Paneer Biryani

This is a special request recipe specifically made for a very fun Private in-home Meal Prep client! They LOVE Ethiopian food and so, I’ve been learning a lot more traditional recipes..

However, I have been adapting them ever so slightly so that these recipes are a little bit more user-friendly for anyone that may be a bit newer to the kitchen! Plus they have been tweaked to include the exact spice blend this client prefers. If you are looking for the ORIGINAL recipes I adapted from, see the resource section below!

Layered with paneer & vegetables ended on top

The best part? You can include fermentation with this recipe by serving this dish with their traditional Injera Flat Wraps! DELICIOUS!! And one of the EASIEST ferments to start!! Very user friendly. Watch video on how to make HERE and definitely stay tuned for the recipe. You can also take my fermentation class to learn how to make HERE!

Traditional Injera Flatbread
    • 1 cup or small tub of yogurt (thick)
    • 1 tbsp fresh ginger
    • 1 tbsp fresh garlic
    • ¼ tsp turmeric – fresh or dry
    • 1 tsp sea salt
    • 1 tsp fresh cracked pepper
    • 1 tbsp lemon juice
    • 1 large package of paneer cut into med size cubes
    • 1 small onion diced
    • 1/4 – 1/3 package of Shan Bombay Biryani Spice Mix (depending on spice level)
    • 5 cups filtered water
    • 2 pods cardamom pods
    • 4 cloves
    • 1 inch cinnamon stick
    • 2 bay leaf
    • 1 tsp fresh cracked pepper
    • 1 tsp sea salt
    • 1 tbsp sesame oil or ghee
    • 2 cups basmati rice, rinsed clear
    • 2 tbsp sesame oil or ghee
    • 1 small onion (sliced)
    • 2 tomato (chopped)
    • 1 – 2 cups sm/med veggies of choice
      • A few great options are: squash, potatoes/yams, carrots, peas, mushrooms, cauliflower, bell peppers, egg plant, spinach, etc.
    • 1/4 – 1/3 package of Shan Bombay Biryani Spice Mix (depending on spice level)
    • 1/3 – 2/3 cup saffron coconut milk (optional – milk warmed with saffron or just coconut milk)
    • Fresh Cilantro
    • Fresh Mint
    • Avocado
    • Injera / Pitta
Life Hack: Roast whole vegetables with herbs & oil for extra flavour – or to use as a roasted marinara!
      • In a large bowl combine all marinating ingredients except the paneer and stir until well combined. Add in paneer and mix gently making sure everything is well coated. Cover and marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or longer.
      • Optional Step: When ready to layer everything, you can add the marinated paneer to a large pan/pot on the stove and quickly sear over medium-high heat to really infuse the paneer and add some extra flavouring before layering.
    2. RICE PREP:
      • In a large pot add all of the rice ingredients together and let soak for at least 30min. Bring water to a boil only for a few minutes (min 3 max 5) – do not fully cook the rice. Remove from heat and set aside. DO NOT pour out any water!
    3. BIRYANI:
      • In a large pan or cast iron, heat all ingredients except for the coconut milk over medium heat. If you are using potatoes, ideally add them first so they get cooking before the other softer ingredients. Sauté until tomatoes start to get soft and mushy. Add in coconut milk and bring up to a quick boil and then turn down to simmer and let simmer as you get the ingredients ready to layer.
    4. LAYERING:
      • Preheat oven to 350
      • Spoon & spread 1/2 of the prepared rice uniformly on the bottom of a large casserole dish. DO NOT pour out any water – save it till the very end! Add the next layer which is 1/2 of the paneer dish or 1/2 of the vegetable dish – your choice! Continue layering until all ingredients are used. Pour remaining liquid from the rice dish over top if it has not already been added in while layering.
      • Cook covered for 30 – 40 min. Remove lid and cook uncovered for 15 – 20min or until slightly golden brown, rice has cooked through and there may be a few bubbles on top.
      • Top with fresh mint, cilantro and/or avocado. Serve with traditional Injera or Pitta.
      • ENJOY!
Layered with Rice finished on top instead – layer however you please!




With love,
Heidi MacAulay, R.H.N.
“Eat more plants. Do more yoga. Read more books.”
Learn more about me, my credentials or how to work with me here!

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