Afghani style Potato, green peas and Methi greens Biryani

2015-05-20 11.32.34

I arrived at this recipe whilst trying to make a simplified one pot rice meal, which ended up not really as a simplified version, but definitely oozing with great flavours.

The goal was to use the homegrown fenugreek leaves from our kitchen garden, my little mans first ever attempt at growing anything in the kitchen garden – Methi leaves or Fenugreek leaves. Just during the day we had harvested a big bundle of these little fellows, which we had been growing in our garden for over a month – our little home based science project.

In Indian households, we frequesntly use both the fenugreek seeds and the greens in various food preparation. Fenugreek is a plant and the seeds & leaves well known to have great medicinal value. The word “Fenugreek” has its origin from the Latin language, and refers to “Greek Hay”.

The leaves carry a bitter taste, but when used correctly greatly enhances the flavour of the dish.

Ingredients –

  • Basmati rice as per your requirement – washed and presoaked for 30mins

  • Salt as per taste

  • 1 tsp Apple cider vinegar or lemon juice

  • ½ tsp of butter or ghee

  • sufficient water to cook the rice

  • 1 big bunch Fenugreek leaves, cleaned and choped fine

  • 2 tbsp of finely chopped mint.

  • 1 tbsp parsley finely chopped ( optional )

  • A handful of raisins and cashews ( optional )

  • 1 tsp of warm milk & a pinch of saffron thread s ( optional )

  • 2 tbsp cooking oil or ghee

  • 1 medium size potato, peeled and chopped into bite sized pieces

  • ½ cup green peas ( fresh or frozen )

  • 2 medium onions sliced thinly

  • 2 tomatoes chopped into big pieces

  • 2 cloves of garlic chopped

  • 2 small green chillies, sliced ( optional, basis your heat preferance )

  • 3 cloves

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1 star anisee

  • 1 cup plain yoghurt ( set or greek )

  • salt to taste

How to make it –

  1. Cook the basmati rice along with the souring agent ie ACV or lemon juice, salt and butter till its 90% done.

  2. In a heated heavy bottomed pan with ghee or cooking oil fry the garlic to brown and slot it out & keep it separate.

  3. In the same pan with remaing oil, caramelise the sliced onions & garlice along with cashews and raisins if using and remove aside for garnish.

  4. Use half of this onions and tomatoes to make a paste. Keep it aside.

  5. In the same pan in which the onions were browned, add the cloves, bayleaves and star anise and saute until the flavours are released. Add parsley if using at this point.

  6. Add slit green chillies and the methi greens, and saute until the leaves soften.

  7. Pour the onion tomato paste, green peas and saute well until the oil separates.

  8. Take the pan off heat and stir in the beaten yoghurt , mint leaves & salt and return back to low heat with the lid on for about 3 – 4 mins. It should still have some liquid left in the mixture. Remove half of this to another container.

  9. Now start layering the rice on top of the masala mixture and repeat .

  10. Mix the warmed spoonful of milk with saffron and our this scattered into the biryani to add colour to your biryani.

  11. Turn the heat to minimum low and leave it with the lid on for 5-7 mins ie cook on dum. ENSURE it doesnt catch at the bottom.

  12. Serve with the caramelised onion, garlic, cashew, raisins mixture on top.

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