Kaikari Biryani ( a Hot and Spicy Vegetable Pilaf from Southern

"From Sanjeev Kapoor. A bit time consuming, but yummy. Note: I use dessicated coconut instead of fresh. I use readymade garam masala instead of making it myself. Also, I dont put it on charcoal :) Times are guesstimates"
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  • Clean, wash and soak rice in four cups of water for about half an hour. Peel, wash and chop onions. Wash, halve, de-seed and cut tomato and capsicum into half inch sized cubes.
  • Peel, wash and cut carrot and potatoes into half inch sized cubes. String, wash French bean and cut into half inch sized pieces. Separate the cauliflower into small florets, wash and drain. Wash and drain green peas.
  • Clean, wash and chop coriander leaves and mint leaves. Remove stems, wash and slit green chillies. Wash curry leaves and pat them dry.
  • For masala paste, peel, wash and roughly chop ginger and garlic.
  • Heat four tablespoons oil and fry all the masala ingredients till light brown. Cool and grind to a smooth paste with little water.
  • Dry roast all the ingredients for garam masala for two to three minutes and pound into a coarse powder.
  • Heat the remaining oil and fry the onions till golden brown. Wash and add the curry leaves, green chillies and masala paste. Fry till oil separates. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook on high heat till the moisture evaporates.
  • Add all the vegetables and stir. Cook for a couple of minutes on high heat, drain the rice well and add to the vegetable mixture. Add salt to taste.
  • Add three and half cups of hot water and stir. Bring to boil on high heat, then reduce to medium heat. Cover and cook, stirring once in a while till almost done.
  • Sprinkle chopped mint and coriander leaves, garam masala powder, lemon juice, stir well and cover with a tight lid.
  • Keep on hot charcoal for about ten minutes.
  • Open when ready to serve.

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An Indian living in the US for the past couple of years. A full time graduate student. Love to cook. Cook lunch and dinner every day but really love it when we have guests for lunch or dinner. When I have guests, I allow myself to prepare a 3 or four course meal , not otherwise :).
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