Lucknowi Biryani/ Awadh Special Biryani
I have neverbeen to Uttar Pradesh, but the food always tells a lot of stories, especially the awadhi cuisine which unlike the rest of the UP state talks tons about its glorious past. The influence of moghlai cuisine is apparent but from what I have tasted in awadhi cuisine it is very subtle flavored. It is meant to had when you have no one waiting for you at the other end of the lunch or dinner hour. It expects complete surrendering of soul and palette to be enjoyed.
2 cups long grained basmati rice
2 tspn ginger garlic paste
1 tspn turmeric powder
1 tspn red chilli powder (optional)
2 onions finely sliced
2 tomatoes finely chopped
1 cup mixed vegetables (cauliflower, french beans, green peas, carrots)
1 large potato cut into chips (like french fries)
1 cup paneer cubes
1/2 cup yogurt
1/4 fresh mint leaves
10-15 cashew nuts whole
1 pinch of saffron mixed with milk
salt to taste
1 inch cinnamon stick
3 tspn cumin seeds
1 tspn fennel seeds
3 tspn coriander seeds
1 tspn pepper corns
2 star anise
2 Black cardamom
6 green cardamom
1) Soak the washed rice in water for 10 min and then drain the water and set aside
2) Cook the rice using little less than 4 cups of water. Add salt and ghee while cooking. Also, if your rice does not separate out normally then add a spoonful of curd while cooking
3) Set the rice aside to cool
4) Dry roast all the masalas individually until they release fragrance, cool it down and grind to a fine powder.
5) In a pan, heat some oil/ ghee, add onions and ginger garlic paste and saute it until onions are pink
6) Add the tomatoes and saute. Add the rest of the vegetables.
7) Add 2 tspn of the ground masala along with turmeric and salt
8) Let the vegetables cook, add water if required. When the vegetables are almost done, add 2 tbsp of curd and mix well. Let it cool down
9) In a frying pan, heat oil. Deep fry, cashews, paneer cubes and potato chips one after the other to form crispy golden toppings
10) In a large deep pan, place a layer of onions to form a bed. Sprinkle some garam masala and salt
11) Next put half of the rice, sprinkle with garam masala, crushed pudina leaves and half of the soaked saffron milk
12) Now cover the rice with the vegetable gravy. Put half of the paneer cubes.
13) Cover this layer with the remaining rice.
14) Finally sprinkle on the top little more garam masala, rest of the pudina, cashews, potato chips, coriander and saffron soaked milk.
15) Cover this with a large lid and let it cook for 15 min on low flame , so that the flavors mix together.
Serve the biryani by vertically picking up using a large handle
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