This recipe is for those of my friends who have chosen a vegetarian diet. I do believe that it is a healthier choice. However, I do love my meats and try to cook them sparingly.
This recipe is pretty much like the one for Hyderabadi Dum Biryani, but in place of meat or chicken, I have used the chickpeas. In my efforts to cook healthier food, I have been excluding red meat lately. This Biryani lets you enjoy the elegant taste of the Dum Biryani even without the meat. I have not made it in the oven as I usually do and instead cooked it on a stove top. If you plan ahead of time and prepare some ingredients a day in advance, you will need less than 20 minutes to layer the rice and the chickpea mixture and put it on the stove.
- Rice-3 cups
- Chickpeas-2 cups( cooked with a pinch of baking soda until soft but not mushy and the water completely absorbed)
- Salt-to taste
- Red pepper powder-2tsps
- Turmeric powder-1 tsp
- Garam masala powder-1 tbs
- Ginger-garlic paste-2 tbs
- Oil1/2-1 cup
- Onions-2 large finely sliced
- Yogurt-1 1/2 cup
- Fresh mint leaves-1/2 cup
- Cilantro - 1/2 cup
- Water- 1 gallon to boil rice
- Saffron strands1/2 tap
- Milk-1/4 cup
- Whole spices(cloves, cinnamon sticks and cardamom$
1. Heat oil in a pan and fry onions until they turn crispy and golden brown. Remove the fried onions with a slotted spoon and spread them on a paper towel.
2.Heat the milk with saffron strands for a minute an set aside to let the strands release color.
3.Wash and Soak rice for 30 minutes at least( the longer the better) in a big pot, bring water
4.In a big bowl, put the cooked chickpeas, put the ginger-garlic paste, salt, turmeric powder, red
pepper powder, garam masala powder, chopped cilantro, mint, fried onions and yogurt. Mix with a spoon very gently and make sure all the ingredients coat the chickpeas.
5. In a large pot, bring water to a boil and add salt, and whole spices followed by the soaked rice. Let cook on high heat for a couple minutes and when the rice is 50% cooked, turn off the stove and drain all the water using a colander.
6. In the pot that was used to boil the rice, pour a tbs of oil and add half the drained rice.
7. The add the chickpeas and with the help of a spoon, spread it all over the first layer of rice. Then, pour the remaining rice over the chickpeas.
8.Pour the oil from the fried onions with a spoon all over the rice.
9. Sprinkle the saffron infused milk. Secure the mouth of the pot with an aluminum foil.
10. Place a tight fitting lid on the foil and cook on medium heat for ten minutes.
11. Carefully lift a small part of the foil and Check if the steam is escaping from through the gap. If it is, turn the pot off and serve hot. Enjoy!