Masala Vegetable Biryani
|Onions||2 , sliced|
|Aubergine||1 , cut into 6-8 pieces|
|Carrots||2 , sliced|
|Cauliflower||1⁄2 , cut into small florets|
|French beans||3 Ounce, cut into 1 inch pieces (75 Grams)|
|Frozen peas||3 Ounce (75 Grams)|
|Vegetable ghee||5 Tablespoon|
|Whole cinnamon sticks||2|
|Sultanas||3 Ounce (75 Grams)|
|Cashew nuts||3 Ounce (75 Grams)|
|Natural yogurt||8 Ounce (250 Grams)|
|Ginger pulp||1 1⁄2 Teaspoon|
|Garlic pulp||1 1⁄2 Teaspoon|
|Black cumin seeds||1 Teaspoon|
|Garam masala||1 Teaspoon|
|Ground almonds||2 Ounce (50 Grams)|
|Basmati rice||1 1⁄2 Pound (750 Grams)|
|Water||2 1⁄2 Pint (1.5 Litter)|
|Chopped fresh coriander||4 Tablespoon|
|Lemon juice||5 Tablespoon|
|Green chilies||3 , chopped|
|Saffron||2 Teaspoon, crushed and soaked in 150 milliliter milk|
|Milk||1⁄4 Pint (150 Milliliter)|
Wash and prepare all the vegetables.
In a large saucepan heat the ghee, add the onions and fry until golden brown.
Using a slotted spoon, remove half the onions and set aside in a bowl together with half the ghee.
Now add half of the whole spices - that is, the 3 cardamoms, 2 cloves and 1 cinnamon stick - and all the vegetables to the remaining onions and fry them until soft.
Add the sultanas and cashew nuts.
Meanwhile, in a separate bowl mix the yogurt, ginger, garlic, cumin seeds, garam masala, half of the salt and half the ground almonds.
Pour this mixture over the the vegetables and continue to stir-fry for a further 7-10 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
Wash the Basmati rice at least twice, handling it gently, then set aside to drain.
Into a large saucepan pour the measured water along with the remaining salt, half the fresh coriander and the remaining black cumin seeds, cloves, cardamoms and cinnamon stick.
Bring to the boil.
Drain off any water from the rice in the bowl and transfer the rice to the boiling water in the saucepan.
Bring to the boil and part-cook the rice.
To check whether it is part-cooked, press a few grains between your thumb and forefinger.
The rice should be soft on top and hard in the middle.
Immediately the rice reaches this stage, drain it through a strainer.
Divide the rice equally, leaving half in the strainer and spooning half into a saucepan.
Pour all the vegetable mixture over the top of the rice in the saucepan and garnish with half the fried onions, ghee, fresh coriander, lemon juice and half the green chillies.
Cover with the remaining rice, pour over the saffron in milk and garnish with the remaining ingredients.
Cover the saucepan first with foil and then with a tight-fitting lid.
Return the saucepan to the heat and cook over a medium heat for 15-20 minutes, checking once to see that the rice is cooked right through.
Leave to stand for 10-15 minutes.
Mix gently with a slotted spoon before serving.
A raita is usually served to complement the biryani, and at a dinner party, you could add a crunchy salad, such as Tomato and Onion Salad or the Grated Mooli Salad.
Serve also with crisp poppadums and a good, thick dhaal, such as Rasam or Toor Dhaal with Tomatoes, both.