Vegetable Biryani

This hearty vegetable and rice casserole is from India.

Yield 6 servings
Time 1 hour
  • saucepan with tight-fitting lid
  • wooden spoon
  • large frying pan or wok
  • 2½ quart baking dish
  • aluminum foil
  • 1½ c brown rice (long-grain or Basmati)
  • 3 T vegetable oil, butter, or ghee
  • large pinch saffron
  • pinch turmeric
  • ½ t salt
  • 2¼ c hot water
  • 1 c onions, chopped
  • 2 t fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1½ t ground cumin seeds
  • 1½ t ground coriander seeds
  • ½ t cinnamon
  • pinch of cayenne
  • ½ c water
  • 1 small sweet potato OR 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 2 c small cauliflower florets
  • 1 medium bell pepper, diced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • ½ c fresh or frozen peas
  • 1/3 c raisins
  • ¾ c chickpeas, canned and drained or soaked and cooked
Directions Heat 1 T oil or butter, add rice, and sauté briefly, stirring to completely coat each grain. Add crumbled saffron, turmeric, salt, and hot water. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat remaining 2 T oil over medium-high heat and sauté onions for 5 minutes. Add ginger, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and cayenne, and cook for one minute, stirring constantly.

Preheat oven to 350.

Add ½ c water, sweet potato or carrot, and cauliflower. Cover, reduce heat, and cook 3-4 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and simmer until vegetables are just tender, adding more water as needed. Salt to taste.

Butter baking dish, spread half of rice in it, cover with vegetable mixture, and top with the rest of the rice. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 30 minutes.

Notes Garnishes:

  • toasted cashews or almonds
  • plain yogurt
  • hard-boiled eggs
  • chutney

Adapted from The Moosewood Collective’s Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant: Ethnic and regional recipes from the cooks at the legendary restaurant.

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Indian Recipe Index     Vegetarian Main Dishes    Vegan Recipes     Vegetarian Cookbooks