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Paneer Biryani

Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Servings: 4
Author: Meena, www.hookedonheat.com

Ingredients

For the Rice:

  • 3 cups Basmati rice thoroughly rinsed and drained
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3-4 whole cloves
  • 3-4 whole black peppercorns
  • 5-6 whole green cardamom pods
  • pinch of salt

For the Paneer:

  • 2 tbsp light cooking oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped ginger
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped garlic
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • salt to taste
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 400 gms paneer cut into cubes and fried till lightly browned on all sides
  • 1 medium tomato sliced

For the Biryani:

  • 1 tbsp light cooking oil
  • 1 cup fried onions
  • 1 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tsp rose water optional

Instructions

For the Rice:

  • Cook the rice with the spices and salt till all the water evaporates and the rice is about halfway done. Spread it out on a large platter so that the grains do not clump and set aside.

For the Paneer:

  • Heat oil in a non-stick pan and fry cumin seeds, ginger and garlic for a few seconds till fragrant. Add in onions and fry for a few minutes till onions get tender and lightly brown.
  • Add in spices, salt and tomato paste, and fry for another minute or two to mix well.
  • Add in paneer and tomatoes and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes till the paneer is nicely coated with all the spices. Do not cook the tomatoes for too long since we want them to retain their shape and not give out too much moisture. This should be fairly thick and the paneer pieces should be well coated with the spice paste.

For the Biryani:

  • To assemble the Biryani, heat oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot.
  • Spread about half the paneer mix at the bottom of the pot. Then layer over with half of the pre-cooked rice, and top that with half the amounts of the cilantro, mint and fried onions.
  • Repeat the layering with the remaining half of the ingredients.
  • Sprinkle the rose water on top, and cook covered on low heat for 10-15 minutes till the rice is completely cooked through. Serve warm with a side of Raita.