For the final day of rice dishes, I needed to make a layered rice dish. There are so many ways of making a layered rice. You can either bake it in oven or cook it over stove top and you can either cover the lid with a cloth or foil or a wheat dough to seal. Each method produces a unique biryani. I was eyeing the Iranian rice for this theme, but when I read the recipe, it sounded not so spicy. For hubby, biryani needs to be hot and spicy and so I just made this based on our usual biryani, combining many recipes I read online.
The Iranian rice is always cooked in a non stick pan, so that when inverted on to a plate, the rice comes out easily. As I was thinking of baking in oven, I couldn’t use a non stick pan.I used my small rice cooker’s pan to make the layers. As it is aluminium, it was perfect for baking. I lined the bottom with a foil so that I can flip the whole set up on to a plate with out making a mess. And I was sceptical until the final moment. Keeping fingers crossed, I just flipped it on to the plate. When I removed the pan, I was so happy to see the rice intact with perfect shape. I served it along with raitha. And I was not sure whether hubby would like it. But he gave me a thumbs up. Cook the rice to 75% and the remaining cooking will be done in oven.
Rice – 2 cups
Salt – to taste
Ghee- 3 tbs + 1 tbs
Star Anise -1
Onion – 2
Soya Chunks – 1 cup
Tomato – 2
Thick Coconut Milk – 1 cup
Thin Coconut Milk – 1/2 cup
Turmeric Powder – 1/2 tsp
For The Spice Paste :
Coriander Leaves – a handful
Mint Leaves – a hand ful
Red Chillies – 10
Fennel Seeds – 1/2 tsp
Garlic – 5-6 cloves
Ginger – 1″ piece
Coriander Seeds – 1 tsp
Heat 3 tbs of ghee and add star anise, cinnamon and cloves.
Add onion and sauté until translucent.
In a mixer jar add coriander leaves, mint, fennel seeds, garlic, ginger, coriander seeds, red chillies and grind to a thick paste.
Add this spice paste and sauté until the raw smell vanishes and it leaves ghee.
Add in the soaked and drained soy chunks and tomatoes.
Add salt, turmeric and thin coconut milk.
Let it cook covered on medium flame until the mixture is thick and saucy.
In a large pan, add enough water and washed and drained rice and salt.
Cook until 75% done.
Drain water and start layering the rice.
Preheat oven to 180°C.
Line a oven proof pan or tin with foil and add the remaining ghee.
Now add 1/3rd of rice and spread it out evenly.
Top with 1/2 of the soy chunks mixture.
Now add 1/3rd rice and spread it evenly.
You can even add roasted cashews and deep fried onion in between layers.
Add the remaining soy chunks mixture and finish with the remaining rice.
Pour the thick coconut milk evenly on top.
Cover with the foil and bake for 45 minutes to one hour.
Remove from oven, remove foil, flip it onto a serving plate, garnish with coriander leaves and serve with raitha.