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Indian Tricolor Biryani (Tiranga Biryani) - a family meal
The Indian Biryani
Biryani refers to a set of rice-based foods made with spices, rice (usually basmati) and vegetables. It is also made with meats. The name of the dish has been derived from the Persian word for 'fried' or 'roasted'. The dish originated from Persia (modern-day Iran). Travel was responsible for the dish arriving to the Indian sub-continent. Once in India, the Biryani underwent transformations and metamorphoses to evolve into a mind-blowing variety.
Newer versions are evolving even as we read this! The Tricolor Biryani or Tiranga Biryani is a special recipe developed by my father. He has cooking experience of more than 40 years and that shows in the taste and looks of this awesome rice dish. It needs patient efforts to make it, of course, but the results are richly rewarding. And so, if you love cooking and have a holiday at hand, here is something that you can conjure up. (Trust me, once you make it, anyone who eats it will consider you a magician!)
I remember serving this to a person who exclaimed,
"If I knew that vegetarian food could be so tasty, I would never have tried to even taste non-vegetarian food!"
That speaks a lot about this Biryani.
Here is the step-by-step recipe and instructions as told by my father. Note that you will need a masala or cooking-spices mix called paneer-butter-masala mix which is easily available in India. I don't know of its availability in other countries.
- 500 grams Basmati rice
- 100 grams Green String Beans, chopped into 0.5-inch pieces
- 100 grams Carrots, chopped lengthwise into 0.5-inch pieces
- 100 grams Fresh Green Peas
- 100 grams Frozen Yellow sweet corn
- 200 grams Cauliflowers, chopped into 0.5-inch florets
- 200 grams Potatoes, chopped into 0.5-inch cuboids
- 100 grams Red Tomatoes, chopped into 0.25-inch pieces
- 200 grams Onions, chopped finely
- 250 grams Spinach, chopped finely
- 4 numbers Green hot peppers, chopped finely
- 75 grams Paneer Butter Masala, (obtained under various brands like Mother's Recipe)
- 1 teaspoon (4 grams) Cinnamon powder
- 4 numbers Cloves
- 1 teaspoon (4 grams) Coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon (4 grams) Cumin powder (Jeera powder)
- 2 teaspoons (8 grams) Red-chilly powder
- 1 teaspoon (4 grams) Turmeric powder
- 200 grams Curds, (ensure it has not soured)
- 200 grams Green Peppers (Bell peppers), chopped into 0.5-inch pieces
- 3 teaspoons (12 grams) Coconut, grated
- 2 teaspoons Ghee
- 5 teaspoons Sunflower oil, refined
- 1 teaspoon Turmeric
- To taste Salt
- 3 teaspoons Cumin seeds
The Spinach rice
The Cauliflower-Potato rice
The Vegetables rice
The penultimate stage
A triple delight!
- Wash the Basmati rice thoroughly. Add equal measure of water and half teaspoon of ghee. Cook the rice in the cooker. Once the rice is ready, spread it on a plate to cool it. Divide it into three equal parts.
- Now we shall prepare the Spinach rice. Cook the spinach and green hot chillies in about 100 ml water. This will take about 5 minutes. Grind the cooked spinach and chillies to paste with the grated coconut.
- Add a teaspoon of ghee in a frying pan and heat. Add the cloves and saute till it sputters. Next, add the cinnamon powder and the ground spinach paste. Toss in the ghee for about a minute. Add about 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt (to taste). Mix this homogeneously with one part of the cooked rice.
- Next we prepare the potato and cauliflower rice. Boil the potato and cauliflower pieces with 1 teaspoon each of salt and turmeric. Once the cauliflower and potato pieces are soft and cooked (about 10-12 minutes), drain the water.
- Add 3 teaspoons of sunflower oil in a frying pan. Add 1 teaspoon cumin and heat till it sputters. Add tomatoes and fry for about 3 minutes. Next, add the boiled potatoes and cauliflowers. Fry for a further 5 minutes. Add 3 teaspoons of salt (to taste). Also add the coriander powder, a teaspoon of cumin powder, a teaspoon of red-chilly powder and 15 grams of the paneer-butter-masala mix. Mix well and then mix it with the 2nd part of the rice.
- We will finally make the vegetable rice part of the recipe. Boil the green string beans, carrots, green peas and yellow sweet corn till soft(about 15 minutes). Drain the excess water.
- Add two teaspoons of sunflower oil in the frying pan and add 1 teaspoon of cumin till it sputters. Add the yogurt and heat till it boils. Add the remaining 60 grams of paneer-butter-masala mix. Mix well and then add the remaining vegetables. Add salt to taste and mix this with the third part of the cooked rice.
- In a microwave-worthy bowl, add the lower layer of potato-cauliflower rice. Pack well and then top it with the spinach rice. Pack it well and add the final layer of vegetable rice. Heat it in the microwave before serving. Cut through the layers while serving.
Ready to dig in?
|Serving size: 250 grams|
|Calories from Fat||27|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 3 g||5%|
|Saturated fat 2 g||10%|
|Unsaturated fat 1 g|
|Carbohydrates 30 g||10%|
|Sugar 5 g|
|Fiber 4 g||16%|
|Protein 6 g||12%|
|Cholesterol 30 mg||10%|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|