I always been a huge fan of Biryani, and middle-east/indian spices. This is something I could call my “comfort solo date meal”, something I cook when I am alone for the diner, even if I normally ate cooking for myself, just because it is so so addictive. Hopefully, you will feel the same way.
Biryani (derived from the Farci word Birian which means “fried”) was inspired by Islamic Persians, and invented during Mughal Empire. Now, it exists in different kind of variations and styles, and can be made with a huge variety of ingredients.
Normally, depending on where you live, it might be tricky to find all those spices. Here in Switzerland, we do find mostly everything, but to a highly exaggerated price. I spend lots of my time in local markets when I travel, buy my spices from there, and stock it. I am pretty sensitive to quality and can’t imagine using products from department stores. It just doesn’t feel the same. But the good thing is, people travels more an more, expats bring there culture with them, and Latin-Asian-African-MiddleEast markets can’t be found pretty much everywhere on the globe if we look around.
Serving: 2 really hungry beasts or 3-4 small appetite
Notes: Vegan, Vegetarian, Lactose-Free, Gluten-Free, Kosher Parve
You will need
- 2 cups basmati rice
- 1 teaspoon ghee butter, or omit for vegan* (Click here to learn how to make your own Ghee butter)
- 1 teaspoon oil, or more as a vegan alternative
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 small cinnamon stick
- 2-3 cloves
- 2-3 pepper corns
- 1 star anise
- 3 pods cardamom, crushed
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 medium onions, diced
- 2 green chillies, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 1 teaspoon garlic
- 1/2 cup coriander leaves, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup mint leaves, finely chopped
- 2 potatoes, cut into cubes
- 1/2 cup of carrots, cut into cubes
- 4 teaspoon green peas
- 1/2 cup cauliflowers florets
- 1/2 cup green beans, cut into 2 or 3 piece each
- 1/2 cup tomatoes, cut into medium size pieces
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon garam masala powder* (click here for a garam masala recipe)
- 1/2 teaspoon grounded turmeric (curcuma)
- 1 pinch saffron
- 3 cups coconut milk
- 2 cups water
- pinch of salt (kosher or pink himalayan)
- Soak the rice in water for 15 mins to remove the excess starch. Drain and keep aside.
- Try to prepare every ingredients before starting. Use the Mortar and Pestle* to crush the cardamom, cut all vegetables and other items you need, and get everything ready in separated bowls.
- In a large skillet, heat ghee butter and oil on medium-high heat.
- When hot, add cumin seeds, cinnamon, cloves, pepper corns, star anise, cardamom, bay leaf and saute for a minute.
- Add onions and fry until soft and golden, then add green chillies.
- Add ginger and garlic, saute for a minute. Stir in coriander and mint leaves.
- Stir in potatoes, carrots, green peas, cauliflower florets, green beans and tomatoes. Saute all the vegetables for 2 mins.
- Add chili powder, garam masala powder, turmeric (curcuma) and saffron, and toss the vegetables gently to coat.
- Incorporate the rice and toss again gently until everything is well mixed.
- Now pour in coconut milk and pinch of salt (add water if the liquid is not covering everything).
- Bring to boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and steam for approximatively 25 minutes. Do not lift lid or stir while cooking. Just let it be.
- When the rice and vegetables are well cooked and the liquid absorbed, turn off the heat.
- Serve hot immediately.