Paneer(cottage Cheese) Biryani

 

Paneer! not one of my favorites…and to make Paneer biryani? Well, this was specifically made for the blog, no other reasons..I always end up buying more then required, not being able to judge the quantity especially when using for an Indian based Paneer recipe..Depending on the type of dish that you make; paneer(cottage cheese) tends to be over the top or less as times..For paneer bhurji, you will need a little more quantity while if its  a paneer tikka masala or any dish that falls into that type ,the quantity required is much less..So, i always end up buying more ,since i dont have preconceived plans of making a certain type of paneer dish..

Also in terms of biryani, chicken and mutton biryani are my favourite biryanis of all time, and while i have a draft ready but do not have a great pic for it , so have not been able to upload my recipe..Till then it is the vegan biryani with the cottage cheese. Also this was made specifically for the blog, coz i didnt have any recipes left to upload ,having been deep neck tied with work, hence no time to invent anything new or cook up a reasonably good meal.hence the rice and paneer meal which was a good dish for the blog as well as a satisfying one meal dish with no labour of making anything else to go with.

So here i was, trying to make a challenging sense to my paneer.Biryani that is..A tough process to achieve the right taste and texture of the rice.The gravy of the paneer or the veggies needs to be right to merge with the rice.not too gravy and not too dry..While the texture of the rice needs to be perfect, not too boiled not hard..So its  more of a technique of attaining the right taste, flavor and texture while its not that difficult to score high on a visual appeal.The decor is easy, just that the right mix of the spices are essential to cook up the perfect biryani

Ingredients


paneer-250 gms
rice- 3 cups
onions- 2
tomatoes-2(or 1 tomato and 1/3rd cup tomato puree)
curd-4 tbsp
ginger garlic paste- 2 tbsp
red chilli powder- 1/2 tsp
coriander powder- 2 tsp
cumin powder-1 tsp
mint leaves- few
coriander leaves- few
mace-1
nutmeg powder- 1 tsp
cardamon- 4-5
black cardamon-1
bay leaves-2
black pepper- 8-1
cinamon-1 large stick
cloves-8-9
turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
cream- 1 tbsp(optional)
rose water- 1tsp
saffron- 6-7  strands soaked in warm milk
garam masala powder-1/2 tsp
kasuri methi(optional)-1/4th tsp

Method:

  • Make a paste of curd,gingergarlic paste, cumin and coriander powder,red chilli powder,lemon juice and keep aside

 

  • In a deep pan, add ghee and add sliced onions,fry and keep them asidealong with some rose water.
  • Fry cashews, raisins and keep aside as well

 

  • In a bowl, add the rice and water with some salt, bay leaves, peppercorns, cardamons,cinamon,cloves and par boil the rice.Drain the rice and keep it aside

 

  • In a deep pan, now add oil or ghee and drop the chopped onions, fry and add turmeric powder and red chilli powder and the tomatoes.Fry and add the curd mixture,,Add additional cumin(1/2 tsp) and coriander powder (1 tsp)if you wish..Fry and add a few mint and coriander leaves as well. Add salt to season and add the paneer peices. Add garam masala( 1/2 tsp) and kasuri methi ( 1/4th tsp).If very dry then you can add a little milk or water..Keep the pan covered and let the gravy and the paneer cook.Add nutmeg powder just before its done
  • If baking: Now take a baking pan and drop in a generous amount of ghee .Start layering the rice and paneer mixture one upon the other .Add one layer of rice followed by  few mint leaves, coriander leaves, dry fruits and the fried onions.Then another layer of paneer .Repeat this process untill the paneer and the rice is all over but ensure that the last layer is of rice. Now add the saffron soaked in milk in the centre ..Cover it with a aluminium foil and bake it for about 15 mins in a preheated oven

 

  • For normal handi dum cooking: For cooking in the normal way over the gas burner, take  a handi  and add enough ghee.Then add the layers as you would add while in the baking tray.Seal the lid of the  handi with wheatflour dough.This is done so that there is absolutely no scope of air passing in or out.Place the handi over a tawa which is kept on the burner. Keep the flame on slow heat and let the biryani cook for about 10 to 15 mins.In between you can increase the flame to medium and shake the bowl a bit so that the contents do not stick to the bottom.

Once  done ,break away the dough from the sides and open the lid to an amazing aroma of the most wonderful ,delicious biryani..


Visualy appealing ,it scores equally well in terms of taste,and flavor, the intermixed of the rose water and saffon one oneside while the mint and the coariander leaves with their own flavour and the undertone of the whole spices..That all that is required in Biryani making while the paneer brings in its own taste to the whole dish , mixing with the white rice gloriously.while the saffon brings in the added color and taste, not to forget the aroma percolating out of the pure ghee.

So all you vegan guys, for an outstanding , luscious, millions of indians”s favourite version of a rice dish, this one cannot be missed at any cost…Just the technique need to be mastered ,and you have an awesome creative of a culinery royal delight in your serving table..Guranteed praises from your guests is assured and so is a way to elevate your cooking skills ..No side servings, just curd or boodi raita would be enough to complete the meal in pure Desi  Indian Style.

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