Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas
This ancient dish traces its roots to India's Kayastha community, who developed it as a unique variation of biryani. In tahiree, rice and other elements cook together, while biryani rice is cooked separately and then layered with meat and vegetables. Saran uses Royal Chef's Secret basmati--available at Asian markets--because it has the longest grain. He fluffs gently with a carving fork to keep grains intact.
Serves 16 (serving size: 1 cup)
1. Combine first 9 ingredients in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat; cook, stirring frequently, about 2 1/2 minutes or until cumin browns. Add onion and 1 teaspoon salt; sauté 2 minutes. Stir in cauliflower, potatoes, and turmeric; reduce heat to medium, and cook 1 minute. Add rice; cook 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Stir in peas and 4 cups water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low. Stir in ground cumin, garam masala, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt; cover and cook 20 minutes. Turn off heat; let stand 5 minutes. Fluff and serve immediately.