Re posting this recipe after making some changes and additions to improve the recipe. I hope you will try this Vegan recipe
Yesterday’s cooking session went on a different route than our usual Thali . Our guests from the USA wanted to have a biryani, and since I am only doing Vegetarian Meals, I had just the perfect Veggie Version of our National Favorite ‘Biryani’
I have been longing to do it in our cooking sessions and wondered who would request for a Biryani Class. A Veg Biryani can have many ingredients to fewer, it all depends on your personal liking. For eg. you can loads of diced vegetable but I feel the vegetables are too tender and not ideal for a slow cooking method. Also, I feel as Biryani is authentically a Mutton dish, paying it a proper respect in terms of aesthetics is very important. And the ingredient that comes closer in texture to Red meat is Jackfruit – Kathal . A vegetable (for us Indians it is a vegetable) that is abundant in India, all the way from North to South and East to West. You will find recipes in Goa to Chennai, Kerala to Kashmir. The flavor is awesome and it gives the perfect aesthetic beauty to the Green Sister of Biryani . The following recipe is Vegetarian and not Vegan as there is abundance of Pure Ghee. Though our Vegan guests can substitute Pure Cow milk ghee to the Vegetable Ghee or just use a good quality vegetable oil (not olive, as the flavors will clash). I don’t have many pictures of the steps as it was done in a class, but I have tried to explain to my best the instructions. Lets gather the ingredients. (portion of Two) .
The recipe is in two stages, preparation of the core ingredients and then layering of the Biryani. The recipe written down is strictly in the Order of Steps. It will help you utilize the time to its perfect.
8 Hand fulls of Biryani Rice (portion for 4 pax)
2 large onions
Fresh Jack-fruit cut into large chunks.
Fresh unflavored natural yogurt
Biryani Masala mix
whole spices: bay leaves, cardamoms, black pepper, whole cinnamon
oil / ghee
Saffron and fresh milk
Rose essence or Kewra essence
salt, chilli pepper powder
- Unripe Jackfruit 1/2 kg diced roughly, large chunks (fresh not canned)
- Ginger Garlic Paste 2 tbsp
- Roasted cumin powder 1 tsp
- Natural Yogurt 2 cups
- Ground spices – 2 tsp Red Chilli Powder, Salt
- 1 Tbsp of Mustard oil (optional)
Take the pieces of the Jack fruit in a mixing bowl.
Add all the powdered spices, BIRYANI MIX, salt and massage well
Add ginger garlic paste, massage the pieces
Add Yogurt and again incorporate it well
Add mustard oil and mix gently and let the marination sit in the refrigerator till we are finishing other Steps
Heat oil in a pan
Fine Slice lengthwise onions.
Fry onions to brown color
Drain and spread the fried onions to keep them crisp. Spreading on a paper will cool them instantly and keep them crisp.
Also take 2 cups of wheat flour and water to make a sticky dough. This will be used to seal the Biryani Handi.
Soak 1 tsp of Saffron in 1 cup of lukewarm milk. Set aside to be used later
Soak Biryani Rice in cold water (its different from basmati, and it retains its shape even after long cooking time)
Boil 4-5 cups of water with whole spices – 4 Cardamom, 4 bay leaves, 2 sticks of cinnamon, black pepper, cloves. This will be a base stock for the Rice.
Boil for a couple of minutes. Drain the soaked rice, add in the boiling water.
Add 1 tsp salt, 1 tbsp of Ghee/oil and cook the rice for around 6-7 minutes till the rice is done just done. Careful not to overcook the rice
Drain immediately in a colander and carefully pick as many whole spices as you can.
Final step is layering and sealing the pan. The shape and heaviness of the pan is very important. I use a Handi it is best for slow cooked dishes.
But any heavy bottom pan, preferably not a frying pan, is fine for the cooking.
- Heat Handi, add 1 tbsp Ghee/ oil
- Drain the Jack fruit pieces from the marinade and add it to the hot pan
- Cook on a very low heat for a couple of minutes. till you achieve a browning.
- Once the Jack Fruit is looking brown and partially coked, add the marinade
- Cook slowly to cook the sauce.
- Do not over cook, we don’t want to make it dry. The sauce is important.
- Turn off the heat.
- Add half of the fried onion and half mint leaves.
- Layer the rice over the onions.
- Now finish rest of the onions and chopped mint leaves
- Carefully pour Saffron Milk on the inside walls of the pan.
- Pour 1 tbsp warm Ghee (optional step)
- sprinkle some Rose water or Kewra Water.
- Roll the dough like a sausage from STEP 1 and stick the dough on the edges of the pan dish and seal the lid tightly.
- Heat a Iron griddle pan or a Tawa
Put the sealed handi on it and set a timer for 10 minutes. keep the heat medium to low
Once the timer is off, let the handi sit for another 10 minutes without heat.
Open the lid when you are ready to serve. Scoop out the rice while reaching to the bottom of the pan. and serve in a rice plate. Garnish with more fresh coriander and mint leaves
Enjoy with fresh salad, Cucumber Raita !