Friday Foodies – Vegetable Biriyani

Vegetable vegan biriyani with carrot salad

Vegetable vegan biriyani with carrot salad

Cooking time

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 40 mins

Skill level –Easy

Servings –Serves 8

A meat and dairy-free, Indian-inspired basmati rice dish with cauliflower, French beans, peas, potatoes, homemade curry paste and carrot salad

Ingredients

  • 400g basmati rice
  • pinch saffron threads (optional)
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2 potatoes, cut into chunks
  • 100g red lentils
  • 100g French beans, trimmed and cut in half
  • handful curry leaves
  • 2 handfuls frozen peas
  • small bunch coriander
  • 50g roasted cashew nuts, roughly chopped
  • poppadoms and naan bread, to serve

For the paste

  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • large piece ginger, roughly chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 small green chilli

For the carrot salad

  • 4 carrots
  • pinch of golden caster sugar
  • squeeze lemon juice
  • handful cashew nuts, roughly chopped
  • handful coriander leaves, roughly chopped
  • thumb-sized piece ginger, shredded into matchsticks
  • 1 tsp cumin seed, toasted

Method

  1. Soak the rice for 30 mins, then rinse in several changes of water until it runs clear. Cover with about 1 cm water, add the saffron (if using), cover the pan, bring to the boil, stir once, then turn off the heat. Leave for 10 mins, covered, then stir again and leave to stand, covered.
  2. To make the paste, blitz all the ingredients together in a food processor. Heat the oil in a saucepan. Tip in the paste, then add the cauliflower and potatoes. Cook in the paste to colour, then add the lentils and green beans, and cover with about 400ml water. Add the curry leaves, season with salt, cover with a lid and simmer for 20 mins until the lentils and vegetables are tender Add the peas for the last 2 mins to defrost. Stir the rice through the curry until completely mixed and hot, then spoon onto a platter and scatter with coriander and cashews.
  3. For the carrot salad, use a peeler to shave the carrots into ribbons. Sprinkle with the sugar and dress with the lemon juice, then toss with the other ingredients. Serve the biryani on a large platter for everyone to help themselves, with the carrot salad on the side, poppadoms for any vegans and naan bread for the vegetarians.
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