Paneer Biryani Recipe with step by step photos. This festive paneer biryani is full of flavour and made even more aromatic with kesar (saffron) that not only enriches the colour of the biryani but makes it more aromatic as well.
I make this paneer biryani whenever we have an impromptu get together with friends but mostly for my kids birthday as both of them love it so much. The process make look a bit lengthy but it is totally easy to make even for a novice.
I learned this biryani from my punjabi friend named “Guddi” while I was working before my marriage. We both were good friends and one day she invited me to her home on her birthday and I was served this paneer biryani by her “Bibi” (Grandma).
Though there were so many dishes, this totally took the centerstage and it was so good that I totally loved it so much. Later I pestered Guddi to get the recipe from her “Bibi”. I noted it duly in my diary that I was using back then to note down recipes, but I never made it.
Only after I started blogging, I decided to put that recipe diary and paper cuttings to good use by making each and every recipe in it to share it in the blog. I recently made it last month for Arjun’s birthday and served it along with Punjabi Dum Aloo, Salad and Mini Gulab Jamuns in Rabdi for Dessert. We all loved the feast to the core.
If you are planning to make for a party or as a festive menu, then you can prepare the gravy that is required for this biryani the day before and refrigerate it.
Just prepare the rice and kesar paneer, the next day and mix in the gravy and your paneer biryani is ready in no time at all without having to slave over the stove and spending a long time in the kitchen. How cool is that !!!
Paneer Biryani Recipe with stepwise photos:
1. Wash and soak basmati rice for 20 mins and drain completely.
2. In a pan, add rice, water, salt and bring the water to a boil. Cover the pan with lid and cook over low flame for 20 mins.
3. The rice should be well cooked. Tip the rice into a big plate and fluff with a fork. Leave it to cool completely.
4. Cut the paneer into triangle pieces.
5. Heat water in a bowl. Add turmeric powder, paneer pieces, mix well and close the bowl with a lid. Let it rest for 10 mins.
6. Soak Kesar (saffron strands) in warm milk and slightly crush it with fingers to release the colour and aroma.
7. Heat a pan with oil. Add the whole spices and saute until fragrant. Add onion, tomato, ginger, garlic and cook over medium flame till the tomatoes become mushy. Add kashmiri red chili powder and red chili powder and mix well.
8. Take the pan off the stove and let the mixture cool down completely. Transfer to a blender and grind to a smooth paste without adding water and keep aside.
9. Add oil in a pan. Season with spices. Add the ground onion-tomato paste, salt, mix well and cook over low flame for 8-10 mins till the raw smell disappears and oil separates.
10. Add the paneer, saffron dissolved milk, coriander leaves to the pan and mix gently taking care not to break the paneer pieces.
11. Add the prepared paneer mixture to the cooked basmati rice little by little and mix well.
12. Reheat the rice mixture either in a pressure cooker or microwave.
Serve this paneer biryani hot with any raita and vegetable gravy of your choice.
Paneer Biryani Recipe details below:
Paneer Biryani Recipe - Kesar Paneer Biryani
- Basmati rice - 2 cups
- Paneer - 200 gms
- Kesar or Saffron strands - 2 pinch
- Milk - 4 tbsp
- Shahjeera - 1/4 tsp
- Bay leaf - 1
- Turmeric powder - 1/8 tsp
- Cashew nuts - 15 halved
- Salt - to taste
- Ghee - 4 tsp
- Oil - 2 tsp
- Water - 3 cups
- Coriander leaves - for garnish
For the paste:
- Onion - 2 medium
- Tomato - 3
- Garlic - 4 cloves
- Ginger - 1 inch piece
- Cardamom - 2
- Cinnamon - 1 inch stick
- Cloves - 3
- Kasuri methi - 1/2 tbsp
- Kashmiri red chili powder - 1 tsp
- Red chili powder - 1 tsp
- Oil - 2 tsp
- Wash basmati rice well, soak in water for 20 mins and drain completely.
- Slice the onions and chop the tomatoes finely.
- Cut the paneer into triangle pieces.
- Warm the milk in a bowl and soak the kesar (saffron) in it and keep aside.
For the rice:
- Heat a pan with 2 tsp ghee, add drained basmati rice, and saute over low flame for 5 mins. The rice should be well coated in ghee.
- Add 3 cups water, salt and bring the water to a boil. Cover the pan with lid and cook over low flame for 20 mins.
- The rice should be well cooked. Tip the rice into a big plate and fluff with a fork. Let it cool completely.
For the Paste:
- Heat a pan with oil. Add the whole spices like cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and saute until fragrant.
- Add onion, tomato, ginger, garlic and cook over medium flame till the tomatoes become mushy.
- Switch off stove and immediately add kashmiri red chili powder and red chili powder and mix well to cook in the heat of the pan itself.
- Take the pan off the stove and let the mixture cool down completely.
- Transfer to a blender and grind to a smooth paste without adding water and keep aside.
For the Paneer Gravy:
- Heat 4 cups water in a bowl. Add turmeric powder, paneer pieces, mix well and close the bowl with a lid. Let it rest for 10 mins.
- Heat a pan with remaining 2 tsp ghee. Add halved cashew nuts and roast till golden brown. Drain into a bowl and keep aside.
- Add oil to the pan. Season with shahjeera, bay leaf and saute for 10 seconds.
- Add the ground onion-tomato paste, salt required for the paste, mix well and cook over low flame for 8-10 mins till the raw smell disappears and oil separates. Take the pan off the stove.
- Drain the paneer into a colander.
- Add the paneer, saffron dissolved milk, coriander leaves to the pan and mix gently taking care not to break the paneer pieces.
How to make Paneer Biryani:
- Add the prepared paneer mixture to the cooked basmati rice little by little and mix well.
- Smear a vessel with ghee and transfer the kesar paneer biryani into it. Place the vessel inside a pressure cooker. Close with lid but do not put the weight in the vent. Heat on low flame for 10 mins or you can also reheat in a microwave. I heated it in microwave proof vessel for 5 mins at 50% power.
- Serve this hot paneer biryani garnished with ghee roasted cashew nuts and coriander leaves along with raita or chips or any gravy of your choice.