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Monday, March 27, 2017

Brown Rice Biryani with Edamame and Paneer

Brown rice: Hmmm... I am always reluctant to make anything with brown rice because it takes such a long time to cook.  However this time I saw a bag of Brown Organic Basmati Rice at Costco, and thought let me try it again and see if they are any easier to cook. I did soak them before going to work and came back after 8 hours to cook them. Needless to say it still took triple the amount of time to cook them than regular Basmati rice.  However I was determined to make this Biryani.

  • 1 cup of brown basmati rice
  • 2 cups of water to cook rice
  • Salt to cook rice to taste
  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil to cook rice
  • 1/2 pack of paneer (~6 oz from 12 oz pack)
  •  Cooking oil spray to saute paneer.
  • 1 cup or shelled frozen/cooked edamame
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1/3 cup of cashew halves

  • 1 table spoon of butter or ghee
  • 1 table spoon of olive oil
  • 2 teaspoon of cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon of asefoetida
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2-4 pods of dry red chili pods
  • 8-10 peppercorn
  • 2 -3 1" sticks of cinnamon
  • 1 black cardamom pods
  • 1 cup of plain yogurt
  • 1 cup of water

  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper powder
  • 3 teaspoon of mango powder
  • 2 teaspoon of cumin powder
  • 1/2  teaspoon of coarsely ground black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon of garam masala
  • or if you have Biryani masala you can use 1 teaspoon of that.
  • Salt to taste


  • Wash and soak rice for few hours.
  • Cook brown rice per instruction of pack, I cooked it in microwave as per my recipe to cook basmati rice with 1 cup rice and two cups water,
  • salt and 1 teaspoon of olive oil, but took triple the amount of time of the regular time.
  • You can use rice cooker if you like.  However cook the rice first and set aside separating each grain with wooden spatula so it is not sticky.

  • While rice is cooking you can cut the paneer in to 1" cubes and saute them on a shallow pan sprayed with cooking oil until light golden brown on both side.
  • Some people like to leave the Paneer as is in the Biryani that is not to saute it, but just cut it cubes and use it as is and that is fine too.
  • Cook the frozen shelled edamame as  per instruction on bag.
  • Chop onion in small pieces.

  • In a frying pan heat and  melt butter and add olive oil.
  • When hot, add cumin seeds and asefoetida followed by bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, chili pods, cardamom pods, pepper corn, cashews and onions.
  • Saute until onions are light brown and caramelized.
  • Add salt and edamame, toss and add sauteed paneer.

  • Take one cup of plain yogurt in a bowl
  • Add all the dry spices and mix well.
  • Add yogurt to onion, paneer and edamame, add water, cover and reduce heat to low and cook for 2 min - 3 min.
  • Add cooked rice.
  • Toss gently with silicone or wooden spatula
  • Turn the heat off.
  • Transfer the rice in serving platter.


  • Serve hot Biryani with Kadhi or plain yogurt.

  • You can use green peas instead of edamame.
  • You can add sauteed mushroom as well.
  • Again instead of brown rice you can use Plain white Basmati rice.
  • You can use some fresh chopped red peppers and green onion for additional color and taste.
  • If you don't like paneer you can omit it or add it without browning it.

Enjoy !!

Recipe and photographs by Surekha.
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