Very Veggie Weekend Biryani
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Very Veggie Weekend Biryani

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Serves 6

This is a delicious Biryani (spiced rice dish) which is the perfect main meal. Not a saucy curry, it is completely different - sort of like a paella of Indian cuisine - it has become an Indian restaurant favourite. Dum refers to a slow cooking method. The food is placed in a pot and dough is used to create a tight seal to prevent steam from escaping. The steam helps the spices to infuse the rice and create a wonderful aromatic flavour. This is delicious, but if you feel like a hassle-free Biryani, check out our new oven-bake Easy Biryani cooking sauces.

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  • 350g (12oz) basmati rice
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 medium onions, sliced
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 5cm (2inch) piece of root ginger peeled and finely sliced
  • 1 green chilli, finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp Patak's Biryani Paste or Tikka Masala Paste
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tbsp yoghurt
  • 75g (3oz) baby carrots, top removed
  • 75g (3oz) baby corn, halved
  • 75g (3oz) asparagus tips, cut into half
  • 100g (4oz) button mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
  • 150g (5oz) fresh assorted exotic mushroom, sliced
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • 15g (1/2 oz) mixed dried mushrooms
  • 2.5cm (1inch) piece of cinnamon stick
  • 5 green cardamom pods
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Pinch of saffron strands
  • 2 tbsp unsalted cashew nuts, halved
  • 2 tbsp sultanas
  • 200g (7oz) whole-wheat flour
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste


    1. Place the rice in a sieve and rinse it in several changes of warm water. Drain.
    2. In a pan, heat three tbsp of oil and fry the sliced onions until golden brown. Remove from the pan and drain on absorbent paper. In the same oil, saute the red onion for five minutes. Add the garlic, green chilli and one tsp of ginger, cook for one minute before adding three tbsp of Patak's Biryani Paste or Tikka Masala Paste. After two minutes stir in the tomatoes and cook for four minutes. Add the yoghurt and cook for a further two minutes.
    3. Add the baby carrots, baby corn, asparagus, exotic and button mushrooms. If the mixture is too thick add a little water. Simmer for one minute, then remove from the heat. Add one tbsp of coriander and one tbsp of mint. Season to taste and set aside.
    4. Meanwhile, cook the rice, place the rice in a large pan with the dried mushrooms, cinnamon stick, green cardamom, bay leaves, saffron and one tbsp of Patak's Biryani Paste or Tikka Masala Paste. Cover the rice with boiling water and return to the boil. Simmer for eight minutes or until the rice is just tender but with a little bite. Drain and discard the whole spices.
    5. Grease the base of a casserole dish (or an ovenproof dish) with one tbsp of oil and add a layer of the aromatic rice. Sprinkle with some coriander, mint, ginger, cashew nuts and sultanas. Add a layer of the vegetable masala and then sprinkle with some coriander and mint. Repeat the layering until all the rice and vegetable masala has been used. Finish with a sprinkle of coriander, mint, nuts, sultanas and the fried sliced onions.
    6. Preheat the oven at 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6. In a bowl mix together the whole-wheat flour, one tsp of salt and some water to form a dough. Roll into a sausage shape. Press this onto the edge of the casserole dish. Put the lid firmly on top and place on a medium heat on the hob for two minutes (this allows the steam to begin). Then bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to stand for five minutes before breaking the seal before serving.

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