Thalappakatti paneer biriyani
To make the biriyani masala :
- 1 large Bay leaf
- 5 no.s cardamom pods
- 10 no.s cloves
- 1 piece javitri
- 6-8 cashews
- 5 no.s 1 inch pieces Cinnamon stick
- 2 generous pinch Kalpasi or stone flower
To make onion paste :
- 2 large Onions
- 6 no.s Green chillis
- 4-5 large Garlic
- 3 large coins Ginger
To make biriyani:
- 100 ml Oil
- 2.5 cups Zeeraga samba rice / kaima rice
- 3.75 cups Water
- 200 GMs Paneer
- 1 handful Mint leaves
- 1 large handful Corriander leaves
- 4-5 tbsp Yoghurt
- 1 tsp Red chilli powder
- 1 tsp Corriander powder
- 1 tsp Cumin powder
- Salt to taste
- 34 tbsp Ghee
- 1/2 Lemon juice
- Take A high speed blender and add all the ingredients mentioned under to make biriyani masala and grind to a smooth powder, Remove and keep aside
- Add the ingredients under 'to make onion paste' (onions, green chilli, ginger and garlic) and grind it to a coarse paste
- Wash the zeeraga samba rice several times until the water runs clear and measure and add the water in to it and let it soak.
- Heat a pressure cooker, add oil and ghee (2 tbsp), Once hot add the ground onion, green chilli and ginger garlic paste .
- Sauté on medium heat, add some salt and cook until the onions slightly turn brown .
- Add the prepared biriyani masala and mix it in. Cook until the masala and the onion paste cooks and oil begins to bubble on the surface.
- Add yoghurt, Corriander, mint leaves, and mix together and cook for 5 mins.
- Add red chilli powder, Corriander powder, cumin powder and mix it in. Cook until oil separates on the sides and the masala base turns darker in shade.
- Add the paneer cubes and mix it in. Cook for 5 mins until the paneer pices absorb all the flavours.
- Measure and add the water which was used to soak the rice water to the pressure cooker.
- Bring it to a boil, add the soaked rice and stir it in a few times.
- Check for salt and add more if needed.
- Squeeze the lemon juice. Close the pressure cooker and pressure cook for 1 whistle on medium flame.
- Turn the flame to low and cook for 10-15 mins on low.
- Turn off the flame after 10 mins. Allow the pressure to release, gently open the lid and fluff the rice from the sides.
- Add the remaining ghee on top and cover and let it sit for 20 mins before serving.
- Serve hot with raitha.
You can replace with basmati rice, but this tastes better with the short grained zeeraga samba rice. The nutmeg and stone flower adds a unique flavour to this regional style of biriyani don’t skip it. Zeeraga samba rice tastes great in ghee rice or zeera rice.