Friday, September 16, 2011

Vegetable Biryani

 I can't get enough Indian food these days. And it certainly doesn't help that I work with about a dozen guys from Afghanistan who always bring The. Most. Delicious. smelling food for lunch. It's torture. Maybe one day I'll be "in" enough for them to share their food with me. But until that day (and I may be waiting a very long time), I'll have to do with my own South Asian cuisine.

A biryani is a spiced rice dish that is popular in countries all through South Asia. It can be meaty or meat-free.You'll find that unlike some other Indian dishes, this one is quite simple (throw everything in the pot) and doesn't have a huge list of ingredients, thanks to the tikka paste. Because your main flavoring comes from the paste, be sure you get a good brand. Of the ones I've tried, I like Patak, but couldn't find any at the store near me, and I think the flavor suffered a little as a result.

And finally, basmati rice is probably your best choice to get the light and fluffy texture of a real Indian biryani, but I cheated and used Jasmine rice today, which made it not quite as good as it could have been, but worked. Shout hurrah for a simple week night Indian dish!

Vegetable Biryani
Recipe and pictures by Kelly

1 large carrot, peeled and chopped into small pieces
2 small potatoes, chopped into small pieces
1/2 head of cauliflower, roughly chopped into florets*
1 small onion, thinly sliced
2-3 tablespoons oil
4 tablespoons tikka masala paste
4 tablespoons yogurt
1 cup basmati rice
2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
1/2 cup peas

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large pot. Add onions and saute 2-4 minutes. Add carrot, potatoes, and cauliflower and saute about 4 more minutes. 
  2. Add remaining oil to the pot and then add rice. Saute rice 1 minute. Add tikka masala paste and stir; add yogurt, water, and salt. 
  3. Bring to a boil, cover, and cook until vegetables and rice are done, about 20 minutes. Add peas and cook 5 more minutes.

*you want about 4 cups of vegetables

1 comment:

JFRL said...

I can get behind a recipe like this. Thanks for posting.

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