Vegetarian Paneer Biryani

Easy Vegetarian Paneer Biryani using Shan Butter Chicken Spices.

Vegetarian Paneer Biryani by Safiya
  1. Wash the rice under running water until the rice water runs clear. Soak the rice in the water and set it aside.
  2. Fry half of the sliced onions in 1/4 cup oil until golden brown and set it aside for garnish or just buy ready-made non-coated onions to save yourself time and oil 😉.
  3. Soak saffron into 2 tbsp hot water and set it aside.
  4. Cut the paneer into 1/2 inch cubes or however you like.
  5. Heat 1/4 cup oil in a large wok or pan with a thick bottom on medium heat. Fry paneer in hot oil until golden brown. Don’t burn it though 😁.
  6. Remove the paneer on a plate and set it aside.
  7. Add half of the cardamom pods, half of the peppercorn, 1 cinnamon stick, and bay leaves and cumin seeds to the oil we fried paneer with. Saute for a few seconds then add half of the thinly sliced onions. Cook onions until golden brown.
  8. Now add chopped tomatoes and cook them until tomatoes soften. Add bell pepper and sautee it for a few seconds then add Shan Butter Chicken Masala. Stir and mix the spices well.
  9. Now add fried paneer to the tomatoes and mix gently until the paneer is well coated. Turn off the heat and set the paneer curry aside to cool down.
  10. Meanwhile, Bring 6 to 8 cups of water to a boil in a large pan on high heat. Add remaining whole spices, green chilies, a generous squeeze of lemon juice, I like to add a tsp of oil or ghee to the boiling water but it’s completely optional and salt to taste.
  11. Add rice to the boiling water and let it cook until rice is aldente or just cooked but still a bit firm on medium heat. It shouldn’t take more than just a few minutes to cook the rice so stick around the pan to prevent overcooking 😁.
  12. Drain the rice in a colander and set it aside.
  13. Whisk yogurt. Add yogurt, heavy cream, cilantro, mint, and half of the fried onions. Mix it gently. Now layer the rice on top of the paneer curry. Top it off with browned onions and drizzle the saffron water evenly on rice. Drizzle the oil from fried onions on top of the rice.
  14. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and cover it with a pan lid. Bake the biryani on low heat for 25 to 30 minutes with a tick bottom skillet under the biryani pan to prevent burning.
  15. Serve it immediately with yogurt Raita.