Biryani is a vegetarian curry from India. The important part to this recipe is the
Prep: 20-30 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
6 garlic cloves
2 1/2 tsp chopped ginger
2 tsp coriander seeds
2 tsp cumin seeds
8 black peppercorns
1 tsp cardamom seeds
1 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp maldon salt
4 tbsp yoghurt
350g Cauliflower, broken up into small florets 350g
Okra, trimmed and cut in 3
300g Sweet Potato, chopped into 3 cm dice
350g celeriac or potatoes, peeled and cut into 3cm dice
2 large onions, sliced finely
4 tbsp ghee or peanut oil
400ml water or vegetable stock
6 small pumpkins or 3 medium, tops chopped off and reserved and seeds scooped
out and discarded
100 ml milk
3 tbps ghee or oil
2 medium onions, sliced finely
2 tbsp raw cashew nuts
2 tbsp blanched almonds
3 tbsp currants
6 papadums, cut each one into 3 before frying in oil
600g basmati rice
3 cinnamon sticks
6 cardamom pods
12 black peppercorns
4 bay leaves
6 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp saffron threads
Yoghurt & Mint Sauce
2 tbsp mint leaves shredded
2 tsp honey
1 tsp lime juice
Spice Mixture: Grind the garlic with the ginger, coriander seeds,
cloves, cumin, peppercorns, salt and cardamom in a pestle and mortar or a food
processor, until well ground. Add the chili, turmeric and yoghurt and mix
Vegetables: Place the spice mixture in a bowl and coat all the
vegetable except the onions with the spice mixture, and set aside.
Heat ghee or oil in a large saucepan or wok, add the onions and cook over
medium to high heat until golden brown. Remove from pan with slotted spoon and set
Add the celeriac or potato and sweet potato to the pan and sauté for 3
Add the salt, water and cauliflower and simmer for 20 minutes, halfway through
adding the okra.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the onion and lemon juice. ( This
mixture can be stored in the refrigerator overnight, this will help develop the
Pumpkin: (optional) Pierce the inside of the pumpkin with a knife,
rub a little butter into the flesh of the pumpkins and pour a little milk in each
one and season. Place the pumpkins in a moderately hot oven for 20 with their lids
on. This can be done while the curry mixture is cooking. (This step can be done a
day in advance and refrigerated until required).
Rice: Wash the rice and soak in cold water for 30 minutes, then
drain. Bring 1.2 litres of water to the boil in a large saucepan. Add whole spices,
bay leaves and rice. Boil for 7 minutes. Drain the rice and remove the whole spices
and bay leaves. (This can be made a day in advance and refrigerated until required).
You may wish to tie the spices in a little piece of muslim or cloth.
Spread half the rice over the base of a very a large ovenproof dish or
distribute it among the pumpkins. Top with vegetable mixture and then the remaining
rice.*The dish can be prepared up to this dish up to a day in advance if stored in
the refrigerator. (Make sure you have reserved the pumpkin tops). Add a further
15-20 minutes to the cooking time, if cooking from cold.
Preheat an oven to 200°C.
Heat the milk with the saffron in a saucepan until warm. Pour the milk infused
with the saffron over the rice and pour around 200ml of boiling water around the
rice or distribute it among the individual pumpkin servings. Seal the dish with
buttered foil and then a tight fitting lid or return the pumpkin tops.
Place the biryani or biryani's on the centre shelf of the preheated oven and
cook for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 170C and cook for 8-15 minutes longer (8-10
minutes for the individual biryani's).( if cooking from the refrigerator you will
need to increase this time to 30-40 minutes dependent on their size).
Garnishes: Heat ghee or oil in a large frying pan and cook onion
over medium to high heat until golden. Remove from pan and drain on absorbent paper.
Add nuts to the pan and fry until golden. Remove with a slotted spoon. Add currants
to the pan and fry until they puff. Remove from the pan with a slotted
Yoghurt and Mint Sauce: Mix all the ingredients until well
combined. Place in storage container in fridge until ready to serve.
To Serve: Arrange Biryani on the centre of 6 or 3 plates (turning
out if in ramekins). Garnish the top of the rice with onion rings, almonds, cashews,
sultanas and coriander leaves. Serve with yoghurt and mint sauce, poured around the
birayani or around the edge of the plates. Arrange the papadums around the edge of
the pumpkins or plates.