Sunday, 24 November 2019

Idiyappam Paneer Biryani - Flavoured Rice Noodles With Indian Cottage Cheese


Idiyappam paneer biriyani - Aromatic rice noodles with Indian cottage cheese

Rice being the staple food of South India, idiyappam became one of our most favourite breakfast dish all time. We really enjoy the silky soft threads of this rice noodles with a variety of accompaniments. But if there is left over idiyappam in your home, you can make several delicious dishes with that. Today, you can see a beautiful dish, especially for my vegetarian friends ..yes it is the aromatic, spicy and lip-smacking idiyappam paneer biriyani. It is so delicious and special and a very rare dish of Kerala.

A biriyani is usually an oily dish with lots of spices incorporated. If we avoid any of this, it will end up into a disaster. Today's recipe, the idiyappam paneer biriyani, is a very successful alternative for the normal non-vegetarian biriyani recipes, and is also one of the most demanding dishes in my home. I make idiyappam almost every week at home and do not make extra as I love to have the food hot and fresh. So for this recipe, I generally make new batches of idiyappam but you will get an equally delicious dish with left overs. Also remember to steam them again before use.

The ghee I usually used for biriyani is RKG brand as this is more flavourful and we need only a small amount compared to the normal ghee. If this brand is not available in your area, then replace oil listed in the ingredients with the same amount of ghee.. That will give exactly the same taste of RKG ghee.

Before starting to the recipe section, I would like to remind you one small thing, there are some crucial steps in this recipe, if you skip those steps, the dish will not get the exact flavour. Here I have used almost 5 tablespoons of ghee and oil, please do not reduce its amount.  Also, never mix paneer masala with idiyappam, if it is too watery. The gravy should have a semi-thick consistency otherwise the idiyappam will remain soggy.


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Idiyappam Paneer Biriyani | How To Make Biryani With South Indian Rice Noodles And Indian Cottage Cheese | How To Reuse Left Over Idiyappam


Aromatic spicy biriyani with Kerala rice noodles and Indian cottage cheese

Preparation time : 10 minutes | Cooking time: 45 minutes | Total time: 55 minutes

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Ingredients

  • 6 large idiyappam (Kerala style rice noodles)
  • 200 gram paneer
  • 2  medium onion
  • 4- 6 green chilies 
  • 1 tsp crushed ginger
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 2 big tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp chilli powder (optional)
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tbsp coriander leaves, chopped 
  • 1 tbsp mint leaves
  • 1 tbsp broken cashews
  • 1 tbsp raisins
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 medium sized lemon
  • One generous pinch of sugar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 cardamom
  • a small piece of cinnamon
  • Salt to taste
  • Water as needed
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Direction of preparation of idiyappam paneer biriyani


Preparations for idiyappam paneer biriyani

  • If you don't have left over idiyappams, then make 6 large idiyappams from 1.5 cups of smooth roasted rice flour. You can go through my previous post for idiyappam which I updated recently. 
  • Peel and wash the onions thoroughly and make four halves longitudinally. Remove the thick stalk and chop three halves lengthwise and remaining one half into small cubes. The onion that we cut lengthwise should be as thin as possible, as this is for caramelised onion. 
  • Wash and chop tomato, coriander and mint leaves, squeeze half of a medium lemon, crush ginger and garlic after removing its skin. Crush green chilies also. 

Making idiyappam biriyani

  1. Take a wide pan and heat 2 tablespoons of ghee. I used RKG brand here to make more flavour, you can replace it with normal ghee. Still, I recommend this brand for biriyani to yield more flavour with small amount.
  2. Once the ghee turns hot, fry cashews till they became lightly golden, put raisins and wait till they puffs. Immediately transfer into a small pan and keep aside. Put the heat on medium low and stir continuously, on high flame, it burns quickly. This is not only for garnish, but also gives a beautiful crunchiness to the dish.
     
  3. Pour oil into this hot ghee, you can use any odourless oil like sunflower oil. You can replace oil with same quantity ghee. Once the oil-ghee mixture turns hot, put thinly sliced onions and a generous pinch of sugar. 
  4. Saute over a medium flame with continuous stiring, till the onion is nicely caramelized and attain a nice golden colour. If you have any doubt on this section, please feel free to check my post barista or fried onion. Once the onion is nicely caramelized remove it from oil and set aside. 
  5. Transfer the ghee in a small bowl, leaving only a few drops the pan. Put idiyappam into the pan in which we caramelized onion and saute for one minute. While doing this don't forget to break them with a wooden spoon. This step will help to infuse the beautiful aroma of ghee and caramilized onions into the idiyappam strings. After one or two minutes of sauteing, remove idiyappam from fire and transfer into a bowl and set aside.
  6. Pour half of the oil-ghee mixture in which we made caramelized onion into the same pan. Put the whole spices (like bay leaf, clove, cardamom and cinnamon), crushed ginger, crushed garlic, crushed green chilies and finely chopped onion. Saute for a few minutes, till the onion turn translucent. 
  7. Reduce the flame and put spice powders such as turmeric powder, chilli powder, coriander powder and garam masala.  Stir immediately and make sure that the spice powders did not burn. You should keep the flame on low - medium otherwise put one or two tsp of water and mix immediately. 
  8. Put chopped tomatoes and saute of a few minutes on medium flame, you can also cover and cook for one or two minutes on low flame, till tomatoes are steamed well.
  9. Open the lid and put half of the caramelized onion, half of fresh mint and coriander leaves, salt and cubed paneer pieces. Squeeze half of a lemon, mix well and cook covered till the tomatoes cooked completely and the gravy thickens. The lemon is optional, if the gravy is sour enough, then it is not necessary to use lemon. Lemon is used to introduce a balanced taste in the gravy. 
  10. After a few minutes, open the lid and adjust the taste. Also make sure that the gravy is not watery. We need gravy with a semi-thick consistency or we need a gravy just enough to coat the noodle strings. Otherwise the idiyappam will turn soggy and turn tasteless.
  11. Put sauteed idiyappam and mix well. 
  12. Put remaining caramalized onion, fried cashews, raisins, remaining mint and pudina leaves. Also put remaining flavour infused oil and then close with a lid and keep it on low flame for next five minutes on low flame so as to get all the flavours spread nicely in the biriyani.
  13. Then serve hot with pomogramate or vegetable raita and enjoy.

Happy cooking
Anju         

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