The biryani essentials - fragrant rice and deep, complex spice - ensure this vegetarian biryani will satisfy any spicy biryani lover. Beyond meat meatballs replace the animal protein making this a healthy recreation of a classic South Asian dish.
1/4cupfinely chopped fresh mint and coriander leaves
1/2cupfinely chopped fresh mint and coriander leaves
Peel and dice the onions into thin but long pieces.
Sauté over a low heat in a skillet until caramelised and golden, about 30 minutes.
Soak the saffron in the warm water for 30 to 60 minutes.
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Combine all the ingredients and mix well.
Form into 15-20 golfball sized meatballs.
Bring a skillet up to a medium heat and add a Tbsp ghee or vegetable oil.
Brown the meatballs in the skillet.
Rinse the rice in a strainer under cold running water until the water flows clear.
Pour the 3L of water into a large heavy based saucepan.
Add the oil, spices, and salt.
Bring the water to a boil.
Add the rice and bring back up to a boil.
Cook for 4 - 5 minutes. The rice should be 3/4 cooked - still a little firm in the middle. Check at 4 minutes.
Drain and set aside.
Heat the ghee in large heavy based saucepan or dutch oven.
Fry the diced onions until golden brown.
Add the whole spices - the cumin seeds, green and black cardamon seeds, cloves, peppercorns, and cinnamon stick. Allow to sizzle in the oil for a minute or two.
Add the crushed garlic, diced green chillies, and grated ginger and stir in, cooking for another minute or two.
Add the diced tomatoes, salt, and 50 ml water. Stir.
Add the powdered spices - the chilli powder, paprika, garam masala, coriander powder, turmeric, and ground nutmeg. Stir to combine.
Cook until the tomato pieces break down and the masala spice mixture has merged into the mix - about 15 minutes.
Add the yogurt and herbs and mix thoroughly. Cook for a minute or two.
Add the meatballs to the gravy, stir to coat, and gently simmer for 20 minutes.
Remove from the heat.
Assembling the biryani
Spread half of the cooked rice over the meatballs and gravy.
Distribute half of the chopped mint and coriander, and half of the fried onions, over the rice.
Spread the rest of the cooked rice over the herbs and onions.
Drizzle the saffron water over the rice.
Top the rice with the remaining herbs and fried onions.
Dot cubes of butter around the rice.
Cover with a tight fitting lid and put over a medium-low heat.
As soon as you see steam turn the heat down to low and cook for 30 minutes. If the heat is too high, it will burn. Alternatively, if you are using a suitable cooking vessel, cook in a 180 degC oven for 30 minutes.
Remove from heat and rest with the lid on for 10 minutes.