I'm posting a recipe after a long break..... I hope everyone had a good Diwali. My best wishes for everyone for the new year!
Boy, have I missed blogging and sharing some wonderful recipes with everyone......well, here I am, with the recipe for a Vegetable Biryani-Hope you will try and enjoy!
For the Biryani, you will need:
2 cups rice - wash and soak in water for at least an hour. Add some seasonings to the rice while it is soaking, I used some fennel seeds, cardamom, cinnamon stick and some cloves.
Saffron Mixture:Soak 1 tsp of Saffron in some warm milk and let it for a while, 20 minutes is good, more is better!
Beet Mixture- Microwave a peeled beet for 2 minutes, let it cook and chop into chunks, add some water to cover and let it sit, this will give your biryani the red color!
Chopped Veggies: I used bell peppers, fresh green beans, cauliflower, carrots, lima beans, onions and a fresh tomato. - Chop all into chunks and set aside.
Yogurt Marinade: Mix yogurt ( to your taste) with some chopped cilantro, chopped mint leaves, green chilies and ginger paste.
Biryani Masala- Use your favorite brand, as much or as little you like.
Salt, Chili powder, Sugar, turmeric - to taste
Ghee- to taste, Shahi Jeera, Toasted Cashews, raisins - optional
some extra Ghee to drizzle on top- around 2-3 tbsps (optional)
First, Soak the rice, saffron mixture and the beet mixture.
Now, add all the chopped veggies to the yogurt mixture and adjust the seasonings to your taste. You can also add garam masala, and tandoori masala in this mix. Set aside and let this marinate for an hour or more.
When ready to make the biryani, make the rice first. Wash the rice and add triple the amount of water to the rice so that it stays fluffy. Add the seasonings and cook until al-dente. Drain until the rice is partially cooked and set aside. Add some of the Saffron-Milk mixture to the rice and mix well. Set the rest aside for later.
In a separate pan, heat some oil, add the shahi jeera and let it sizzle. Add the onions, ginger garlic paste and let it cook. Add the tomato puree and stir well. Add chopped mint leaves and the rest of the marinated veggies. Cook until soft, but not too mushy.
Now get ready to layer this. In a baking dish, spread a little ghee on the bottom of the pan, add some of the vegetable mixture, then the rice. drizzle some ghee on top along with some Saffron milk, the beet solution and some garam masala or the biryani masala. Repeat the layer, ending with some nuts and raisins, and a little more milk-saffron mix on top. You can also add some mint leaves and chopped cilantro on top along with the tomato.
Cover with foil and bake at 350 for about 45-50 minutes. Serve hot with some cucumber raita.