A hearty casserole combining saffron rice with savory sauteed vegetables. It can be made vegan by using vegetable oil rather than ghee or butter.
Recipe type: Main Dish
- 1½ cups long-grain brown rice or brown Basmati rice
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, butter, or ghee
- generous pinch of saffron
- pinch of turmeric
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2¼ cups hot water
- 1 cup chopped onions
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or ghee
- 2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger root
- 1½ teaspoons ground cumin seeds
- 1½ teaspoons ground coriander seeds
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch of cayenne (or to taste)
- ½ cup water
- 1 small sweet potato (or 1 medium carrot, diced)
- 2 cups small cauliflower florets
- 1 medium red or green bell pepper, diced
- 1 tomato, diced
- ½ cup green peas (fresh or frozen)
- ⅓ cup raisins
- ¾ cup canned or cooked chick peas (optional)
- salt to taste
- toasted cashews or almonds
- In a saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, sauté the rice briefly in one tablespoon of oil or ghee, stirring to coat each kernel.
- Crumble in the saffron. Add the turmeric, salt, and the hot water.
- Bring the rice to a boil, cover the pan, and reduce the heat.
- Simmer for 30 minutes.
- While the rice is cooking, prepare the vegetables.
- Sauté the onions in 2 tablespoons of oil or ghee for 5 minutes.
- Mix in the ginger, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and cayenne and cook for a minute, stirring constantly.
- Add ½ cup water, the sweet potato or carrot, and the cauliflower.
- Cover the pan and cook on low heat for 3 or 4 minutes.
- Stir in the bell pepper, tomato, peas, raisins, and chick peas.
- Continue to simmer until the vegetables are barely tender, adding a little more water if necessary to prevent sticking.
- Add salt to taste.
- Oil or butter a 2½-quart casserole dish and spread half of the rice in the bottom.
- Top it with the vegetable mixture and then the remaining rice.
- Cover the dish tightly and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes.
- Garnish with toasted cashews or almonds.
- Vegetable Biryani is also good with plain yogurt, hard-boiled eggs, your favorite chutney, or onion relish