09 July 2008

Biryani (Vegetable Rice)

This dish is amazingly aromatic! The spices that are used are simply delicious...my entire house smelled of Indian food last night and it was so yummy! I suppose you can change the vegetables used if you are not a big fan of tomatoes, peas and carrots...but the onion is a must have in this dish. If you don't like spicy food, then this dish is not for you (although, I do believe you can control the heat by skipping red or black pepper). I skipped the potato in my rice because I forgot to buy one at the market.

Note: The recipe calls for a spice mix (which is homemade) called Garam Masala. To make this spice mix you take whole uncooked spices, brown them stove top and grind them. I found a Curry spice at a local market that has everything Garam Masala has for a lot cheaper than buying whole spices and easier than cooking and grinding them myself (yeah, I'm lazy like that). Here is a picture of the Curry spice I used:

2 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter)
1 onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice (red or yellow onion)
1/2 teaspoon cumin seed
1 tablespoon garlic
1 tomato, diced
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup peas
1/2 cup diced carrot
1/2 cup diced potato
1 cube chicken bouillon
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground red chile pepper
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
4 cups water
2 cups basmati rice, rinsed and drained

Melt ghee in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir Garam Masala; cook until the spices are fragrant, and the cumin seeds begin to pop, about 3 minutes.

Stir in garlic, tomatoes, and 1/2 cup water. Bring to a simmer, and cook until the water has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Stir in peas, carrot, and potato. Season with chicken bouillon, salt, red chile, black pepper, and turmeric. Stir well, then cover, and cook for 3 minutes.

Pour in 4 cups water and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, stir in basmati rice, reduce heat to medium, recover, and simmer for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low and continue to cook until the rice has softened, 10 to 15 minutes more.

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