Vegetable Handi Biryani – Layered

Stage- 1: Tampered Rice

Ingredients:

  1. Rice (Preferably Long Grain Basmati) – 1 Cup
  2. Oil – 2 tbsp.
  3. Green Cardamom – 2
  4. Black Cardamom – 2
  5. Bay Leaves – 2
  6. Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp.
  7. Cloves – 3
  8. Star Anise – ½  (Optional)

Procedure:

  • Wash and Soak the rice for about 15 minutes. (Meanwhile you can chop vegetables for the next layer and keep them aside)
  • In a pan, heat oil. Add all the spices. Let it cook for 4-5 minutes on a medium flame to let the flavours come out.
  • Add the soaked rice (without water). Toss well for 3-5 minutes. Add water, enough for the rice to boil.
  • Once the grain is soft, drain excess water and take out the rice in a bowl/ plate. Keep aside.

Stage- 2: Vegetable Layer

Ingredients:

  1. Cauliflower – 3-4 Big Florets – Sliced into thin, broad florets
  2. Green Bell Pepper – ½ Medium Sized Finely Chopped
  3. Onion – 1 Small Sized Thinly sliced
  4. Green Chilly – ½ finely chopped
  5. Tomato – 1 Medium Sized Finely Chopped
  6. Potatoes – 1 Medium Sized Finely Diced
  7. Oil – 4-5 tbsp.
  8. Cumin Seeds – 2 tsp.
  9. Dry Red Chilly – 2 Nos.
  10. Ginger Garlic Paste – 1 tbsp.
  11. Turmeric Powder – ½  tsp.
  12. Red Chilli Powder – ½ tsp.
  13. Coriander Powder – 1 tsp.
  14. Cumin Powder – ½ tsp.
  15. Everest Shahi Biryani Masala – 1 tbsp. (You may opt for another brand.)
  16. Sugar – 1 ½ tbsp.
  17. Salt to taste

Procedure:

  • In a Sauce pan, heat the Oil. Add finely diced potatoes. Fry for 5 minutes until cooked. Add cauliflower and bell peppers. Cook until their skin softens. Take the vegetables aside in a separate plate.
  • Use the same pan, add more oil if needed. Add cumin seeds and dry red chillies. Let the seeds splutter.
  • Add finely chopped green chillies. Sauté for a minute. Add ginger garlic paste. Sauté till well cooked.
  • Add sliced onions. Cook till golden brown and slightly crisp.
  • Add the stir fried vegetables. Add salt, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, cumin powder, coriander powder and Biryani Masala. Mix well. Add a tbsp. or two of water to prevent the spices from burning.
  • When the spices are nearly cooked, add finely chopped tomatoes and sugar. Add a bit of water to prevent spices from burning. Make sure it does not turn watery.
  • Cover the pan and cook for 5-10 minutes. (Meanwhile you can heat the milk for the next layer and/or knead the dough for Dum)
  • When done, keep aside.

Stage- 3: Saffron Infused Milk

Ingredients:

  • Milk – 6-8 tbsp.
  • Saffron – A few strands

Procedure:

  • Heat the Milk. Once steaming, take out in a bowl, add the saffron strands and keep aside for 5-7 minutes.

Stage- 4: Biryani

Ingredients:

  • Wheat Flour – 1 ½ Cup
  • Water – Enough to knead a soft dough
  • Oil – 1 tbsp.
  • Ghee/ Butter – 1 tbsp.

Procedure:

  • Mix oil, flour and water and knead a smooth dough.
  • Press it down between your palms to make it like a long, even rope. Keep aside.
  • Take a Handi/ Kadhai. Line the brim of the Handi with the dough-rope. Put it on Low flame.
  • Add 1/3 of vegetables and spread evenly to form the bottom layer.
  • Add 1/3 of tampered rice. Spread evenly to form a layer. Repeat the process thrice, in all.
  • On the topmost layer of rice, add ghee and spread lightly with a spoon.
  • Evenly pour the saffron infused milk.
  • Cross lines (lightly) using a spoon to cut across the layers. Be gentle.
  • Cover with a lid/ aluminum foil.
  • Cook on an extreme slow flame for 25-30 minutes.
  • The smell will tell you if your biryani is done or not. When done, there will be a saffron fragrance tampered with spices that you’ll get.

Take out an entire layer, like a piece of cake, in the serving dish. Serve hot with curd or Raita.

Vegetable-Handi-Biryani-Cooked-and-Served

Serving Tips:

  • When you take out the Biryani in a serving dish, take a tbsp. of warm saffron infused milk in the serving spoon and then cut through the layers and serve. You may simply dip the serving spoon in that milk, take out and then start to cut through the layers. The extra taste of Saffron is heavenly.
  • Use Full Fat Milk for best results.

Suggested Variation:

Non vegetarian lovers may choose to add an extra layer of chicken/ shredded meat. Some marinated chicken in curd/ coconut milk and spices would do wonders.

Here, simply season the stir fried vegetables with pepper and salt.

When you cook the gravy, use chicken/ meat instead of veggies, like we did here. It will take a bit long to cook.

Layer sequence that will follow is: Chicken Gravy → Rice  → Vegetables → Chicken Gravy → Vegetables → Rice → Ghee → Milk

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