Chef Varun Inamdar's simple, fragrant one-pot Paneer Dum Biryani makes for a vibrant midweek meal.
Dig into it with raita, kachumber and a dab of mango pickle.
Paneer Dum Biryani
- 2 cups basmati rice, parboiled
- ½ cup walnut halves
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 cup cubed paneer
- ½ cup fried onions
- 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
- ½ cup yoghurt
- ½ cup walnut milk
- ½ cup sliced tomatoes
- Salt to taste
- ½ cup water
Dry spice mix
- ½-inch stick dalcheeni or cinnamon
- 1 tbsp red chilly powder
- Pinch kesar or saffron
- 1 tsp haldi or turmeric powder
- 1 tsp green elaichi or cardamom seeds
- ½ tsp laung or cloves
- 1 tbsp dhania or coriander seeds
- 1 tsp peppercorns
- ½ tsp jeera or cumin seeds
- ½ tsp fennel seeds
For the garnish
- Dried rose petals
- Green dhania or coriander or cilantro leaves
- In a blender grind the dry spices to a fine powder.
- In a large saucepan whisk the yoghurt and the walnut milk till lump free.
Add the spice mix, fried onions, ginger-garlic paste, tomato slices, salt.
Add the paneer cubes, walnut halves.
Add 1 cup water and cook over medium heat.
Top with the parboiled rice.
Drizzle in the oil.
Garnish with the rose petals, coriander leaves.
Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 20 minutes.
Fluff with a fork and serve up with kachumber or raita, pickle and papad.
Note: A dash of ghee might be a tasty addition and a sprinkling of fried onions or birasta.
Vegans or those on a low-cal diet can swap the 1 cup paneer with 1 cup cauliflower florets. Also vegans should use vegan yoghurt, made by several brands in India.
Those on a diabetic diet, should substitute the rice with quinoa or pearl barley or millets.
If following a Jain diet, skip the onions.
Varun Inamdar is a chef, food stylist and chocolatier.