Wash rice gently changing water 2-3 times until the water appears clear.
For fluffier rice, the rice should be soaked for at least 15 minutes prior to cooking.
Drain the rice and put it into the big pot. Add water, oil, and salt, cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, cloves, cardamom pods, a pinch of garam masala and bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling reduce the heat to low-medium and
cook about 10-15 minutes, or until the rice is tender. Do not overcook rice. Cook till it's done 50-70% done.(Rice again get cooked with veggies so I only cook half way if I need my biryani grainy)
Turn off the heat and drain out extra water and sprinkle some cold water to stop cooking process and rice will cool down faster and each and every grain of your rice will be seperate.
Keep rice on side.
For a few minutes soak saffron in warm milk then gently fold the milk into the cooked rice. you can add into rice or in curry gravy.
Beat yogurt well till it's smooth and creamy. Keep on side.
Heat the oil or ghee in a pan. Test the heat by adding one cumin seed to the oil; if seed cracks right away oil is ready. Add cumin seeds, aAfter the cumin seeds crack, add asafetida, and Turmeric powder.
Add onion and cook till onion is little tender.
Add ginger, garlic paste and cook about a minute or so.
Now add carrot and potato and cook them till tender. Cover pan to cook potato and carrot faster.
When potato and corrot done, Add rest of the vegetables (cauliflower, beans, bell pepper, paneer, cashews, cabbage, peas) and cook. I keep my veggies crunchy so just cook for little bit.
Add tomato puree, biryani paste, yougrt, garam masala, red chili powder and mix.
If you haven't added saffron mixture in rice, you can add in curry at this point and turn off the stove.
Assembling Biryani-For making in oven or microwave
Preheat the oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit.
Take baking glass dish or anything oven (or microwave-if making in micro)proof.
Put half of the cooked vegetables into the baking dish.
Spread half of the cook rice over vegetables. Over the rice, sprinkle with mint and cilantro if you wish.
Pour the remaining vegetables evenly over the rice.