Paneer biryani

We had great weather over the weekend and I thought we are done with winter. But as they say, mid west weather is extremely unpredictable. This week again, we have very cold weather :(.

When I came home yesterday, I wanted something spicy to eat. I was missing home so much. So I thought of making something special for us. It took a while to prepare this, but was totally worth the effort. The biryani was just out of this world.

This biryani is based on my two favorite biryani recipes – Shn’s Egg biryani and my Belgaum style biryani. The spicy paneer pieces take this one to a whole new level.

1 and 1/2 cups basmati rice
1/4 cup fresh/frozen peas
1 cup paneer cubes
1/4 cup green beans
1 tea spn chilli powder
A pinch turmeric powder
3-4 strands coriander leaves
1/2 cup yogurt
1 big + 1 small cardamom
1 bay leaf
3 green chillies
1 tea spn ginger
1 tea spn garlic
Few strands saffron

Spice powder(grind into powder):
1 tea spn coriander seeds
1 tea spn cumin seeds
5 cloves
1″ cinnamon
1 tea spn poppy seeds
5-6 peppercorns

Add chilli powder, turmeric, 1/2 tea spn spice powder, 2 tbl spn yogurt, salt to paneer pieces and keep aside for 2 hrs.
Heat ghee/oil and add cardamom (big and small), bay leaf, washed rice, salt. Fry for 3-4 minutes. Take the rice on a clean plate.
Grind green chillies, garlic, ginger into a paste.
Add little more oil/ghee, add paneer pieces till they turn brownish. Take them out.
In the same pan, add vegetables, ginger-garlic-chilli paste and fry till the raw smell goes off. Add yogurt, little salt and fry for few minutes.
Sprinkle chopped coriander leaves and few pinches of spice powder.
Spread half the amount of rice.
Spread few pinches of spice powder on top and then cover with remaining rice.
On top, spread few strands of saffron.
Now pour 2 cups water, cover and cook till all water is absorbed.
Preheat the oven at 300F for 10mins.
Apply some oil to a baking dish. Now add 1/2 the amount of cooked rice mixture.
Spread the fried paneer and spread remaining rice on top.
Add about 1/2 cup water. Bake in oven at 300F for about 30mins. Cover with aluminum foil.
Serve hot.

Serves : 3-4
Preparation time :60mins

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