Chholay Biryani

March 31st, 2007

1 ½ cups Basmati rice, 1 cup chickpeas (kabuli chana), 2 tbsp tea leaves, salt to taste, 5 to 6 green cardamoms, 2 to 3 bay leaves, 2 to 3 cloves
1 ½ cups skimmed milk yoghurt, 1 tsp ginger paste, 1 inch ginger, cut into thin strips, ½ cup fresh mint leaves, 1 tsp green chilli paste, 1 tsp red chilli powder, 1 tsp garam masala powder, 1 tsp ginger garlic paste, a few strands of saffron, 1 tbsp skimmed milk, a few drops of kewra water, ¼ cup fresh coriander leaves, chopped

Soak kabuli chana overnight or for six hours in 4 cups water. Drain and pressure cook in 4 cups of fresh water with salt and tea leaves tied inside a piece of muslin cloth, till tender. Remove the muslin cloth bag and drain chickpeas. Marinate boiled chickpeas in yoghurt, ginger paste, ginger strips, half the mint leaves, green chilli paste, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, garam masala powder and garlic paste. Soak rice in three cups of water for about half an hour. Drain. Boil four cups of water in a deep pan with salt, green cardamoms, bay leaves and cloves. Add rice and cook till half done. Drain. Dissolve saffron in warm milk and mix in kewra water.

Place the marinated chickpeas in a deep non-stick pan. Spread cooked rice over the chickpeas evenly. Sprinkle the dissolved saffron and half the coriander leaves over the rice. Cover the pan tightly and cook on low heat for fifteen minutes or till rice is done. Serve hot, garnished with remaining coriander and mint leaves.
You can use chole masala to add more flavour to the Biryani.

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