Vegetable Biryani


Vegetable Biryani

Serves 4


400g basmati rice

2 onions, sliced

5 tbsp butter or ghee

2 x 5cm/2½in stick cassia bark

6 green cardamoms

4 cloves

2 bay leaves

1 tsp cumin seeds

500g/1lb vegetables: peas, green beans, cut into 2cm/1 in pieces, and carrots, cut into batons

8-10 cashew nuts

250ml/1 cup natural yogurt

½ tsp garam masala

½ tsp chilli powder

1/4 tsp salt

6 garlic cloves

8-10 saffron strands

Mint leaves, chopped


Boil the rice in just over 675ml/2¾ cups boiled water for 10 minutes. 

Fry the onions in the butter or ghee for 7 minutes in a saucepan till golden brown. 

Remove from the pan and allow to cool, then add the bay leaves, cardamoms, cloves, cassia bark and cumin seeds to the pan and fry for a minute.

Tip in the vegetables and cashew nuts and fry for 5 minutes.

Leave some of the fried onions for garnish. Put the remaining onions along with the yogurt, garam masala, chilli powder and garlic and blend till it becomes a coarse paste. Add to the vegetables and cook for 2 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. 

Grease with butter or ghee, a deep oven proof casserole with a lid. 

Place a layer of vegetables on the bottom of the dish and cover it with a layer of the cooked rice and a few saffron strands. 

Repeat until all the ingredients have been used up ending with a layer of rice. 

Cover and bake for 25 minutes. Garnish with chopped mint leaves and extra fried onions.

Serve hot with Cucumber Raita.

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