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Vegetable Biryani Rice1, With Paneer Cheese
Sabji Aur Paneer ki Biriani

Mamta Gupta

This is a complete meal in itself combining rice, vegetables and paneer cheese (carbohydrates, proteins and fat). Do not be put off by the long list of ingredients. Once the ingredients are ready, it is an easy dish to make. There is a long list of vegetables too, but you can use a few less, depending on what you have in the fridge. The quantity of vegetables is a guide only. Serves approximately 6

To serve for a buffet, heap a couple of spoon full of fresh biryani inside freshly cooked and crisp Yorkshire Puddings and serve hot.

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2 cups Basmati or any other long grain rice
3 1/2 cups hot water
A few saffron threads
100 gm. Paneer Indian Cheese, cubed. In UK, paneer is available from Indian shops and some supermarkets.
1 onion, thinly sliced, for garnish (optional, for special occasions)
Oil for deep frying.
A pan with a tight fitting lid
Masala or Spice Mix
2-3 tbsp. oil
1 tsp. cumin seeds
2 bay leaves*
2-3 cloves*
2 large black cardamoms*
4-6 small green cardamoms*
6-7 black peppers*
1 inch piece of cinnamon*
*If you do not have these whole spices, which make garam masala, you can use 1 tsp. of ground Garam Masala instead
1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
1 tsp. coriander powder
1/2 tsp. chilli powder
Salt to taste
Vegetables (you can use more or fewer or different vegetables): /b>
2 onions, peeled and sliced
1/2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
2-3 cloves of garlic, peeled and grated or crushed
200 gm tinned tomatoes or 2 large tomatoes peeled and chopped
1 medium potato, peeled and cubed
A few bite size florets of cauliflower
1-2 carrots, peeled and cubed or sliced
2 tbsp. frozen or shelled peas
1 Courgette (tori/turai), thickly sliced or Lauki (doodhi/bottle gourd)
1/2 green/red/yellow pepper, stalk and core removed and chopped into large pieces
2 green chillies, sliced
For garnish (Optional):
10-14 ready salted cashew nuts
2 onions, sliced and deep fried


1.Preparing ingredients:
2.Measure all ingredients and keep aside.
3.Prepare all vegetables.
4.Heat oil and deep fry paneer cubes until lightly brown, keep aside. Keep on absorbent paper to drain oil. Paneer should be fried in quite hot oil, otherwise pieces stick together.
5.Deep fry potatoes, courgettes and cauliflower individually and keep aside (they all take different times to fry). For everyday meals, vegetables do not need to be fried, as shown in pictures.
6.Deep fry the garnish onions, drain and keep aside on a kitchen towel. Keep aside. Ready fried onions can be used for garnish.
7.Making masala and vegetables:
8.Heat 2-3 tbsp. oil in a large pan.
9.Add cumin seeds and whole spices and wait until cumin seeds splutter.
10.Add ginger, garlic and onions and fry until golden brown.
11.Add all ground spices, stir for a few minutes and add tomatoes. Cook until oil separates.
12.Add all vegetables, adding frozen peas last.
13.Cook for 5 minutes, stirring from time to time.
14.Add Paneer and stir it in.
15.Cooking Biryani:
16.Add rice to the vegetable mix, stir well to coat the rice with the mix.
17.Add 3 1/2 cup of water and saffron, bring to boil and turn heat to low. Cook covered until all water absorbs. This takes about 10 minutes. Do not keep opening the lid to have a peep! Glass lidded pans are better for this reason.
18.Serve hot, garnished with deep fried onions and cashew nuts. Also serve roasted/grilled papads (papadoms/popodoms/papodoms), fresh natural yoghurt and pickles of choice. My favourite with this dish is a href="recipe_display.php?id=10031"> Sweet Mango Chutney and dry roasted/grilled papadoms (papads).


Vegetables can be varied depending over availability.
You can use the vegetables without frying, I usually do.
Also see Lamb Biriyani, Chicken Biriyani, A Quick Biriyani, Chicken Fried Rice from Leftovers, Soya Chunk Biryani.
BBQ Biryani Pulao/Pilaf: Cook rice as per your recipe. Make small parcels, one parcel per person, each wrapped in aluminium foil. Place them on BBQ for a few minutes to heat, 5-10 minutes, turning over once. Serve the parcels straight from the BBQ. Also see BBQ Selection and Marinade Selection.

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