Chef Pankaj shares his Veg Biryani recipe

The staple of many wedding parties and late night snacks, biryani is an essential part of Indian cuisine. There’s a reasonable chance you’ll find the dish on the menu of any restaurant across India, with some differences in preparation methods and ingredients. Biryanis are popular in Hyderabad, Kashmir, Kolkata and Lucknow (Awadhi). History records that biryani, originally Persian, was a staple in Mughal cuisines, with cooks incorporating regional flavors to create their variations.

However, the Awadhi cuisine, which flourished under the rule of the nawabs, differs from its cousin Mughlai in terms of cooking methods and other small aspects. For example, it is known for its subtle and delicate flavors rather than its spicy and intense notes. Chicken biryani, chicken korma, galawati kebab, mutton korma, shami kebab and other dishes are common components of an Awadhi buffet. The vegetarian version is equally delicious if you follow a plant-based diet or want to stop eating meat. Chef Pankaj Bhadouria, the first ever winner of Masterchef India, is the perfect person to help you cook it.

Pankaj Bhadouria, a successful teacher and enthusiastic home cook, believes that creations that emphasize creativity, slow cooking methods, thoughtfulness and affection can never let him down. This may partly explain why she received a ton of support on MasterChef India, the country’s first reality TV cooking competition. Even better? She eventually prevailed and is currently crowned as India’s first MasterChef.

chef pankaj/ Instagram- masterchefpankajbhadouria

She takes part in a dizzying array of events daily, including TV shows, Instagram reels, YouTube videos, restaurant debuts, and more! The result? A whopping 1.1 million (10 lakh) Instagram followers, 904,000 YouTube subscribers and 5 million (50 lakh) Facebook fans. On her social media profiles, you can find a variety of deliciously helpful cooking tips, mouth-watering recipes, and a selection of fun, easy-to-prepare treats made in kettles and other inventive appliances.

However, traditional soul food dishes like vegetable upma, momos and butter chicken continue to receive positive reviews. Her vegetarian biryani recipe is no exception; this is a result of his long time spent in Lucknow. She adds that biryani was her all-time favourite. Although Awadhi food is generally non-vegetarian, several vegetarian dishes are just as appetizing, such as vegetable tehri, tali bhindi ka salan or Awadhi arbi ka korma. She goes on to say that the most distinctive feature of this dish is that it is slow-cooked, a method that preserves flavors and aromas, and is enhanced with rose water and kewra, as well as chili flakes and of black pepper. When the lid is lifted, it often results in a divine scent that fills the whole house. In addition, it is the easiest to prepare if you plan to receive your friends and family. Up to six people can be served in about 40 minutes of preparation and cooking.

Ingredients

1., 400g basmati rice

2. 7 tablespoons of ghee

3. 2 large onions (sliced)

4. 1 teaspoon black cumin seeds

5. 8 cloves

6. * 1 inch cinnamon sticks

7. 1 whole piece of mace

8. ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg

9. 3 tablespoons ginger paste

10. 3 tablespoons garlic paste

11. 100 g shelled peas

12. 100g baby potatoes

13. 100 g small cauliflower

14. 100 g green beans (cut into 1 inch pieces)

15. 100 g carrots (cut diagonally)

16. salt to taste

17. 1 teaspoon black pepper powder

18. ½ cup yogurt

19. 4 black cardamom

20. 4 green cardamoms

21. 2 bay leaves

22. ½ fresh mint leaves (finely chopped)

23. a few drops of rose water

24. a few drops of pine water

25. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

26. wheat flour (to seal the dish)

Bourani

1. 250 g yoghurt, 5-6 garlic cloves (crushed)

2. ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp chili flakes

Method

1. After washing, let the rice soak in water for 30 minutes. Heat 4 tablespoons of ghee during this time.

2. Fry sliced ​​onions in batches until golden brown.

3. Drain them on absorbent paper after removing them with a slotted spoon.

4. Cook half the black cumin seeds in a pan until they start to sizzle.

5. Sauté until aromatic, then stir in two cloves, a cinnamon stick, half the mace, nutmeg and peppercorns.

6. Stir in the ginger and garlic pastes and cook for one minute. After adding salt, pepper and vegetables, this should be sautéed for two minutes over low heat.

7. Cook this mixture, adding the yoghurt, salt and pepper, until all the vegetables are almost tender.

8. Pour eight cups of water and two teaspoons of boiling salt into a separate large saucepan.

9. Place the remaining cloves, cinnamon sticks, mace, black cumin, and two green and black cardamoms in a small packet on a piece of muslin. Add the packet to the water.

10. To give it time to infuse, cook over low heat for 20 minutes.

11. After draining it, add the rice to the pan and heat. Remove the pan from the heat, then strain.

12. Store filtered water. The rice is prepared by adding the remaining ghee and stirring.

13. Spread half the rice on the bottom of a heavy-bottomed heatproof casserole dish before assembling your biryani.

14. On top, scatter a layer of chopped mint and vegetables. The onion that has been fried is placed on the remaining rice.

15. Dot rice with unsalted butter and drizzle with rose and pine water. After that, seal the dough by adding a cup of preserved filtered water and covering it with a lid.

16. After that, place it on a hot griddle and simmer until steam starts to come out. Remove it from the heat and let it sit for a while.

17. Yogurt should be strained and smoothed while waiting. Mix the remaining ingredients.