Onions – 4 medium sized
Green Chillies -6
Tomatoes – 4 medium sized
Ginger garlic paste – 1/4 cup
Pudina/Mint – a handful
Cilantro – 1 cup chopped
Vegetable oil – 3/4 cup
Basumathi Rice – 4 cups
Dark Cinnamon – 2 inch stick
Green Cardamoms – 6
Cloves – 6
Salt to taste
Turmeric – 1/2 a tspn
Red chilly powder – 1/2 – 1 tspn
1. Peel, wash and grate the beetroot. Peel and slice the onions, deseed the green chillies
2.Fry the onions till golden brown in 3/4th cup of oil on medium heat after adding the whole garam masala spices(cloves, green cardamom and cinnamon).
3. When the onions turn golden brown, add the ginger garlic paste followed by the dry spices – turmeric and red chilly powder. (I prefer using either Resham patti chilly powder or kashmiri mirch as they have deep red color and good flavour) Stir for a few seconds, then immediately add the diced tomatoes, green chillies and salt. Cook till the tomatoes are soft and juicy.
4.Throw in the grated beetroot. Turn over and mix well in the masala. Add mint leaves and chopped cilantro. Let it cook for 2 – 3 minutes on simmer.
5. Meanwhile boil the basumati rice in another pot filled with water. Add one heaped tablespoon of salt to the boiling rice. Cook the rice till it is half done. The outer layer of the grains should have softened a little and when you press it in between your index finger and thumb it should leave at least 2 or 3 round uncooked grains. It is now time to drain the rice using a strainer or a perforated colander.
6. Pour the steaming hot rice on the beetroot masala. Take a a tablespoon of the boiled rice, add some food coloring to it, mix well and sprinkle the colored rice on top. Also throw in a few mint leaves and chopped coriander. Then let it steam in a preheated oven at 350 degrees fahrenheit. Remove from oven after 15 mins. Turn over the biryani rice gently from the bottom to the top with a round spatula to mix well. Serve hot with onion raita and roasted chicken.