I absolutely love making this dish for my friends and when they heard that i had recently started doing a food blog they were really excited and a lot of dishes started surfacing which they loved and would like that i put on my blog, the unanimous number one dish which they felt that should be put was this biryani. This dish is perfect for vegetarians and can give any lamb biryani a run for its money. This is one of my favourite recipes that i have made countless times.I meet all my friends once a week (as they all are working and are extremely busy with their office) usually for a nice lunch or brunch or if its a saturday evening we go out for drinks and dinner but what these girls love the most is sitting at home and eating home cooked food made by my hand. The dish requires a bit of an effort but the results are great, its enticing and delectable, bold and exciting at the same time.
FOR THE MUSHROOMS
500g mushrooms, cleaned and sliced thickly
200g yogurt( it should be slightly sour)
4 tbsp vegetable oil
3 onions, finely chopped
3 tsp grated ginger
10 cloves of garlic, peeled and grated
1tsp chilli powder
2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
1 tsp cumin powder
a big fat pinch of turmeric powder
salt, to taste
2 tbsp double cream
FOR THE RICE
4 tbsp ghee or unsalted butter
4 green cardamom pods
1 cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
3 cups basmati rice, well washed, then soaked for 20 minutes
good fat pinch of saffron strands, soaked in 2 tbsp hot milk
250g puff pastry
plain flour, to dust
1/2 tsp dried fenugreek leaves
salt, to taste
1 egg, beaten
Heat the oil in a large non-stick saucepan.Add the finely chopped onions and cook until slightly golden on the edges. Add the ginger and garlic and cook gently for around a minute. Blend together tomatoes and yogurt until smooth and add to the saucepan stir and cook for five minutes stirring occasionally then add the coriander powder, garam masala, cumin, turmeric and chilli powder. Cook this mixture until it becomes a thick paste and releases oil back into the pan, continue cooking for a couple of more minutes this will add a lot of depth to your masala.
Add the sliced mushrooms and cook for five minutes they will release their water stir and cover the pan cook for eight to ten minutes ( let it simmer gently but keep stirring it of and on ) or until the whole thing comes together. Add the cream and cook for five to seven more minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning, the sauce should be like thick cream. Take off the heat and keep aside.
For the rice, heat the ghee or unsalted butter in a large saucepan. Add the whole spices and let them sizzle for a few seconds now add the drained rice and stir gently. Add boiling water accordingly and season with salt according to your taste. Bring to the boil, then cover with a lid and cook on low heat until rice is just done. Take off the heat.
Preheat the oven to 180 degree centigrade. Find a suitable dish that is both ovenproof and table worthy.Layer half the rice in the dish, drizzle a bit of the saffron milk then spoon all the mushrooms evenly over it. Cover the mushrooms with another layer of rice, drizzle over the saffron milk. Roll out the pastry on a floured surface to fit the dish, sprinkle with fenugreek leaves and a little salt lift the pastry over the dish, sealing the edges and trimming away excess. Brush with egg. Bake for thirty minutes, or until the pastry is golden and cooked all the way through.
Serve with raita and perhaps a salad on the side.