Paneer Biryani – it’s like the perfect marriage where you get the best of both worlds!
Paneer is what a vegeterian’s dreams are made of! It is a fresh cheese common in the Indian subcontinent. It is an unaged, non-melting soft cheese made by curdling milk with a fruit- or vegetable-derived acid, such as lemon juice.
Biryani is a mixed rice dish with its origins in the Indian subcontinent. It can be compared to mixing a curry, later combining it with semi-cooked rice separately. An ideal biryani is layered, but in today’s busy world, it’s just as fine to make it not by layering!
So here’s what you need to put together this yummy dish!
- 2 cups long grain basmati rice, soaked in warm water
- 2 tablespoons of oil
- 1 tablespoon of ghee
- A handful of cashew nuts and raisins
- 1 large onion thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2 big cardamom
- 4 cloves
- 8 whole black pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 small cinnamon stick
- 2 star anise
- 1/2 cup mixed vegetables
- 1 tomato diced
- 4 small potatoes diced
- 1/2 cup tri-colored bell pepper chopped into 1 strips
- 1/4 cup corn
- 1 cup paneer cubed into 1/2 inch cubes, I used the fried ones, they do not get chewy
- 1/2 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
- 1/2 cup soya nutri-nuggets soaked in hot water
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder
- 2 green chilly split in half
- 2 heaped teaspoons garam masala
- Salt to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh mint chopped
- 1/2 cup cilantro chopped
- Rinse and soak the rice in 2 cups of warm water for 20 minutes. Drain water after 20 mins. Also soak the fried paneer (I used Nanak’s fried paneer cubes) and the soy nutri nuggets in hot water.
- Set the Instant Pot to Saute mode and heat 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the cashew nuts and raisins and cook till they are little brown and raisins have swelled up. Take out and keep aside.
- Now put in saboot garam masale (whole spices) into it and let it cook for 1 minute. Then add sliced red onions along with ginger garlic paste and cook for 5-7 minutes or until the onions are lightly browned.
- Now add little bit of Ghee and all the veggies you want to use – I used mixed vegetables, tri colored bell pepper, squeezed (get the water out) soy nutri nuggets and diced potatoes along with fried Paneer.
- Once the veggies are semi cooked, add the spices – turmeric, red chili powder, garam masala, dhaniya powder and salt to waste – mix well.
- Add rice and salt to taste. Add 2.5 cups of water. Mix well, making sure most of the rice is under water.
- Close the Instant Pot with pressure valve to sealing. Select Manual/Pressure Cook on high and adjust the cook time to 6 minutes. Quick release the steam, open and take it out in the serving dish of your choice. Garnish with cashew nuts, raisins, mint and cilantro. Enjoy with Raita.
Until next time, stay satisfied!