Saturday, 10 January 2015

Methi Matar Biryani~ A vegetarian biryani with a difference

Methi Matar Biryani simple but delicious Biryani

Methi Matar Biryani

This week in the blogging marathon I am taking you on a food trail in Biryani, Vegetarian Biryani!  This time I am  trying to improvise on these recipes which are basically  loved at home, but the" something different" that is wanted can be, hopefully addressed with these delicious  offerings.

When I was researching for paella and Biryani the theme that I have chosen this week I began my search with Wikipedia (I start there and end there.) I have discovered many many more that will find their way to the table hopefully soon….

Here is what I gathered…

Biryani the much love Indian dish has its origins shrouded in mystery.

Biryani’s origins are generally attributed to Mughals and Muslim traders. But there is one theory that says that there are references to a “fried rice ´aromatic with spices in the ancient texts such as Yagnavalkya Smriti and was enjoyed by the ruling class. Traditional Bengali cuisine also steams fish in the method that is now known as “dum “in an earthen pot.

So what is the Difference between Biryani and Pulao?

According to Wikipedia,”Pulao is another mixed rice dish popular in Indian cuisine. Although some of its varieties are associated with Persian influence in north India, it is also mentioned in ancient Indian texts such as Yagnavalkya Smriti. Opinions differ on the differences between pulao and Biryani, and whether there is a difference between the two at all.

According to the British-era author Abdul Halim Sharar, the Biryani has a stronger taste of curried rice due to a higher amount of spices. Pratibha Karan states that while the terms are often applied arbitrarily, the main distinction is that a Biryani comprises two layers of rice with a layer of meat (or vegetables) in the middle; the pulao is not layered. According to Holly Shaffer, based on her observations in Lucknow, in pulao, the rice and meat are cooked separately and then mixed before the dum cooking; in Biryani, the soaked rice is fried and then cooked with the meat and stronger spices.”

There are two kinds of Biryani : Kacchi or raw Biryani and Pakki or cooked Biryani!

Wait I do not expect you to eat the Biryani raw it’s just that in the  kacchi  Biryani  raw marinated meat is layered with raw rice before being cooked together. The pot is usually sealed (typically with wheat dough) to allow cooking in its own steam and not opened till ready to serve.

In pakki Biryani the cooked meat and cooked rice are layered.  

 A non-vegetarian Biryani may be made with chicken, mutton and sea food among types of meat.

 So how do the vegetarians enjoy Biryani?  We cook with vegetables like cauliflower, carrots, peas etc, rice, and masala. Ovo vegetarians will love egg Biryani.

However according to Sanjeev Kapoor, the Chef,” Though it is more common to link up any biryani with meat or chicken, it is a great revelation that Indian veg recipes, or Indian biryani veg recipes are not uncommon at all.

Let us see why and how. Vegetables add their beautiful flavour to aromatic rice and with a variety of spices and sometimes with a drizzle of fragrant ghee, a lovely dish is turned out. There are many variations and we will very quickly go through a simple one here.”

Here are some of the Biryani that I have made in the past.

 But do  join me in the feast that is to follow the next 3 days in my place.

This was the last biryani I made, I did not expect anyone to like this Biryani as it has methi and mattar or fenugreek leaves and green peas, two ingredients not much appreciated

The original recipe called for corn kernels that are boiled but as I did not have them in hand I used the green peas. 

Did I say I did not expect anyone to like this Biryani? Yes, I did not but it was so very loved as the aroma of the spices used are is so delicious I completely forgot to use the fried onion.

These pics are taken in the night so I need to remake the recipe again to share better pictures.

Methi Matar Biryani

Methi Matar Biryani

Methi Matar Biryani

Recipe Source:  Adapted from Here
  • 1   cup basmati rice
  • ½ tblspn ghee
  • ¼ tsp jeera
  • 1 bay leaf
  •  1 masala elichi/black cardamom
  • 1 ½ cup water
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 onions, sliced fine
  • Oil to fry

To make a paste:
  • 2 onions, diced
  • ½ cup coconut, grated
  • 1   inch ginger
  • 10 garlic cloves
  • 1 green chilli
  • 1 tsp sauf /fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp khus khus/ poppy seeds
  • 2 laung/cloves
  • 3-4 kali mirich/pepper
  •  ½ tsp dhania/coriander   powder
  • ½ tsp jeera /cumin powder
  • A pinch of shahi jeera

Other Ingredients:
  • 1 tblspn oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  •  1 masala elichi/black cardamom
  • ¼ tsp jeera
  • 1 tomato, pureed
  • ¼ cup curd/yogurt, whipped
  • 1 cup green peas
  • ½ cup methi/fenugreek leaves
  • Salt to taste

  • Wash and drain the rice on a kitchen towel.
  • Heat the ghee in a thick bottomed pan and sauté till fragrant the jeera, bay leaf, masala elichi.
  • Stir fry the washed rice till you get a nice aroma.
  • Add the water and the salt.
  • Cook the rice.
  •  Fry two sliced onions and set aside. 
  •  Make a paste of ingredients under make a paste.
  •  Heat in a thick-bottomed kadhai/wok and sauté till fragrant the ground paste and sauté till golden brown.
  • Add the tomato puree and sauté till the oil oozes out.
  • Add   yogurt, salt, ½ cup chopped fenugreek leaves and peas   and mix well. 

To assemble the biryani:
  • Spread half the cooked rice in a layer in a thick-bottomed pan.
  • Spread half the fenugreek-peas mixture.
  • Repeat the layers once more and top with the fried onions.
  • Cover the pan with aluminium foil and place it on a hot tawa.
  • Cook over low heat for about ten minutes. 
  • Serve hot with raita. 

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  1. Such a detailed explanation and love the aromatic biriyani! That is a very cute carves tomato flower on the top :)

  2. Sounds very interesting. .I normally make methi mattar combo ..and I guess I really don't have to work much for trying this delicious recipe.

  3. That is a unique combination of vegetables for a biryani. The masala sounds flavorful.

  4. Lovely Biryani..Love the tomato rose in the picture!

  5. This Briyani looks yum. The methi will add more flavor and taste to it.

  6. Methi mattar sounds interesting. Great way add greens in our food

  7. Scrumptious biryani archana!!! I can almost feel the aroma of that ground masalahere!! Lip-smacking!! ;)

  8. Archana, I enjoyed your intro and looking fwd to read the vegetarian biryanis..I love making Biryanis and love the fact that you are going to bring so many version to the table..

  9. That tomato rose gives a beautiful touch toi this very flavourful briyani, inviting dish definitely.

  10. That seems like one aromatic biryani, going by the list of ingredients.

  11. Delicious biryani....Beautiful presentation!!!

  12. Lovely combo-methi and mattar! And the dish sounds so delicious Archana....

  13. Delicious biryani Archana. Love all the flavors in there.


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