A classic Indian rice dish – Vegetable Biryani. Incredibly flavorful thanks to various fragrant spices, nuts, fruits, and all those colorful veggies.
I recently spent three days in the Abel Tasman region of New Zealand. It is hands down nothing short of down right breath taking. The national park runs along part of the coast of the South Island and there are a series of walking coastal trails taking you from small bays to coves to beaches. We broke down the walk into three days and on the first day took a water taxi to a drop off point and walked back to the car. That was a 10 hour day. We started at 10am and didn’t get back to the car until 8pm. We would walk for a bit then stop and relax by a beautiful sandy beach, go for a dip, have some lunch, and somehow the day just flew by. When I added it all up we had walked over 18 miles that day. No small feat.
So after a workout like that you really owe it to yourself to reward yourself with a full hearty meal, and that’s just what this vegetable biryani is.
Though I did not actually eat vegetable biryani after the walk this would have been perfect. Instead I made this in a cooking class in India back in December, a traditional Indian rice dish similar to a rice pilaf but with a long list of toppings and some crucial Indian spices.
Some of the toppings get added in the vegetable biryani and cooked from the very beginning while others are added as a garnish on tops, such as the tomatoes, pomegranate seeds, cilantro and that tin foil look alike is actually edible silver. Yes apparently edible silver is fairly popular in India and as are cooking instructor explained, good for the brain.
First off we cooked the spices in hot oil, and then gradually started to add in the other ingredients. Though a lot of initial chopping is required, vegetable biryani is after all a one pot meal so at least the clean up isn’t too bad.
The rice cooks with all the other ingredients and the flavors really blend together. If you see the water has evaporated but the rice is not quite ready yet just add a bit more. The scents and aromas coming from your kitchen will this is cooking will simply have you drooling. A great one pot meal after a long day!
- 1 pinch asafoetida
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1/2 tablespoon turmeric
- 1/4 tablespoon red chili pwoder
- 1 tablespoon Biryani rice masala
- 1 potato peeled and finely cubed
- 1 onion diced
- 1/2 green chili diced
- 1/2 inch piece of ginger peeled and finely chopped
- small piece of cabbage chopped
- 1 carrot peeled and sliced
- 1 pepper cubed
- handful of green peas
- handful of cashews
- handful of raisins
- 1 pomegranate
- 1 apple peeled and finely chopped
- 1 to mato cubed
- handful of cilantro chopped
- 1 glass basmati rice
- 2 glasses water
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
Heat oil in a deep pan (like a wok) and when hot add asafoetida, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, and garam masala.
When fragrant add cashews, green chili, ginger, garlic, potatoes, onions, green peas, cabbage, carrot and pepper. Cook for a few minutes, stirring frequently.
Add rice, salt, turmeric, red chili powder and rice masala. Stir to mix.
Add water, bring to a boil and simmer, covered for 10-15 minutes. Check and continue cooking or add more water if rice is still not cooked through.
Serve garnished with tomatoes, raisins, pomegranate seeds, apple, and cilantro.
Recipe from Spice Paradise Cooking School