I hope you noticed the alliteration in the post title, the actual title for this post should have been Paneer-Pudina-Potato-Peas-Pulao. That seemed too long, so I took just the 2 main ingredients for the title.
I wanted to put my bounty of mint plant to a good use, so I used a lot of mint (as you can tell from the pictures), but the quantity can be easily reduced if you don’t like the pronounced mint flavor. For this dish I cooked the rice separately and added it to the mint masala mix (another alliteration). Other vegetables or beans like carrots, green beans, cauliflower or chickpeas etc. can also be added.
Rice – 1½ cups, rinsed and soaked in cold water for 30 minutes
Onion – 1 large, thinly sliced
Potatoes – 2 medium, diced
Peas – 1 cup (fresh or frozen)
Paneer – ½ of 14oz. slab (about 2 cups diced)
Mint leaves – 3 cups
Green chilies – 3
Ginger + garlic paste – 2tsp
Biryani masala – 1tbsp (I use MTR biryani masala or just add some garam masala)
Red chili powder – 1tsp (or more to taste)
Turmeric – ½tsp
Lemon juice – 2tbsp
Salt – to taste
Bay leaves - 1
Cinnamon - 1" piece
Cloves - 4
Cardamom - 3 pods
Shah jeera - 1tsp
- Cook rice making sure that the grains are separate. Set aside to cool; spreading on a wide plate definitely helps. I generally skip this step as I'm too lazy too wash another dish.
- Fry the paneer in 2tsp oil until golden brown on all sides (this step is optional, but gives paneer good flavor). Drain on paper towels and set aide.
- Heat 1tsp oil in a large saute pan, add the mint leaves and the green chilies and cook until wilted, about 3-5 minutes. When cool enough to handle, grind this into a smooth paste and set aside.
- Heat 2tbsp oil, add the dry spices and once they start smelling fragrant; add the onions and saute until lightly browned around the edges. Add the ginger +garlic paste and cook for about 1 minute.
- Next add the potatoes and cook covered until tender, about 6-8 minutes.
- Add the peas, mint paste, turmeric, biryani masala, garam masala and salt. Mix well and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the (fried) paneer and cook for another 2 minutes.
- Finally add the cooked rice and mix well gently. Squeeze the lemon juice and mix to incorporate. Serve with raita and some crunchy chips on the side.