Last week in class my Pilates instructor called me a ‘fancy dancer’, and I don’t think it was a compliment.
It was probably a reference to my terrible posture and poor balance which caused me to wobble around like a weeble (remember those things?)
What has this got to do with biryani I hear you ask?
Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
But there’s not that much to say about vegetable biryani. It’s a simple, Indian-spiced, rice-based dish that is incredibly tasty and very easy to knock together.
Don’t be dismayed by the long list of ingredients, I’m willing to bet you’ve most (if not all) of them hanging about in your cupboards. One of the greatest tools for any chef is a well-stocked spice rack and that’ll come in handy here.
Unlike my dancing, this meal is not fancy. At all. It’s satisfying, hearty and very tasty (especially re-heated the next day for lunch).
Vegetable Biryani (serves 2)
- 1/2 cup white rice (or basmati)
- 1 and 1/4 cup chicken stock
- 1 1/2 tbsp butter
- 1 large, white onion finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp ginger
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 2 tsps coriander leaves
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- pinch of sea salt
- 2 cups small cauliflower florets
- 1 large carrot, peeled and sliced
- 1/3 cup peas (I used frozen)
- 1/2 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
- 1 tbsp sliced almonds
- 1 tbsp shredded coconut
- Melt 1/2 tbsp of butter in a small saucepan, stir in the rice and turmeric, add a generous pinch of salt and pour 1 cup of stock. Cover and reduce the heat to its lowest setting. Let simmer, untouched, for 20 minutes.
- In a large, deep, frying pan(with a lid) melt a tbsp butter. Add the onion, ginger, garlic, cumin, cinnamon and coriander. Stir and fry over a medium-low heat until the onion turns golden and the spices start to smell.
- Add the carrot, sweet potato, cauliflower and 1/4 cup stock. Cover, reduce the heat to low and let cook for ten minutes.
- Stir the peas into the rice (all of the stock should’ve absorbed).
- Take the rice and peas off the heat. Tip into the vegetable mixture and stir well. Serve with a sprinkling of sliced almonds and coconut on top.
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