Friday, 8 June 2012

Vegetable Biryani

A wonderful recipe from Hugh Fearnley-Wittingstall, with some adaptation from me.  I made a vegetable curry base with a paste of an onion, 2 garlic cloves, a small hot red or green chilli, and a thumb of ginger, into which I stirred a teaspoon each of ground cumin, coriander and turmeric, and a quarter teaspoon of cinnamon.  In a tablespoon of oil, I then quickly sauteed a teaspoon of cumin seeds and 3 crushed cardamom pods, then stirred in the paste.  Fry for a couple of minutes, and add about 300 mls or so of water, along with 2 large new potatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes, 2 carrots, sliced, 4 tomatoes chopped and a red pepper, chopped.  Vary the veg depending on what you have available.  Season with salt and pepper and simmer until the veg is just tender and there is still some sauce.  Add a splash more water if necessary to keep it saucy, and add a handful of frozen peas and some chopped coriander.  Transfer to an overproof dish.  Now, put 300g of washed basmati rice in a pot with a good pinch of saffron and a teaspoon of salt.  Cover with water to 2cm above the level of the rice, cover, bring to the boil then turn the heat down really low and cook until the water is absorbed and there are tunnels in the rice, a matter of 7 minutes or so.  Now, tip the rice on top of the veg curry, cover with a lid or with foil, and bake in the oven at 160C for 20 minutes.  Allow to sit for 5 minutes then dig in.  Utterly scrummy. If you have the time and inclination, fry some onions for 15 minutes until deep brown and going crisp and sprinkle over at the end with more coriander and some almond. Serves 4 and definitely qualifies for under a fiver.  As this looked liked yesterday's risotto, I thought I'd give you a picture of a fluffy kitten instead.

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