorb all the oil but as it keeps cooking, oil would begin to release from the sides. Keep frying it on medium flame for about 7-10 mins.
Meanwhile, wash and soak the rice in the water. And boil the vegetables in enough water until cooked. As the biriyani masala begins to leave oil from its sides and starts to turn a brown color, add the cooked vegetables and mix well.
Add the salt and red chilli powder, mix well. Add the thick curd and continue to cook the Biryani masala until it starts to thicken again. Add the water used to soak the rice and let it come to a boil.
Check for salt and spiciness, adjust accordingly at this stage. Add finely chopped mint and coriander leaves. Squeeze the juice from one small lemon or add 2 tablespoon of lemon juice. As the water begins to boil, add the soaked rice. Mix well.
Keep it on high flame for 5-6 mins and then close the pan with a heavy lid. Reduce the flame to low and let the Biryani cook for 12-15mins. On opening the lid, the rice should look cooked and there should be no water. Place the lid back on and let the Biriyani rest for atleast another 15mins. Gently mix it all over.
Serve hot with a raita of your choice. I served it with onion raita.
If Seeraga Samba rice is not available, basmati rice can be used – but the taste definitely is not the same.
I used 8 green chillies and it was just enough spiciness for the amount of Biryani made. Adjust the quantity as per preference.
Red Chilli powder is optional and can be skipped.
Nutmeg and mace are quite important and are irreplaceable in this recipe. Don’t use more than ¼th of a nutmeg as it can quite over powering.Fo
r the Seeraga Samba rice that I used, 4 cups of water seemed just perfect for 3 cups of rice. Adjust it depending on the quality of the rice. Older the rice, more water would be required.
Choice of vegetables is as per personal preference.
Instead of vegetables, mushrooms can be added.
Don’t soak the rice for more than 20mins. Plan the soaking time depending on how long you have before you have to add the rice.
This biryani recipe should be paler in color and hence no turmeric is added. The rest time for cooked rice is highly recommended as it helps fluff up the rice properly.