Vegetable Mughlai Dum Biriyani:
Boil about 1.5 cups of pre soaked(for 30 mins) Basmati rice until almost cooked(75%) along with an inch of cinnamon, 2-3 cardamom, and 1 Bay leaf. Keep aside to cool. For the vegetable gravy: in a heavy bottom pan, to a few spoons of ghee/ butter fry about 10-12 cashew, 15-16 raisins, 10-12 almonds and keep aside. Now add 1 cup of thickly sliced onions, Fry until crisp and golden brown. Remove half and keep aside. To the rest of the onions add 1 medium bay leaf, 3 cloves, 3 green cardamom, 1 black cardamom, 1 inch cinnamon, 8-9 black peppercorns and 1 tsp shah jeera. Add the ginger garlic paste, and sauté for a few seconds. Now add the mixed vegetables(carrot, beans, cauliflower, green peas, mushrooms, potato, etc..) and add about 1 tsp of red chili powder. Season with salt and the ground white paste( grind together 10-12 almonds, few cashew, 1 tsb melon seeds, 1 tsb coconut, all soaked for about 30 minutes and then ground to a paste with water). Now add about half a cup of thick curd. Stir well and close the pan, and wait till the vegetables cook. Once done check for the consistency and add 1.5 tsp of Biriyani masala or garam masala, and allow it to cook. Meanwhile in a few tablespoons of milk infuse a few strands of saffron.
For the layering:
Grease a heat proof oven safe bowl with butter or ghee. Pour a first layer of half the gravy, add come paneer cubes. Layer with rice and sprinkle some saffron milk,add a few coriander and mint leaves, also add half the fried dry fruits and roasted onions. Repeat the gravy, paneer and rice layer. Cover the dish with wheat flour dough and bake at 200 degrees for about 30 mins. Once baking is done give about 5 mins resting time. Server with onion raita.