I have never and don't intend to use any ghee or butter in my Vegetable Briyani. On the contrary, I try to always make it as natural or healthy as possible. In fact, I am not too pleased about using food colorings too. Can anyone give me a natural alternative to yellow and orange food colorings?
I have layered my Briyani here, alternating the spice mix with the rice. I learnt how to do this from my older sister June in Singapore many years back. Before that, I have not attempted to try making biryani at home.
Ingredients (for 4 persons)
2 cups Basmati Rice soaked for 30-40 mins
4 cups water
1/4 tsp salt
5-6 drops of yellow food coloring
5-6 drops of orange food coloring
2 tbsps. canola oil
1 big onion chopped big
1 tsp pounded ginger
1 tsp pounded garlic
2 tbsps. Vegetable Briyani Spice Powder (National Brand - found in any Indian Grocery Stores. Any other brand will work as well)
3 tomatoes, chopped big
4 stalks coriander leaves chopped big
1/2 cup water
3 cups of mixed vegetables ( peas, carrot cubes, small french bean pieces, small cauliflower florets or potato cubes)
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 block of milk cheese or Paneer (200g) cut into medium sized cubes, grilled
extra (around 2/3 cups) coriander leaves for garnishing
Drain and cook the soaked Basmati Rice with the water and salt in your rice cooker. Sprinkle the food coloring and set aside to cool.
Take a pot and fry the onions followed by the ginger and garlic.
Next add in the spice powder and let the mixture simmer for 2-4 mins.
Add the tomato pieces, coriander leaves and salt. Add the 1/2 cup water and let it cook for 3-5 mins on high heat till tomatoes are soft and mushy.
Blend this mix till smooth and add back into the pot. Pour 1 cup water into blender to get the remaining curry from the sides. Add this into the pot too.
Now put in the vegetables, add in the tomato sauce and cook till gravy is half in quantity and vegs are all cooked.
Before switching the fire off, add in the cubed grilled cheese cubes and combine well. Don't add in paneer too early otherwise it will disintegrate into the curry.
Take another big pot, spread half the gravy on the base and then spread half the rice over it. Toss 1/3 cup of coriander leaves.
Then, spread the remaining gravy followed by the remaining rice and garnish with another 1/3 cup of chopped coriander leaves.
Cover the pot and cook on very low heat for 10 mins.
Serve for lunch or dinner with simple dal curry and cucumber yoghurt dip.