Omani Biryani / Paneer Biryani

Each home has their own Biryani recipe, and the Omanis have picked theirs delectably using local flavors, no tomatoes, no curds plenty of masalas and local dry fruits. The one that is popular is made using chicken but I replaced it with Paneer.

This almost disappeared in minutes since I made it...I personally loved it.

2 cups Basmati Rice, wash and soaked in water
1 cup paneer cubes
2 medium size potatoes peeled and cubed
2 onions finely chopped
2 onions pureeed
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste

3 green cardamom
2-3 bay leaf
1 large black cardamom,
3-4 cloves
1 star anise
1/2 inch cinnamon 
1 tspn black pepper 
1 small piece of nutmeg
2 tspn lemon juice
2 tspn coriander powder
1 tspn cumin seeds powder
1 tspn red chilli powder
1 tspn turmeric powder

1 tbsp dried plums
1 tbsp almonds
1 tspn pistachios
1 tbsp black raisins
1/2 tbsp raisins

salt to taste
2 tbsp Oil
2 tbsp Clarified Butter/ Ghee

for garnishing
1 medium onion finely sliced
1 hard boiled egg
1 tspn saffron soaked in milk

1) Cook the rice using 4 cups water, salt and a tspn of ghee. Cook until it is long and almost 3/4th done. Strain the water, add more oil or ghee and set aside
2) In a pan, heat the remaining oil and ghee together. Add the black cardamom and one green cardamom and 1 bay leaf
3) Add the chopped onions and saute.
4) Meanwhile, in another pan dry roast, the remaining cardamoms, bay leaves, cloves, pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, star anise for a minute. Blend them to a semi coarse powder.
5) To the pan, where onions are being sauteed add the ginger garlic paste. Saute until it is dry.
6) Next add the onion puree and saute more.
7) Now add the potatoes and saute it. until it is cooked. 
8) Add the dry roasted masala powder, red chilli and turmeric and saute until the oil is separated.
9) Add the dry fruits, plums, raisins, almonds and pistachios and saute.
10) When the potatoes are cooked, add the lemon juice.
11) Now add the paneer pieces and gently cook it. Add salt and mix. The gravy will be slightly thicker than normal biryani.
12) Cover this with the semi cooked rice and put a lid on top
13) After 5-6 min, the rice should be cooked completely. Sprinkle a bit of water if required - This is not required when using chicken, but since paneer is slightly dry you may need to sprinkle some water .
14 ) In another pan, heat some oil, fry the onion slices, no need to caramelize, just need to soften it, remove and then fry the hard boiled egg slices 
15) Garnish the rice with onion slices, boiled egg, mint and lemon wedge and serve with Yogurt mixed with mint and salt.

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Usha said…
You are doing a wonderful recreating veg recipes from non veg recipes. Paneer biryani looks delicious
Beautifully presented. Star anise, cloves, nutmeg.. the aroma of these spices must have been awesome! I will try this version.
The Biryani sounds so delicious and full of book mark list is increasing day by day.
Harini R said…
The spices make this very flavorful!
Padmajha said…
The ingredient list is long but I am sure it was very flavorful.Nice that you used Paneer...

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