Shrimp and spinach biryani

A fragrantly spiced pilaf-style dish that doesn’t take much more effort than ordering takeout, yet is much healthier as it is lower in fat. Serve with a refreshing raita (page 27) to complete the meal.

Servings Prep Time Cook Time
4servings 15minutes 25minutes
Servings Prep Time
4servings 15minutes
Cook Time
Servings: servings
Servings: servings
  1. Drain the tomatoes in a sieve over a heatproof measuring cup, then set aside. Bring a kettle of water to a boil.
  2. Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole dish over a medium heat. Add the onion, chili and ginger and stir for 3 minutes. Stir in the cumin, coriander, turmeric and nutmeg and continue stirring until the onion is softened.
  3. Add the rice and drained tomatoes to the casserole dish and stir to mix with the spices. Add enough boiling water to the reserved tomato juice to make up to 2 cups. Stir this liquid into the rice with the sugar and a pinch of salt, then bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce the heat to low, cover tightly and leave the rice to cook without lifting the lid for 10-12 minutes until all the liquid has been absorbed, the rice grains are tender and tiny holes appear on the surface.
  5. Stir in the spinach, as much as you can at a time, adding more as each addition wilts. When all the spinach has been added, lay the shrimp on top, re-cover the casserole dish and turn down the heat to very low. Cook for 2 minutes, then turn off the heat and leave to stand for 1 minute, without lifting the lid, by which time the spinach will have wilted further and the shrimp will have cooked through. Gently fork together to combine the rice, spinach and shrimp. Serve immediately.
Recipe Notes

Variations: Replace some or all of the spinach with thinly sliced mushrooms, adding them to the casserole dish with the rice. Sliced red or green peppers would also work well in this dish. Add them with the onion. Serve any leftovers cold the next day as a rice salad.

Each serving: 20 g protein, 11.5 g fat of which 1 g saturates, 47 g carbohydrate, 5.5 g fibre, 260 Calories