Take curd in a bowl, add two chopped tomatoes, two cut green chillies, cut ginger, two bay leaves, a few cloves, one or two cinnamon sticks, two to three cardamoms, five thin strands of saffron, red chilli powder, cumin powder, turmeric power and 1/4 cup chopped coriander.
Keep this mixture refrigerated for about two to three hours.
Take the rest of the green chillies, tomatoes and 1/2 cup of coriander, and grind it along with the ginger paste.
For the rice:
Heat ghee in a pan, add a few cloves, cinnamon, two bay leaves, cardamom, fennel seeds, cumin seeds and fry these.
Then add the Basmati rice (washed and soaked for ten minutes).
Fry until it is slightly dry.
Then transfer it to a rice cooker (with all the spices) and cook in 5.5 cups of water.
Mix the remaining saffron in half a cup of milk and add this to the rice.
After the rice is cooked, allow it to cool in a separate plate, blending all the spices in the rice.
Heat oil in a pan, fry sliced onions until it changes to light brown.
Add the ground paste.
Let it start giving a good flavour and then add the vegetables, first capsicum, then the rest can be added once capsicum becomes soft.
Now add the curd mixture and boil for a while until curd and vegetables mix well and curd is absorbed.
Remove from heat and add 1/4 cup of chopped coriander
Take a casserole, add one layer of the rice and press it gently and uniformly with a flat spatula.
Now add the curd-vegetable gravy as a layer above the rice and add lot of coriander on top of this.
Again add a layer of rice, press gently.
Repeat, garnish with cashews, coriander, fried onion rings and tomato rings.
Keep this casserole in a warm place
Serve it piping hot with any raita.
Bawarchi of the Week
Kamala Swaminathan is a food enthusiast who loves to attempt traditional South Indian Vegetarian recipes.