Biryani. Star of the Mughlai cuisine, a wholesome dish made of rice, meat and spices. An indulgence that doesn’t require an excuse. This dish, derived from the Persian word, ‘birian’ – which means ‘fried before cooking’ – has many a tale to tell of its origins and popularity.
Some say it was Turk-Mongol emperor Taimur who brought a precursor of biryani to India, which later in the royal kitchens of the Mughals evolved to the delicacy we famously know. Some say it was one of the imports of the Arab traders who frequented the Malabar coast centuries ago. Some swear by the tale of Mumtaz Mahal, the wife of Shah Jahan, who looking at the deplorable health conditions of her soldiers, ordered the cooks to equip the soldiers with a balanced diet, i.e. a dish made with meat and rice, flavoured with spices and saffron, and slow-cooked for long hours over wood fire.
No Lucknowi or Hyderabadi banquet meal would complete without the biryani. However why should the non-vegetarians have all the fun?! Paneer is something that has always come to the rescue of the vegetarian clan all along. Including paneer in one’s diet is a good way to stock up on protein, especially for vegetarians, and to cut down on cravings as it ensures a sense of fullness after a few portions.
Chef Sanjeev Kapoor prepares his version of the biryani, veggie-style – with Tata Sampann Paneer Masala to the rescue.
Tata Sampann Paneer Masala has been crafted especially by Sanjeev Kapoor, so you can rest assured that your flavours are in the right hands
- 3 tsp Tata Sampann Paneer Masala
- 250 gms cottage cheese (paneer) cubes
- 3 cups cooked rice
- 3 tbsp. ghee
- ½ tsp caraway seeds (kala jeera)
- 2 medium onions
- 1 tbsp. ginger-garlic paste
- 2 green chillies
- 3/4 cup tomato puree
- ¼ cup yoghurt
- 12-16 cauliflower florets
- 1 medium carrot
- 8-10 French beans
- 1/2 cup green peas
- 1 cup browned onions
- I tsp rose water
- 1 tbsp. saffron milk
- 12-16 fresh mint leaves
- Add 2 tbsp. of ghee, ½ tsp caraway seeds and 2 medium onions to a cookpot. Stir-cook well.
- To that mixture, add 1 tbsp. ginger-garlic paste and 2 green chilies to the mixture. Cook further.
- Add ¾ cup tomato puree and ¼ cup yoghurt, and bring to a boil.
- Add 12-16 cauliflower florets. Mix well.
- Add 1 medium carrot (sliced), 8-10 French beans and 1/2 cup green peas, and mix further.
- Add salt to taste. And add ¾ cup water. Stir, cover and boil.
- Add 3 tsp of Tata Sampann Paneer Masala.
- Add 250 gms paneer cubes. ½ cup browned onions and 3 cups of cooked rice.
- Add I tsp rose water, 1 tbsp. saffron milk, 12-15 fresh mint leaves, 2 tbsp. browned onions and 1 tbsp. ghee. Cover, cook till fully done.
- Garnish with mint leaves and browned onions.
- Serve hot.
Have you tried adding a special twist to the traditional Diwali recipes? Share your recipe with us in the comments.
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