My Spice Drawer

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Biryani Rice

Years ago I tried a fragrant rice dish made by my friend Rohini. It was quite spicy and had a beautiful presentation. I recently made the dish using Mahavira's Feast in place of the whole spices Rohini called for in her original recipe. This version is simple and yummy, fresh vegetables are best, but use frozen if that's all you have.

 1 tbsp oil
 1/2 cup onion, chopped
 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
 1 1/2 - 2 tsp Mahavira's Feast
 2 green onions, chopped
 1 1/2 cups mixed vegetables cut into 1/4" dice
   (carrots, celery, red & green peppers, peas etc)
 1/4 cup raisins
 1 cup basmati rice, rinsed 3 times and drained
 3/4 tsp salt (or to taste)
 1 1/3 cups water

For garnish
 1/2 cup cashews or almonds, roasted and roughly chopped
 Boiled egg, chopped (optional)
 Chopped fresh cilantro

Rinse the rice in cold water 3 times, drain and set aside.

Heat oil in a 10" frypan or dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions and saute 2-3 minutes until they begin to sweat and colour slightly. Add garlic, stir and cook 30 seconds.

Add Mahavira's Feast and stir until well combined with the onion and garlic. Add the green onion, vegetables, raisins and salt, stir together and let cook for 2 minutes. Add the rice, stir to combine with the veggies. Add the water, stir together. When the water begins to boil, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 20 minutes.

While the rice is cooking place an egg in a pan of water, bring to a boil and cook for 10-12 minutes. Rinse under cold water, peel and chop the egg. Toast cashews or almonds in a toaster oven at 300 degrees for 6 minutes (or fry in a dry pan) until just roasted. Be careful not to burn the nuts. Let cool and roughly chop.

When rice is done, fluff with a fork, turn off the heat and let rest for 10 minutes.

Transfer rice to a serving bowl, garnish with chopped egg, nuts and fresh chopped cilantro.

Serves 4.