May 2, 2009

* Kofta Biryani *

1 cup basmati rice
2 cloves
2 bay leaves
Salt to taste
1 tbsp butter
For the koftas:
1/2 cup kabuli chana
1 onion
1-2 green chillies
3 garlic cloves
2 tbsp chopped coriander
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp roasted cumin seeds
Oil for shallow frying
For the gravy:
1 onion, finely chopped
2 tomatoes, pureed
2 cups finely chopped spinach leaves
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tbsp ghee
1 tbsp cashewnut powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp chilli powder
3/4 tsp garam masala
For the mint sauce:
1/2 cup finely chopped mint leaves
1 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves
1/3 cup each of milk and cream
1/4 tsp cardamon powder

Wash the rice 2-3 times and drain. Keep aside on a muslin cloth for 15 minutes.
In a large handi, bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil. Add the cloves, bay leaves, rice and salt. Boil for 3 minutes. Cover and simmer on low heat till the water is absorbed.
Soak the kabuli chana in 1 cup water for 6 hours. Grind with all the ingredients given for koftas. Make small flat koftas. Shallow fry till golden brown and remove.
For the gravy, heat the ghee and fry the onion. Add the ginger, tomato puree, turmeric, chilli powder and fry for 3-4 minutes. Add the spinach, cashew powder and garam masala. Stir fry for 2 minutes and remove from heat.
For the mint sauce, bring the milk and cream to a boil. Remove from heat, stir in the mint, coriander and cardamon.
Coat a deep baking dish with the butter. Spread half of the rice. Arrange the koftas over the rice. Pour the gravy evenly all over. Spread the remaining rice and pour the mint sauce all over.
Seal the dish with foil. Bake at 400 deg-F for 15-20 minutes. Serve hot with cucumber raita.

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