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What a lovely combination and dish. Biryani Vegetarian, you can also use chicken or meat if you prefer
- 250 – 375 ml vegetable oil
- Few pieces of cinnamon, cardamon, and cloves (optional with meat only)
- 1 small cauliflower/ broccoli, broken into small florets
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and cubed
- 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
- 8 large pieces of chicken/ or meat
- 2 large tomatoes, chopped (only add if using meat)
- 2 large onions, sliced
- 1.5L (pot hot) vegetable stock
- 4 tbsp hot curry paste 60g (Madras (Jalna) is good)/ (Shan Bombay biryani mix)
- 1 red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
- large pinch of saffron strands (not powder-important)
- 2 tsp mustard seeds (black or white)
- 750g basmati rice (4x 250g cup) – good quality basmati rice only
- 140g trimmed green beans, halved
- 4 tsp salt
- 10 garlic crushed
- 1-inch ginger grated
- 2 lemons, juice only
- a handful of fresh coriander leaves
- 50g packet salted roasted cashew nuts (optional)
- poppadoms and raita and coriander chutney to serve
1. Preheat the oven to 220C/gas fan-forced oven.
2. Pour half the oil into a frypan and when heated, add half of the onion, cauliflower, carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes and 1 tsp salt (mix together) and cook for about 5 minutes on high heat. Then move the vegetables from the frypan into a large roasting dish. Put it into the oven to roast for 15 minutes until nice and golden.
3. Use the same frypan, if cooking with meat, add the other half of the oil and when hot, add cardamom, cinnamon and cloves. After a minute add the other half of the onions, cook for a minute and then add garlic, ginger, chilli, 1 tsp salt, 1 tbsp curry powder and cook further for another minute. Then add the tomatoes and cook till a paste is formed and then add the meat to it and cook until it is almost cooked and not watery at all. (if no meat is used, use the garlic, ginger, chilli, salt and curry powder to the vegetables as in step 2).
4. While the vegetables are roasting and meat is cooking, stir together the hot stock, leftover curry powder, leftover salt, saffron threads and mustard seeds into a 2Lt measuring jug.
5. Mix the rice and green beans with the vegetables and (meat) in the roasting pan, then pour over the stock mixture. Lower the oven to 185C/gas fan-forced oven. Cover the dish tightly with foil and bake for 40 minutes until the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed. Stir in the lemon juice and check the seasoning, then scatter over the coriander and cashew nuts (optional) or eggs
6. Serve with poppadums and/or a bowl of raita or coriander chutney.
Prepared, tried and tested by: Veeran N Saroj Sami