Moti biryani (vegetable)

Biryani is made in many forms and is popular all over the world. There is no particular restriction on the way you could go about making it. Some people love the mild flavors of specific spices coating very tenderly to the rice grains while others want the flavors amalgamated to make a spicy biryani, that leaves a buttery or creamy rich taste.
I made a large portion for an office potluck. You can use the proportions to make your quantity. But the essence is really how we use the spices and what techniques we used.

Ingredients (for 15 people / servings)
600 gm Basmati Rice (highest quality)
600 gm Cauliflower (separated in florets)
500 gm green peas
250 gm carrots (chopped in thin strips about 1.5” long)
200 gms French beans (chopped in slants)
6 medium sized onions (thinly sliced)
8 large tomatoes (thinly sliced)
200 gms capsicum (thinly sliced, deseeded)
1 cup butter/oil
4 tspn red chilli powder
4 tspn garam masala
4 tspn coriander-cumin powder
3-4 Bay leaves
2 Black Cardamom (badi ilaichi)
1 tspn cloves
1 tspn black pepper
4 tspn garlic paste
4 tspn ginger paste
1 cup curd
1 inch cinnamon
1 bunch of fresh mint leaves
salt to taste

for moti
250 gms paneer
1 tbsp cornflour
salt to taste
for garnishing6 medium onions finely chopped
saffron water (saffron soaked in warm milk or water)
few drops green food color
few drops of red/ yellow food color
100 gm cashews
crushed paneer
Oil to fry
1) Wash the rice under tap water and set it aside for twenty minutes.
2) Boil the cauliflower in salt water to clean it , run it under tap water.
3) In a large pan, boil twice the amount of water as the rice (6 cups rice – 12 cups water). Add a spoonful of butter/ ghee, salt, 1 bay leaf, 1 black cardamom and ½ tspn of curd). Add the rice and reduce the flame and cover it. Let it cook for 10-12 min.
4) In a another wok, heat oil, add the remaining bay leaves, black cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, pepper and sauté.
5) Add the ginger garlic paste, onions and sauté until the onions are soft and well cooked.
6) Add the tomatoes and fry again, when they are cooked, add the garam masala, red chilli powder, salt, coriander – cumin powder and sauté again.
7) Add the French beans, green peas , carrots and sauté until they are partially cooked.
8) Add cauliflower and sauté for 5 more minutes.
9) Add capsicum and sauté for 2 more minutes.
10) Add curd and mix in well. Add a few sprigs of pudina at this stage.
11) Meanwhile, divide the cooked rice in 3 parts, 2 parts of about 1 cup cooked rice each and the remaining rice as the 3rd part. Add green color to one cup and red/yellow color to another. Mix with a fork and set aside.
12) Now, mash the paneer, add cornflour and salt and make tiny balls to resemble the size of a pearl.
13) Deep fry these paneer balls and set aside.
14) Prepare the garnish, deep fry the onions until they are brown and crispy, cashews until they are golden.
15) Grease the bottom of the large vessel with oil, lay some uncooked raw onion slices on the bottom as first layer.
16) Lay some plain rice on it to cover all the onions, sprinkle some garam masala, butter, fried onions, cashes, mint leaves on top.
17) Lay the vegetable gravy to cover all the rice (avoid pouring any liquid gravy at this stage , save it for the higher levels.
18) Repeat this until you use all the rice and vegetable gravy. For one the layers, also add some of the paneer balls but save most of it for the top most layer.
19) The final layer should be of rice. When done, make a pattern of colored rice, sprinkle some saffron water in cross shape. Garnish with paneer balls (moti) , crushed paneer,fried onions, cashews and mint leaves.
20) Seal using a foil paper and pop in over for 10 min at 160 c or on low gas stove for 10 min.
Serve with curd or raita


Chef Mireille said…
what I hate about most veggie biryanis is that they usually include eggplant and I HATE eggplant. This is one I would eat, so I have to try it.
Priya Suresh said…
Incredible briyani,looks super flavourful and delicious..
Gayathri Kumar said…
The paneer pearls are so cute. Awesome biryani...
veena said…
wow!!1love those cute paneer balls...very cute
Jayashree said…
The "moti" adds to the appeal of the dish.
Suma Gandlur said…
Incredible post Pradnya. I know it is hard to capture the colorful layers but would have loved to see those. :)
Rajani said…
First time I am seeing "moti" in a biryani and they look awesome. Very nice and very different looking biryani

Popular Posts