Instead of making the usual biryani I've tried before, I decided to opt for a Pakistani Biryani recipe. Living in Malaysia, I'm fortunate to have a substantial number of Pakistanis residing nearby, and they are always willing to share their culinary secrets. I took inspiration from their recipe and added a vegetarian twist to it, creating a delightful version of the dish. To complete the meal, I also prepared two or three complementary dishes.
To simplify the process, as I always prefer, I relied on my trusty rice cooker even for this intricate dish. Now, let's dive into the recipe and discover the flavorsome world of homemade Pakistani Biryani.
Vegetarian Pakistani Biryani Recipe:
2 green chillies, sliced
4 shallots, sliced
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste
Spice mixture (1 bay leaf, 1 star anise, 4 cloves, 2 cinnamon sticks, and 4 cardamom pods - lightly crushed)
2 pinches of saffron strands (soaked in 2 tbsp of hot water)
2 tbsp roasted almonds (roughly pounded)
2 tbsp ghee
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
2 cups Pusa Super Long Basmati rice (washed and rinsed)
1 and a half cups thick coconut milk
3 cups water
Salt, as needed
Heat the rice cooker, and once heated, add the sliced shallots. Sweat them until they become translucent.
Add the ginger paste, garlic paste, spices, and sliced green chillies to the rice cooker. Stir and cook for 1-2 minutes until the spices release their aroma.
Now, add the washed and rinsed Basmati rice to the rice cooker. Stir gently to combine the rice with the spices.
Pour in the thick coconut milk and water, and give it a good stir. Add salt according to your taste preference.
Once the rice is cooked, add the soaked saffron strands, and gently mix in the frozen mixed vegetables.
Using a chopstick or a fork, swirl the vegetables into the rice, ensuring they are evenly distributed.
Before serving, sprinkle the roughly pounded roasted almonds on top of the biryani for added flavor and texture.