Last day of my GM diet and detox, and lost almost 5 lbs. Happy Happy Me!! Today was the day to have brown rice, veggies and fruit juice. Brown rice has never been my favorite, but today was the time to make something healthy and interesting. Biryani is always a delicious rice preparation and trying out with brown rice was indeed amazing! Biryani never tasted so good....not only because I was off rice and wheat since a week, but it was guilt free eating something that is fiber rich and nutritious than polished rice.
Biryani is a preparation of rice and veggies with spices slowly cooked till the flavors are absorbed well. While I was in India, I always used to make a fresh batch of biryani masala with whole spices from my mom's spice box. This could be time consuming. So I thought of trying out few store bought biryani spice mix. Not a big fan of any of those. Tried out quite some brands, some were coarsely ground, and some were not suited for our palate. So, I have started making my own fresh biryani spice powder every time I make this rice dish.
The version of biryani I made today is fiber rich and healthier since I used brown rice, a tsp of oil instead of ghee, and lots of veggies. You must give this a try!
Use 1 cup brown rice, wash, add cloves, cinnamon, bay leaf, salt and 2 cups of water. Microwave on high for 20 minutes.
Fluff up the rice. Cover and set it aside.
Here are the spices I used for fresh biryani masala.
Dry roast whole spices on a warm griddle just to warm up these spices.
Grind them to form a fine powder.
Veggies chopped and ready to be cooked. I sometimes add potato and cauliflower too.
Heat a tsp. of oil, fry 1 dry red chilli and saute sliced onions and cashew. Add chopped green chillies, minced ginger and minced garlic.
Add few mind leaves. Chopped veggies, peas, tomatoes, salt, turmeric, a cup of yogurt and freshly ground masala,
Cover and let these veggies cook and absorb flavors from the spices.
Sprinkle some turmeric over cooked rice. Do not mix.
Spread rice over cooked veggies. Add few mint leaves. Cover and cook for another 15 -20 minutes on low or sprinkle some water if needed and microwave for 5 minutes.
Lightly mix them and serve with lemon and sliced onions.
This was so delicious, we could not wait to dig in!