When kids are home, cooking is always a challenge. So, lunch for the day was Methi Paneer Biriyani. With a bunch of ingredients at hand , an easy dish to put together. A lovely lunch on this winter afternoon.
- 3 Medium Onions sliced
- 3 Green chilly chopped
- 2 tsps Ginger Garlic paste
- 1 Bunch Fresh Methi leaves chopped
- Some fresh coriander leaves chopped
- A few mint leaves chopped
- Spring onion for garnish
- 1 small tomato chopped
- 1 cup yoghurt
- Salt as appropriate
- A tsp of turmeric
- 2 tsps of Biriyani masala
- 200 gms Paneer cubes
- 1 large potato boiled & cut into cubes
- Half a cup of frozen peas
- Whole masalas - cloves,cardamom black and green,cinnamon,pepper corns,Jeera and saunf
- 2 cups basmati rice
- Ghee,melted butter or shortening
- Heat oil with a tsp of shortening and toss in the whole spices , as they crackle add sliced onions and saute them till they turn pale. Now add ginger garlic paste.Fry until the onion starts to brown. Add tomato,green chilly , turmeric powder and salt. Cook well until the oil separates.
- Over to the greens - add chopped methi leaves and stir for a minute, then add coriander and mint leaves.Let them fry well as they have to get over the raw smell.
- Add biriyani masala ( I have used the brand Eastern) and yoghurt. Mix well , add water to get them all into a gravy consistency, adjust salt. Now add potato cubes and let it cook for 2 minutes, add paneer cubes and the frozen peas. Lower heat and let it simmer. If at this point, the gravy is sour add 2 tsps of brown sugar or a tsp jaggery to balance the taste. If the gravy is not spicy enough add pepper powder to adjust the spice. Sprinkle a pinch of kasoori methi,take off the heat and keep it covered.
Wash and soak the basmati rice, while the water is set to boil. Add whole spices such as cloves, cinnamon, green cardamom and whole pepper to the water along with salt and two tablespoons of lemon juice.
Add rice and let it boil, ensure that it cooks to a point where its is half cooked. Drain rice immediately.
In an oven proof bowl, spread half the rice for a layer, sprinkle biriyani masala, few drops of ghee or melted butter, some fried onions and a few mint leaves.
The next layer should be the gravy that is let to rest. Spread it over the rice evenly. Top it up with the remaining rice and repeat the same garnish.Also add on fried cashew and raisins too.
Cover the dish with a cling film and microwave on high for about 6 minutes. Else, bake it in a preheated oven for about 10 - 15 minutes. This process helps to cook the rice completely and ensures that they do not turn sticky.
Serve with a garnish of chopped spring onion, coconut chutney and yoghurt salad.