Melanie's Tossed Vegetable Biryani

Melanie's Tossed Vegetable Biryani
This is the second time I made Vegetable biryani for my vegetarian son in less than 2 weeks. The first time he said ‘Mom that was so was so awesome, next time please make a big pot, I can eat it every day’. I must say it was better than the first time, I added cauliflower (not included in Eshana’s recipe which I’m leaving as is).
Ingredients:
4 cups rice (boiled in salted turmeric water until half done)
150g butter
3 tablespoons cooking oil
1 teaspoon whole soomph
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon whole jeera seeds
1 tablespoon ginger/garlic
1 cup green beans (cut into 2 inch pieces)
1 cup carrots (cut into 3 mm circles)
1 cup cabbage (roughly chopped into chunks)
½ cup peas
1 cup gadra beans (par boiled)
½ cup double beans (par boiled)
1 cup masoor dhal (par boiled in salted water)
3 tablespoons chilli powder
2 tablespoons dhunia/jeera powder
2 tablespoons crushed dried red chilli flakes
1 tablespoon gharum masala
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
Salt to taste
2 large onions (finely sliced)
1 sachet tomato paste
3 large tomatoes (ground together with the green chillies)
4 potatoes (peeled, quartered, sprinkled with salt and egg yellow and par cooked in the microwave until half done)
3 green chillies (ground with tomatoes)
1 cup sour milk or yoghurt
½ cup fresh cream (optional)
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
2 pinches saffron (optional)
3 sprigs curry leaves
Chopped dhunia to garnish
To roast:
1 tablespoon whole jeera seeds
+1 tablespoon whole dhunia seeds
2 cinnamon sticks
4 whole cloves
3 elachi pods (seeds only)
Method:
Roast 1 tablespoon whole jeera, 1 tablespoon whole dhunia seeds, seeds from 3 elachi pods, 2 cinnamon sticks, 4 cloves and when cool, grind in a masala grinder.
Soak the saffron in a little hot (not boiling) water.
You can fry the potatoes if you prefer.
Heat butter and oil, add 1 teaspoon whole jeera seeds, bay leaf and soomph.
When you get the aroma of the frying seeds, add the onion and fry until golden brown. Add the ginger/garlic and fry a further 20 seconds.
Add the tomatoes and tomato sachet, together with the spices (chilli powder, dhunia/jeera powder, pepper, chilli flakes, gharum masala, ground roasted spices and turmeric powder).
Leave to simmer on low heat until it starts to catch at the bottom of the pot.
Now add the vegetables, together with the vinegar, sugar, salt, sour milk, fresh cream and infused saffron water.
Stir well and leave to simmer until vegetables half-cooked.
Add the rice, masoor, curry leaves and the potatoes, toss well.
Add 2 cups of boiling water.
Stir and leave to steam in the oven for 1 hour, tossing at intervals.
Recipe Credit : Eshana Suleman
Vagaar:
1 large onion (finely sliced)
1 sprig curry leaves
1 teaspoon whole jeera seeds
50g butter
1 tablespoon oil
Method:
Heat oil and butter, add the rest of the ingredients and fry until onions golden brown.
Spread evenly over the cooked vegetable biryani.
Top with chopped dhunia and serve with curried brinjal dhal and salads/pickles.
Note:
If using basmati rice, give it one boil and strain and follow recipe as above.
Use a good quality long grained basmati rice or you will be left with a very mushy pot of biryani.
Recipe Credit : Eshana Suleman
Prepared, tried and tested by: Melanie Kramar 
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