[Recipe & photo courtesy of Sify Food]
Hyderabadi Paneer Biryani
Serves about 4 adults
500g Paneer cubes
3 small potatoes – peeled & cut in half
1/2 cup cubed carrots
1/2 cup green peas
2 tbsp ghee/clarified butter
1 large chopped onion
1 inch cinnamon stick
4-5 whole green cardamoms
1 more chopped onion
rice (about 2 cups for 3-4 ppl) – washed & drained
salt to taste
2-3 bay leaves
For Garnish: 1 small chopped & fried onion, roasted/fried nuts & raisins, chopped coriander/cilantro and 1/4 cup lime juice
For the masala:
1/2 bunch mint leaves
1 bunch coriander (mint & coriander in 1:2 ratio)
2 tbsp dessicated coconut
1 handful roasted peanuts
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp jeera/cumin
1/2 tsp haldi/turmeric pwd
2 red chillies or 2-3 green chillies
6 cloves garlic
1/2 inch ginger
Grind the ingredients for the masala with some water to make a smooth paste, and keep aside,
Deep fry the paneer cubes & set aside on a paper towel to drain.
Heat oil in a frying pan, fry the chopped onions till pink and then add the freshly-ground masala paste, 2 tbsp at a time, stirring well in between to prevent sticking to the pan.
Next add the potatoes & carrots with a little water, cover & cook for 5 minutes on medium heat. Then add the paneer & peas & cook for another 5 minutes, covered.
In a separate vessel, heat some ghee & fry a chopped onion till pink, then add the cinnamon, cardamom & bay leaves. Add rice, nuts & raisins & fry well. Add water & salt and cook till rice is almost ready – drain off excess water & add the paneer-gravy, tossing lightly.
Cover with a lid and let the rice and masala flavors blend well with the steam, until Rice is cooked completely.
Transfer to a serving plate, or Handi; Garnish with remaining fried onions, lime-juice, nuts, raisins & coriander, and serve hot with a side order of Dahi Raita!