For the fragrant rice
- Basmathi Rice–2 cups
- Ghee –1 tbsp.
- Bayleaf – 1
- Cinnamon – 1” piece
- Cloves – 3 no.s
- Cardamom – 4 no.s
- Star aniseed – 1 number
- Lime juice – 1 tbsp.
- Water –4 cups
- Salt – 2 tsps.
- Onion – 1 cup; thinly sliced and deep-fried till golden brown and crisp
For the cauliflower masala :-
- Cauliflower – 800 to 900 grams; cut into bite size florets
- Pepper powder – 1 tsp.
- Oil – 2 tbsps.+ to deep fry the cauliflower florets
- Thinly Sliced Onion- 2 cups
- Ghee – 1 tsp.
- Green Chillies – 4 numbers; ground to paste
- Garlic –7 big cloves; ground to paste
- Ginger – 1 tbsp; ground to paste
- Coriander powder – 1 tbsp. (heaped)
- Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp.
- Chopped Tomato – 1.5 cups
- Chopped Coriander leaves – 1/2 cup
- Chopped Mint leaves – 1/4 cup
- Thick coconut milk (freshly extracted) – 1 cup
- Garam masala powder – 1 tsp.
- Salt to taste
For the cauliflower masala
- Marinate the cauliflower florets with 1.5 tsps. of salt, 1 tsp. of pepper powder and 1/4 tsp. of salt. Cook in a steamer for 7 minutes. Deep fry the florets in oil/ghee on medium high heat till done. Drain on paper towels and keep aside.
- In a broad non-stick pan, heat 2 tbsps. of oil and 1 tsp. of ghee. Add the thinly sliced onions and cook till golden brown in colour. Stir in the ginger, garlic and greenchilly pastes and cook for 5 minutes on low heat. Add coriander & turmeric powders and sauté for a minute and then add the chopped tomato. Stir fry for 15-20 minutes or till oil starts to separate. Add the cilantro and mint leaves.
- Add the thick coconut milk, salt and the fried cauliflower florets. Carefully mix the florets with the masala. Switch off heat.
For the fragrant rice
- Soak the rice in water for 30 minutes. Drain out all the water from the rice.
- Heat ghee and add all the spices. When fragrant add the rice and fry till the rice turns opaque.
- Add 4 cups of boiling water and 2 tsps. of salt to the rice. Bring to a second boil, lower heat and cover cook till the rice is soft and all the water is absorbed. Let it stand undisturbed for 10 more mins.
- Add the fried onions & mix.
For the layering and dum
- Take an oven proof dish and spread half of the cooked rice in the dish. Spread the cauliflower masala over the rice, followed by the remaining rice.
- Bake in a 180C preheated oven for 15 minutes.
- Keep it undisturbed for 30 minutes. Mix the rice carefully with the masala.
- Serve with raitha and pickle.