The Festival of Lights is upon us! In celebration of Diwali, we’ve partnered with some of the best Indian restaurants across town to give you a special 20% discount from 9th -22nd October. All you have to do is download our app and you’re on your way to your favorite fiery meal!If you end up opting for a night in or end up entertaining guests, Sandy Thethy from The Taste Safari shares her delicious Pea & Mushroom layered saffron biryani. Her twist to this recipe is the gorgeous, soft, rich homemade paneer which gives it a completely di erent texture. Give this recipe a go for a really impressive vegetarian celebration dish!
2 litres fresh milk
1 teaspoon citric acid
1 cup fresh garden peas
1 punnet mushrooms, cut into very small quarters
1 cup tomato juice
1 cup rice, washed
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1⁄2 teaspoon turmeric
1⁄2 teaspoon garam masala
3⁄4 teaspoon fresh green chilli
1 teaspoon finely minced ginger
1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
1 bunch coriander finely chopped
1 cup of finely chopped leeks
3⁄4 teaspoon salt
1 cup cream
1⁄2 cup milk
Saffron strands (a pinch)
2 cups boiling water
3 tablespoon ghee
1 red onion
Separate Mix for the Rice:
3⁄4 teaspoon cardamom powder
1⁄2 teaspoon mixed spice
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon tandoori masala
Rice: Heat a wide pan over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon ghee and heat until hot but not smoking. Add the rice and swirl through the pan ensuring all the grains get coated. Add the two cups of boiling water, cover, reduce the heat and let this cook for at least 25 minutes. Set aside once tender cooked.
Paneer: Bring the milk to a boil then add the citric acid to make it curdle. Place a muslin cloth over a colander and drain the milk so that soft curds remain. Leave for at least 10 minutes then gently break it up with your ngers into small little lumps. To complete the paneer lling, heat a wide pan over a low- medium heat. Add the cumin seeds until they are just spluttering and crackling, then add your minced ginger, garlic and nely chopped leeks. Add the mushrooms. Stir these around until the leeks and mushrooms just begin to soften.
Add your paneer and stir into this mixture, cooking for a few minutes. Now add the tomato juice, cumin and coriander powder, garam masala, green chilli, salt, turmeric and half of the fresh coriander. Stir fry for 3-4 minutes, then add your garden peas, combining well. Heat your oven to 200 degrees centigrade.
Gently break up the rice using using your ngers and softly fold through the separate spices for the rice, distributing the avor throughout. After this, combine the cream, milk and saffron strands – letting these infuse through the creamy mixture.
It’s finally time to layer your biryani. Line an oven proof dish with butter. Start with a layer of rice then follow with a layer of the paneer mix. Add another layer of rice and then spoon over at least 3 tablespoons of the saffron cream mixture. Repeat this once again finishing with a layer of rice. Spoon over any remaining saffron cream mix. Cover very tightly with foil and place into the oven to bake for 50 minutes.
Fry a thinly sliced onion in 1 tablespoon of ghee until golden brown and beginning to crisp. Sprinkle over the top along with the remaining fresh coriander. Serve piping hot with a lovely, chilled, home made Raita.