Vegetable Biryani


275g basmati rice
40g ghee
1 large onion, finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
Thumb-size piece of fresh ginger, grated
½ tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp mild chilli powder
1 tsp ground coriander
500g mixed vegetables, prepared and cut into small pieces (we used cauliflower, red pepper, green beans and mushrooms)
6 cardamom pods, cracked
6 cloves
Small handful fresh coriander, to garnish


  1. Rinse and soak the rice in cold water for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the ghee in a wide, deep flameproof casserole with a tight-fitting lid over a medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, for 10 minutes. Add the garlic, fresh ginger and ground spices and stir for 2 minutes. Stir in the vegetables and 150ml water, cover and cook gently for 3-4 minutes. Season with plenty of freshly ground black pepper and set aside.
  3. Preheat the oven to 150°C/fan130°C/gas 2. Drain the rice. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, add the rice and whole spices and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain and gently fold into the onion and vegetable mixture in the casserole – don’t overmix as you want some rice to stay white and some to be streaked with turmeric.
  4. Place the casserole back over a high heat, cover and cook for 1 minute to build up steam. Transfer to the oven for 15 minutes, until the rice and vegetables are tender.
  5. Divide the biryani between bowls, garnish with fresh coriander and serve with some mango chutney and poppadoms.
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