Monday, September 17, 2012

Vegetable Biryani

Vegetable biryani for a crowd, rice cooker method.  (This would serve 10-12 people.  For a family of four I would cut the recipe in half and plan on having leftovers.)
1 tablespoon oil
3 tablespoons butter
3 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
6 cloves
6 cardamom pods
2 star anise seeds
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
2 teaspoons black peppercorns
4 cups sliced onions
5 green chiles, sliced lengthwise
1 cup finely chopped tomatoes
3 tablespoons ginger garlic paste
2 teaspoon fennel powder
2 tablespoons coriander powder
1 heaping teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
4 cups frozen mixed vegetables (peas, carrots, green beans and corn)
½ cup loosely packed chopped mint
½ cup loosely packed chopped cilantro leaves
1 cup yogurt (can substitute coconut milk for a variation)
7 cups water
5 teaspoons salt
5 cups basmati rice

Heat the oil and butter in large frying pan until the butter is melted.  Add bay leaves, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, star anise, fennel and black peppercorns.  Saute for about a minute, then add the sliced onions and green chiles.  Stir fry over medium-high heat until the onions begin to turn brown in color (about 7-10 minutes).  Add the ginger garlic paste and stir fry for a minute.  Add the tomatoes and stir fry until the tomatoes are softened (another 7-10 minutes.)  Add the fennel, coriander, chili and turmeric powders, cilantro and mint leaves and stir until combined.  Add the frozen mixed vegetables and stir well.  Switch off heat.  Put the rice in the rice cooker vessel and add the vegetable mixture.  In a bowl, whisk together the yogurt with 1 cup of water until it is smooth.  Pour into the rice cooker along with remaining 6 cups of water.  Stir well, close lid and turn the rice cooker on.  When the cycle comes to an end immediately spoon the rice into a flat serving tray (i.e. 9x13 pan).  This will keep the rice fluffy and prevent breaking the grains. (If you leave it in the cooker it will compress and dry out).

Serve with: raita (yogurt salad), hard boiled eggs, any curry or kurma. 

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