Preparation Time: 15 min. Cooking Time: 1 hour. Serves 4-6
2½ cups of Basmati Rice
1½ cups Whole Moong (Whole Green Gram)
2 Medium Onions Finely Chopped
250 grams Tomato Passata
1 cup Fresh Tomato Puree
2 tbsp Ginger Paste
2 tbsp Oil
1-Inch Cinnamon Stick
4 Green Cardamom Pods
¼ tsp Black Peppercorns
2 tsp Cumin Seeds
¼ tsp Asafoetida (Hing)
2 tsp Turmeric Powder
1½ tsp Red Chilli Powder
1 tbsp Garam Masala Powder
1 tbsp Jaggery
Salt to taste
¼ tsp Saffron Threads
2½ tbsp Crispy Fried Onions
⅓ cup Saffron-infuse Water (add ¼ tsp Saffron)
3 tbsp of Ghee (Clarified Butter)
Wash the rice and soak for 1 hour with 6 cups of water, then boil with 1 tsp salt on high heat until 90% cooked; remove them in a sieve under cold water to stop the cooking and set aside.
Wash the moong and soak for 1 hour with 3 cups of water; boil with ½ tsp salt on medium-low heat until 85% cooked.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a pan by adding the cinnamon, cloves, cardamom pods and black peppercorns; once hot, add the cumin seeds, asafoetida, and onions. Cook until golden brown.
Add the turmeric powder, red chilli powder, garam masala, ginger paste, and sauté for a minute. Add the tomato passata, fresh tomato puree, jaggery, and salt.
Mix well and boil, then simmer over low heat, covering with the lid and occasionally stirring until the gravy is thick about 10-12 minutes.
Once the moong is cooked, pour them into the tomato gravy, mix well, and simmer for 8-10 minutes until it is thick and the moong is cooked.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180ºC, gas mark 5 and start to assemble the biryani.
In an ovenproof dish, place a centimetre layer of rice, then layer all the moong mixture and finish with the final layer of the rice.
Drizzle saffron-infuse water and ghee over the biryani and garnish with crispy fried onions; cover with aluminium foil and bake for 25-30 minutes until warm.
Serve warm with carrot and cucumber raita or on its own.