Vegetable Biriani

vegetable-birianiThis recipe seems like it has a lot of ingredients but it’s worth putting the effort in for the lovely intense flavour of the spices that infuses the rice. You can experiment with the vegetables to find the combination that you like the best – or to accomodate whatever is in the fridge!

Ingredients (serves 4 – 6)

3 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/4 pumpkin or 1/2 butternut squash, cubed
1 onion, chopped finely
4 garlic cloves, chopped finely
1 aubergine, cubed
1 red pepper, cubed
1 green pepper, cubed
6 tbsp vegetable oil
50g whole blanched almonds, roughly chopped
200g basmati rice
400ml vegetable stock
approx. 15 saffron stamens
3 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp salt

Spice mix

1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp tumeric
5 bay leaves
5 cardamom pods
1 tsp fennel seeds
6 cloves

Step 1 – Toss the vegetables in 2 tbsp of the oil and roast in the oven at 180 degrees C for approx 30 minutes until tender.

Step 2 – Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a large pan, and cook the spice mix for 1 minute. Add the garlic for a further 2 minutes, then stir in the roasted vegetables and almonds.

Step 3 – Heat the milk and add the saffron to infuse for a minute or two. In a separate pan, heat the remaining 2 tbsp of oil and fry the dry rice for 1 minute. Add the milk, salt and stock to the rice and cook for 3 minutes.

Step 4 – In a large oven dish (a lasagne dish is ideal) layer rice, then vegetables, rice, vegetables – and then finish with a layer of rice and any of the left over stock. Cover the dish with aluminium foil and cook in the oven for around an hour at 170 degrees C until the rice is cooked.

Serve with yoghurt and mango chutney! This dish keeps well for a day or two in the fridge.


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