Thursday, December 1, 2011

Vegetable Biryani

Most people would probably scoff at the idea of using a curry paste. I have to admit that it is fairly rare to find pre-made sauces or mixes in our home, but I make at least one exception for Patak's Biryani Paste. Something about the mixture of flavours in this paste makes it pretty irresistable, especially in this dish.

This is a recipe that I find hearty enough to be a main dish meal, especially if I add some chickpeas to the mix or if I add extra almonds on top for some additional protein. It is pretty fast to put together and can be made, start to finish, in less than 30 minutes.

Vegetable Biryani
Serves 4-6
You can substitite 1 cup canned or cooked chickpeas for the green beans in this recipe if desired. I'd say the garnishes are optional, but don't miss trying them as the combination of nut, fruit and herb in the dish is pretty stellar.

1 large onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
2 medium parsnips, chopped
1/2 small cauliflower, separated into small florets
2 tbsp sunflower or grapeseed oil
1 cup green beans, cut into 1" pieces
4-5 tbsp Patak's Biryani paste
1 1/2 cups white basmati rice, rinsed
1 cup canned, chopped tomatoes (with juice)
3 cups vegetable broth
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
Garnish: toasted sliced almonds, chopped cilantro and raisins

1. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, carrot and parnsip and cook 5 minutes, stirring occassionally until lightly browned. Stir in cauliflower and green beans and cook for another minute or two.
2. Add biryani paste and rice and cook for 1 more minute. Add tomatoes, vegetable broth, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low and cook for 15-18 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed and rice is cooked.
3. Garnish servings with almonds, cilantro and raisins.