For me, weekends mean more time in the kitchen to fulfill everyone’s demands to eat their favorite dishes. Moreover, my son is a real foodie and ever since he has gone to live in a hostel and is not served good food, he pulls the emotional blackmailing card. Hence, I have to make whatever he asks for. This Sunday, he demanded South Indian food and I started with Idli-sambhar. While the sambhar was being cooked, an idea struck my mind and I decided to go with it. This led to the making of “Madrasi Veg Biryani”!!!
Stepwise Pictorial Description of Madrasi Veg Biryani
Wash and soak 1 cup of basmati rice for ½ an hour.Boil rice in 3 cups of water till half cooked. Drain excess water and let it cool down. The rice should not be sticky. Sometimes water remains at the bottom of the strainer and rice grains become sticky. To avoid that after draining water, keep the strainer on a kitchen towel or napkin so that cloth absorbs any remaining water.
Chop all the vegetables and keep them ready.
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds, bay leaves and star anise and sauté for a minute.
Add onion, ginger, garlic and fry till onion gets caramelized to medium brown and raw smell goes off.
Stir in all the vegetables and cook till these get softened. If you like crunchiness in the vegetables then cook for lesser time.
Add well beaten curd and cook further till masala leaves the oil.
Add turmeric powder, chili powder, sambar masala, coconut powder and salt. Stir the masala well and cook for another minute. Keep it aside.
Take 1 teaspoon of oil in a pan. Heat oil and add mustard seeds. Once these start spluttering, add curry leaves and fry for a minute.
Now everything is ready. So, next is arranging rice and vegetables for making biryani. Take a heat proof bowl. Place a layer of rice at the bottom, then spread a layer of cooked vegetables on the rice layer. Arrange another layer of rice followed by vegetable layer.
Spread curry leaf tadka on the top layer. Add few drops of yellow food color.
Cover the bowl with foil paper and cook it for 20 minutes in preheated oven at 180oC.
Serve hot with raita.