Heart filling ‘Paneer Biryani’ :)

paneer biryani
paneer-biryani-sandhyahariharan

Got those days when you crave for biryani but OOPS, it’s Thursday and no non-veg allowed [sob]. While no other food can fulfill the craving for Biryani, here is a recipe which will fill your stomach and heart as well. This paneer biryani recipe is the best substitute for the chicken biryani and will get you crazy over its taste. Make this mouth watering biryani and bring smiles to faces.

Ingredients

Paneer Marination

500g Paneer, cubed
1.5 Cup Yogurt
Salt to taste
1 Tsp Chili Powder
3/4 Tsp Turmeric Powder
1 Tsp Kasturi Methi ( Dried Fenugreek Leaves)
1 Tsp Garam masala
1/2 Tsp Cardamom Powder
1 Tblsp Ginger Garlic Paste
1 Tsp Coriander Leaves
1 Tsp Mint Leaves
1 Green Chilies finely Chopped is optional

Fried Onions
3 Medium Sized Onions or 2 Large Onion thinly sliced and air fryed.

Rice
2 Cups of Rice
6 Cups of Water
1.5 Tsp Salt

Whole Spices (Garam Masala’s)
1 Cinnamon Stick
3 Bay Leaves
10 Cloves
4 Cardamom
1 Black Cardamom

For layering
3 Tsp of Finely Chopped Mint Leaves
2 Pinch of Saffron soaked in 6 Tsp hot milk
1 Tsp of Cinnamon Cardamom Cloves Powder
4 Tbslpn of Butter or Ghee
Fried Onions

Directions

Paneer Marination
In a large bowl, add all the ingredients for marination and set aside for minimum of 30 minutes. It can stay marinated for 2 hours or so if time permits.

Prepare fried Onions
Airfry Onions for a healthy alternative. If you like, you could fry them. Heat Oil in a pan and add the sliced onions. Fry them in medium flame until golden brown. Set them aside.

Rice preparation.
Wash and Rinse the rice a couple of times and allow them to sit for atleast 30 minutes.
To a large pot, add the boiling water from the kettle followed by the whole spices and Salt. Now add the rice and allow it to cook just 50%. To test, pick up one of the rice grain and check, it should break into halves. Drain all the water at this stage and set the rice aside.

Assembling
To the cooking pot, add the Butter or even a combination of butter and oil. Now add the marinated Paneer and layer them tidily. Layer the paneer with all the rice. Top it with fried onions, saffron soaked in milk, Cinnamon Cardamom Cloves Powder, finely chopped mint leaves and some more butter.
Cover with a moist cloth and then place the tight lid. Allow the rice to cook in medium flame for 5 min and then for another 5 minutes in low flame. Turn off the flame and set it aside. Since the cocotte would retain the heat, Biryani will tend to cook further.

Serve it hot along with a bowl of Onion Raita.
You could also pair Paneer Biryani with Cucumber Raita or Boondi Raita.

Notes:
Reserve a few paneer cubes from the marinated paneer and fried them on the grill. Once the biryani is ready, these paneer cubes can be used as garnish.

Recipe & image credits: sandhyahariharan

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