Paneer Makhani Biryani / Buttered Cottage Cheese Biryani

Amaze your tastebuds with this mouthwatering one pot meal that is super delicious, full of flavors & goodness of the paneer that will make you crave for more!

Basmati rice – 1 cup
Paneer – 2 cups, cut into small cubes
Onion – 2 medium, thinly sliced
Ginger-garlic paste – 1 tsp
Tomato puree- 1/2 cup
Bay leaves -2
Cardamom- 3 pods
Cloves- 3
Mace -1
Cinnamon stick-1
Tandoori Masala – 2 tsp
Turmeric powder – ½tsp
Red chili powder- 1 tsp
Cumin seeds- ½tsp
Coriander powder- 1 tsp
Cream- 1/4 cup
Cashews – 10-12 pieces, roasted
Cilantro – A small bunch, finely chopped
Dried fenugreek leaves/kasoori methi- 1 tbsp
Fried onions-1/2 cup
Ghee/clarified butter- As needed
Salt – To taste
Water – As needed

Method: Rinse the rice and soak for 30 mins. Marinate the paneer cubes with half of the tandoori masala, turmeric powder, and salt. Keep it aside for 30 mins. Heat 1 tbsp ghee oil in a heavy bottom pan. Add the whole spices and fry for 1-2 mins until fragrant. Add the drained rice and fry for 2 mins, taking care not to burn the rice, stirring frequently to avoid sticking to the pan. Add 2 cups of water and cook the rice until the water is absorbed and rice is almost cooked. Remove from flame and keep aside.

Heat 3 tbsp of ghee in a large pan. Add the paneer cubes and fry till they are golden brown on all sides, taking care not to overcook the
paneer. Drain them onto a plate and keep aside. In the same pan, splutter cumin seeds. Add the onions and sauté until translucent. Add the green chilies and ginger-garlic paste. Fry for 1-2 mins. Add the remaining tandoori masala, turmeric powder, coriander powder, red chili powder, & salt. Add the tomato puree and mix well. Cook until the oil starts to separate. Add the fried paneer along with the cream and kasoori methi and gently mix well. Cover and simmer for 5 mins.

Smear the biryani pot generously with ghee. Add in half of paneer
gravy and top with some fried onions. Layer it with half of the cooked rice. Sprinkle some coriander leaves. Repeat the process with the remaining rice and gravy. Finally garnish with roasted cashews, fried onions, and coriander leaves. Sprinkle some ghee over it. Cover the pot tightly and cook on low flame for 10-15 mins. Remove from flame. Serve hot with raita and enjoy!

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