Thursday, December 23, 2010

Paneer Biriyani

Biryani is always considered a treat for special ocassions. I’m guessing all the hardwork and not to mention time associated in making this luscious fulfilling aromatic meal has definitely got something to do with it. There are over 30 varieties of Biryani made in India - and I can confess I haven’t tasted them all! For me, my mom has always been and always will be the Biryani Queen, for only she is fit to wear that crown. Her biryani is well known and loved among all the people we know, and that means every person each member of our family has ever invited into our humble home. Here I am trying my own version of paneer biriyani.This is a delicacy which myself and hubby dear looking forward during the lent season.


400 g (Paneer Cubes)
2 1/2 cups basmati rice
2 onions
1 piece ginger
5 garlic cloves
2 tomatoes
1/2 cup yogurt
4 cloves
2 cardamom
1 inch cinnamon stick
salt - To Taste
2 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon red chili powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder


Fry the paneer lightly and drain. Wash basmati rice in plenty of water and soak in sufficient water for half an hour. Peel and finely slice onions. Peel ginger, garlic and grind together to a fine paste. Wash tomatoes and make a puree in a blender. Whisk the yogurt and keep aside. Boil five cups water in a thick-bottomed vessel, cloves, cardamoms, cinnamon, and one teaspoon salt. When the water starts boiling rapidly, drain the soaked basmati rice and add. Cook for eight to ten minutes, stirring frequently or until the rice is three fourth done. Drain. Heat oil in a non-stick pan, add sliced onions and stir-fry over high heat for two to three minutes or until the onion turns translucent. Add ginger-garlic paste and cook briefly. Add red chilli powder, coriander powder, cumin powder and turmeric powder. Stir-fry briefly and add the pureed tomatoes. Continue cooking over high heat for another two to three minutes, stirring continuously or until masala is fairly thick. Add the yogurt and garam masala powder. Stir well and cook for two minutes more. Add the paneer and salt to taste. Stir-fry over high heat for two to three minutes and remove from heat. Arrange the cooked rice and paneer masala in alternate layers in an oven proof dish. Bake for 15 minutes.

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