Actress Annie is a very good cook & she has started a cooking show that is being aired on Amrita TV. I saw her making this easy but too delicious biriyani in one of her cooking shows.I have made a few modifications to the original recipe & this is the modified version of her recipe. You can find her recipe here. This recipe uses a lot of onions that gives it a very distinct flavour. There is no need to cook this biriyani on dum like the other biriyanis & yet the end product will be lip smackingly good.
- Soak 2 cups of basmathi rice in water for 30 minutes. Drain.
- Heat 2 tbsps of ghee & add the rice. Fry for 4 minutes on high heat. Add 4 cups of boiling water & 2 tsps. of salt. Cover cook on medium low heat for 10 minutes/ till all the water has been absorbed by the rice. There is no need of adding any whole spices while cooking the rice.
- Deep fry 3 medium onions (thinly sliced) till golden brown & crisp. Drain on paper towels. Fry 2 tbsps of halved cashews & 1 tbsp of golden raisins & keep them aside.
- Soak 10 cashews & 1 heaping tsp of poppy seeds in hot water for 1 hour. Grind to a smooth paste.
- Soak a generous pinch of saffron in 1/8 cup of hot milk for 30 minutes.
- For the vegetable masala, heat 2 tbsps of ghee + 1 tbsp of oil & add 3 medium onions (thinly sliced) + a few torn curryleaves & fry till the onions turn golden brown in colour. Add 5 big garlic cloves (pasted), 1 tsp of ginger paste & 1 greenchilly (pasted) & fry further for 7 minutes. Add 1 heaping tsp of coriander powder, 3/4 heaping tsp of kashmiri chilli powder, 1/4 tsp of turmeric powder & saute for a minute on low heat.Add 2 big carrots ( cut into 1/4″ juliennes), 15-20 french beans (sliced at an angle), 1.5 cup of cauliflower florets, 1 tsp of salt & fry for 5 minute on medium high heat. Add 1 big tomato (chopped) & mix. Cover cook on low heat for 15 minutes without adding any water.Add 1/4 cup each of chopped cilantro & mint leaves + 3/4 tsp of garam masala powder, 1/4 tsp of pepper powder & mix well. Cook for 2 minutes more. Add the cashew-poppy seeds, bring to a boil & switch off heat. This is our vegetable masala.
- Add the vegetable masala, the fried onions, toasted cashews & rasisins to the cooked rice & mix carefully.
- Sprinkle the saffron-milk mixture here & there. Our very yummy biriyani is now ready.
- Serve it hot with raitha.