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Makhani Paneer Biryani

The word ‘paneer’is of Persian origin. The Turkish word ‘peynir’, the Persian, Azerbaijani and Armenian word‘panir’are all derived from ‘paneer’. They refer to any type of cheese.

Paneer is a good source of protein especially for vegetarians who do not get their intake from meat products. Paneer, made from cow's milk, contains protein, minerals carbohydrates, calcium and magnesium.

In this recipe, paneer is cooked with tomatoes, spices and some cream to make a lip-smacking curry that is layered with basmati rice and then cooked to make an awesome tasting biryani that is sure to woo anyone.

 Enjoy preparing this delicious and creamy paneer biryani.

Ingredients

For the Rice Layer:

  • Basmati Rice – 1cup
  • Bay Leaf – 1
  • Cardamom pods – 3
  • Cloves – 3
  • Cinnamon stick – 1" piece
  • Water – 1½cups
  • Salt – to taste

For the Makhani Paneer Layer:

  • Paneer – 1cup, cubed
  • Onion – 1 medium, chopped
  • Ginger-garlic paste – 1tsp
  • Tomato puree – 1cup
  • Cardamom pods – 3
  • Cloves – 3
  • Mace – 1
  • Cinnamon stick – 1" piece
  • Ground cumin – ½tsp
  • Ground coriander – ½tsp
  • Tandoori masala – 1tsp
  • Turmeric powder – ½tsp
  • Almond/ Cashew – 25 (soak in milk for 1 hr)
  • Cream/ whole milk – ¼cup
  • Salt – to taste
  • Fried onions – ½cup ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Method:​​​​​​​

For the Rice​​​​​​​

Layer:

  • Rinse the rice and soak it for at least 30 minutes.
  • Heat 2 tsp oil in a Panasonic Rice Cooker, add the whole spices and once they start to get fragrant add the drained rice and fry for 2 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent it from sticking to the cooker.
  • Next add water and salt. Cover it and cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until the water is absorbed and the rice is about 90%- 95% cooked.

For the Makhni Paneer Layer:

  • Heat 2tbsp oil and 1tbsp ghee in a large non-stick pan, gently add the paneer pieces and fry until they are lightly brown on all sides. Remove the paneer and set it aside on a plate.
  • In the same pan, add all the whole spices and once they get aromatic, add the onions, green chilies and ginger-garlic paste. Sauté it on a medium flame until the onions turn lightly browned.
  • Add turmeric, ground cumin, coriander, tandoori masala and salt. Fry it for 1 minute.
  • Next add the tomato puree, mix it well. Cover it and cook for 7-10 minutes.
  • In a blender, mix the soaked almond and cream into a paste.
  • Stir in the almond paste and cream. Mix well and add the fried paneer.
  • Cover it and let it simmer for 6-8 minutes.
  • The makhni layer is ready.

To Assemble: 

  • Spread ⅓rd of the rice on the bottom of the Panasonic Biryani Cooker, then top it with ½ of the makhni layer.
  • Sprinkle ½ of the toasted nuts, fried onions and chopped herbs. 
  • Repeat the layers with the rice and makhni layer. Top the makhni layer with the remaining ⅓rd of the rice and sprinkle the top with ½ of the toasted nuts, fried onions and chopped herbs.
  • Cover the cooker with a lid and cook for 15-18 minutes or until the rice is completely cooked.

Serve with raita and enjoy!!