400g basmati rice
2 onions, sliced
5 tbsp butter or ghee
2 x 5cm/2½in stick cassia bark
6 green cardamoms
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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