To cook the Basmati rice, bring water to boil on heavy bottomed pan. Add all the spices – bay leaves, cloves, cardamoms, cinnamon along with salt and ghee/oil. As the water boils, add rice and cook on low flame for 7-10 mins.
Fluff up the recipe gently and let it cool down on a large, wide plate.
To make caramelized onions, heat oil/ghee in a non-stick pan and add finely julienned onions. Add salt as needed on top and fry on low flame, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, make a fine paste of green chillies, garlic and ginger.
Soak saffron strands in hot milk and set aside.
As the onions turn soft and golden, remove them onto a plate.
In the same pan, add a teaspoon of oil and fry the vegetables (cubed or julienned) along with salt as needed until half cooked. Remove them and set aside.
Add 2 teaspoon of ghee/oil into the same pan. Once hot, add the prepared spice paste and fry until the raw smell is gone.
Next add yogurt along with red chilli powder and garam masala along with salt needed for the pulao masala.
Cook the yogurt for 2-3 mins on low flame and add the half cooked vegetables.
Cook until the sauce slightly thickens up.
To make the dum, grease a deep bottomed pot with ghee and add a layer of basmati rice.
Next add ⅓rd of the vegetable yogurt masala all over the rice followed by fried onions.
Add a layer of rice, pulao masala and fried onions again. Cover it up with the final layer of rice and sprinkle saffron milk on top followed by fried onions.
Finally sprinkle chopped mint leaves all over the top.
To put the pulao on dum, heat an iron tawa or griddle on low flame and place the pulao pot on top of the tawa/griddle. Close with a lid and place a heavy weight on top. Keep it on dum for 12-15 mins.
Gently fluff up the pulao and serve hot with Mirchi ka Salan and raita.