Ever prepared a dish specially for a loved one, and then messed up when packing it? I have a horrible feeling that I have packed Harry’s lunch box with mint and coriander leaves, which forms the first layer of this biryani. Well, I will tell him that his lunch was Mint Rice ;-).
I gave biryani another try and this time it was much better! Of course, there is a lot of room for improvement, but still this fared much better than my previous attempt. My lunch was full of flavors, unlike Harry’s – which is just going to be full of mint leaves. I didn’t bake it properly this time too, may be next time…
I have adapted this from Tanvi’s Sinfullyspicy.
Basmati rice : 2 cups
Oil : 2 tbsp
Ghee : 1 tbsp
Onion : 2 large, sliced
Ginger garlic paste : 2 tsp
Tomatoes : 2 large, chopped fine
Thick yogurt : 1 /2 cup
Soya Chunks : 100 gms (dry weight), soaked in hot water for 10 minutes
Coriander leaves : 1/2 cup fresh, chopped
Mint Leaves : 1/2 cup, chopped fine
Salt to taste
Chilli powder : 2 tsp
Turmeric powder : 1 tsp
Coriander powder : 1 tsp
Potatoes : 2 big, cut into cubes
Carrots : 2 big, cut into cubes
Green Chillies : 3, cut into 1″ long pieces
- Wash rice thoroughly and soak it for 2 hours. Boil water in a big vessel, switch off and immerse the soya chunks completely in it. It needs to rest for at least 10 minutes. Drain and squeeze out excess water before using in the biryani.
- Cook rice till almost done, drain excess water and keep aside. I microwaved it for 8 minutes with 4 cups water.
- Heat oil and ghee in a pan, add the sliced onions till brown. Remove half the amount and keep aside.
- Add ginger garlic paste, followed by the sliced tomatoes. Cook till the tomatoes are mashed nicely. Add the chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder and salt. Cook for 2 -3 minutes. Add the yogurt, keep in a low flame and stir continuously.
- Add half cup water, rest of the vegetables and soya chunks. Cover and cook till the vegetables are almost done, about 10 – 15 minutes. Check and adjust the seasonings, keep aside.
- For assembling, you have to follow a rice-> biryani mix->rice pattern. I have formed three layers of rice, with two layers of vegetable mix in between. You have to add the coriander and mint leaves, and the fried onions over the rice layers.
- Bake for 30 minutes and serve hot with raita.
I had only carrots and potatoes at home, feel free to add other vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli, beans, peas, peppers, turnips etc etc etc).
You can substitute soya chunks with paneer or you can skip them altogether.
To make it easier, prepare the vegetable masala and add the uncooked rice. Transfer to a rice cooker and cook with 4 cups of water. Skip the baking part completely.
The longer you keep it, the more flavorful it becomes. My kid loved the ‘sona’ (soya) chunks in this.