For Muslim Food Bloggers group challenge, this month's theme is " Biriyani". As we all know, Biriyani is one of the most popular and delicious rice dish. Even though meat based biriyanis are more common, I have chosen a vegetarian based biriyani using white chickpeas...For this biriyani, rice and masala are cooked separately and then layered and cooked on low flame (Dum).
For Chana Masala:
3/4 cup chana/ white chickpeas/ vella kadala
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 piece ginger
8 garlic cloves
5-6 green chillies
1 large tomato, chopped
3/4 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp garam masala
1/4 cup thick coconut milk
1/4 cup chopped coriander leaves
1/4 cup chopped mint leaves
3 small cinnamon sticks
2 bay leaves
salt to taste
2 tbsp oil
2 cups basmati rice
3- 3 1/2 cups water
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 cinnamon sticks
2 tbsp ghee
1 medium onion, thinly sliced and fried
2 tbsp fried cashew nuts
2 tbsp fried raisins
few chopped coriander leaves and mint leaves
For Preparing Chana Masala:
- Soak the chickpeas/ chana in water for 8 hours. Wash and pressure cook it with a pinch of turmeric powder, 1"piece cinnamon, 1 cardamom and 2 cloves adding enough water and salt.
- Once the pressure releases, open the cooker and drain the water and reserve it to use while preparing masala.
- Grind ginger, garlic and green chillies together to a coarse paste and keep it aside.
- Heat 2 tbsp oil in a thick bottomed pan and add 3 cardamoms, 6 cloves, 2 piece cinnamon and 2 bay leaves and saute until nice aroma comes out.
- Add sliced onion and saute until it turns transparent.
- Add ginger-garlic-green chillies paste and saute well until onion turns light brown.
- Then add turmeric powder, chilli powder, coriander powder and 1 1/2 tsp garam masala and saute for few seconds until the raw smell disappears. Sprinkle little water, if required to prevent them from burning.
- Add chopped tomatoes and saute until they turn mushy and oil separates.
- Add the cooked chickpeas, coconut milk and 1/2 cup reserved water in which chickpeas is cooked and mix well.
- Cook for few minutes until the gravy thickens. Add the chopped coriander leaves and mint leaves and mix well.
- Check for salt and add if required and switch off the flame.
- Soak the rice in water for 30 minutes. Wash and drain the rice and keep it aside.
- Boil the water and keep it aside.
- Heat ghee in a thick bottomed pan, add cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and sliced onion and saute till transparent.
- Add drained rice and saute for 4-5 minutes on medium flame. Add boiling water and salt, cover and cook on low flame till rice is done.
- Fry 1 sliced onion, cashew nuts and raisins in oil/ ghee till brown and keep it aside
- Take a wide thick bottomed pan and rub it with little ghee and sprinkle little fried onions, cashew nuts, raisins and chopped coriander and mint leaves.
- Spread a layer of cooked rice and then add half of the prepared chana masala.
- Now add another layer of rice over masala, followed by the chana masala.
- Add the remaining rice as a top layer and sprinkle remaining fried onions, raisins, cashew nuts, 1/2 tsp garam masala and chopped coriander leaves on top.
- Cover the pan with an aluminium foil and close with a tight lid and cook on low flame for 15-20 minutes.
- Switch off the flame and serve hot with raita , pappadum and pickle...