Mixed vegetable biryani
Here is a vegetarian one-pot meal of golden saffron-scented basmati rice combined with spiced vegetables. Serve with a cooling banana mint raita (page 27) or a simple cucumber and mint salad to make a feast.
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- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1 onion thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup raisins
- 1 cinnamon stick broken in half
- 8 black peppercorns
- 6 cloves
- 6 green cardamom pods crushed and pods discarded
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds lightly crushed
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 4 garlic cloves crushed
- 7 oz new potatoes scrubbed and cubed
- 1 carrot peeled and sliced
- 5 oz thin green beans trimmed and chopped
- 1 zucchini sliced
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 3/4 cup Greek-style yogourt
- 2 2/3 cups water
- 1 1/2 cups basmati rice rinsed
- pinch saffron threads
- 1 tbsp Flaked almonds lightly toasted
- 10 sprigs cilantro
- 3 hard boiled eggs quartered
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large flameproof casserole dish or deep frying pan. Add the onion and fry over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 12-15 minutes until golden. Remove from the dish and set aside. Add the raisins to the dish and stir around for 30 seconds, then remove and set aside with the onion.
- Add the remaining oil to the dish and heat, then add the cinnamon, peppercorns, cloves, cardamom and coriander seeds and stir around for 1 minute. Reduce the heat to low. Add the ground cumin, cayenne and garlic and stir for a further 30-60 seconds until you can smell the aroma of the spices.
- Stir in all the vegetables, then gradually add the yogurt, still over a low heat. Add 1⁄3 cup of the water, cover the pan tightly and leave the vegetables to simmer gently for 12 minutes.
- Meanwhile, put the rice in a pot with the saffron threads, the rest of the water and a pinch of salt, stir and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan tightly with a lid and leave to simmer for about 10 minutes until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is just starting to become tender.
- Spoon the cooked rice on top of the vegetables. Re-cover the dish tightly and cook gently for a further 10-15 minutes until both the rice and vegetables are tender. Alternatively, layer the vegetable curry and rice in a casserole dish, cover tightly and bake at 350°F (180°C) for 20-30 minutes.
- Scatter the reserved onion and raisins over the top of the biryani together with the almonds, cilantro and wedges of egg. Serve immediately.
Each serving: 13 g protein, 16.5 g fat of which 3.5 g saturates, 58 g carbohydrate, 6 g fibre, 326 Calories