Vegetable Biryani I
- 3 large onions, sliced
- 4 tbsp butter or clarified butter
- 6 chili peppers, crushed into a paste or 2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 x 2-inch piece of fresh ginger
- 10 cloves garlic
- ½ cup dry lentils, pre-soaked
- ½ lb fresh green peas, shelled
- ½ lb carrots, chopped
- ½ lb green beans, chopped
- 3 large tomatoes, chopped
- 6 whole cloves
- 1 x 4-inch stick of cinnamon
- 6 cardamom pods, crushed
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 3 sprigs of fresh mint or ½ tsp dried mint leaves, pounded
- 2 cups long-grain white rice (Basmati is a good choice), uncooked
- 6 large potatoes, chopped into large chunks
- 1 - 2 tsp salt
- In a large, heavy skillet or stew pot, fry the onions in butter until they are golden brown. With a slotted spoon, remove about 1/3 of the slices and set aside. Add to the pot the ginger, garlic and chile paste, and fry for 5 or 6 minutes, stirring constantly. Then add the Lentils, green peas, carrots and green beans. Reduce heat and cook for 15 minutes, adding more butter, or a bit of oil, if necessary.
- Add tomatoes, spices and mint, and stir for 5 minutes. Then pour in about a cup of hot water, cover, and simmer until vegetables are about half cooked. Add rice, potatoes, salt, and another 4 - 5 cups of hot water (use the lesser amount if your vegetables have created quite a bit of liquid). Cover again, and cook for another 20 – 30 minutes until rice is done and water is absorbed.
- To serve, garnish with the reserved Onion slices, and pass around a bowl of yogurt as a sauce.