Vegetable Biryani

This biryani recipe is something else, lovely complicated flavours, very authentic, but be warned, it takes about 2 hours from start to finish. To make this vegetable biryani, you will need:

  • 200g basmati rice
  • 3 onions (halved and sliced)
  • 2 medium potatoes (peeled and cubed)
  • 2 carrots (peeled, halved and chopped)
  • 1/2 courgette (cubed)
  • 1 tbsp root ginger (chopped)
  • 4 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 10 cardamon pods
  • 9 cloves
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground white pepper
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 chilli pepper (chopped)
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 small pots of natural yoghurt
  • handful of chopped coriander
  • handful of chopped mint
  • 4 eggs (beaten)

In a large pan, bring water to the boil and add the cubed potatoes and sliced carrots and cook for 10 minutes. Drain and place in a large bowl to cool.

Put 50g of rice in a cup or jug, cover with cold water and put to one side.

In a large frying pan, heat 1 tbsp olive oil over a medium/high setting, and cook the onions until medium brown. It is easier to cook one onion at a time, and when cooked, place in a seperate bowl.

To the bowl containing the par-boiled potatoes and carrots, add the chopped courgette, 1/3rd of the cooked onions, the yoghurt, chilli power, chopped chilli, ginger, garlic, cumin, turmeric and black pepper, and mix so everything is combined and the vegetables are covered in the mixture.

In the pan which you used to par-boil the potatoes and carrots, add 150g of rice, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp salt, 2 bay leaves, 4 cloves, 5 cardamon pods and 1 cinnamon stick, and 450ml water. Mix and bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer for 8 minutes and turn off the heat.

Transfer the vegetable mix to a large, deep pan and spead evenly across the bottom of the pan. cover with the chopped coriander and mint (retain 1 tbsp of coriander), drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil and the lemon juice, and cover with half of the remaining fried onions.

Drain the 50g of rice from the cup or jug and sprinkle over the onions. Sprinkle the saffron over this, and then cover with the remaining fried onions. Place 5 cloves and 5 cardamon pods on the onions.

Finally cover the onions with the 150g of partly boiled rice from the other pan, and drizzle with 2 tbsp of ghee or some bits of butter.

Cover the large pan with foil and either a lid or a large plate to put pressure on the edge of the foil to retain the moisture. Place the pan on a medium heat for 10 minutes, then turn off the heat and leave the pan for a further 5 minutes.

Whilst the biryani is cooking, add the tbsp of chopped coriander to the beaten eggs. In a medium frying pan, heat some oil and add the egg mixture. Cook for a few minutes to create a coriander omelette.

Uncover the cooked biryani and place the omelette on top.

Using a silicone spatula, break up the omelette and turn the biryani mixture, combining the vegetables with the different shades of rice whilst mixing in the broken omelette. Once mixed, serve into bowls or plates, or place the pan in the middle of the table so you and your friends can help themselves.