Indian-Persian Fusion – Vegetable Biryani

An Indian-Persian fusion Vegetable Biryani at the request of my Indian-Persian fusion family-in-law. 🙂 It makes us so excited when people have tried our plant-based food and loved it as much as we do!

Biryani is a mixed rice dish from India (not a Persian dish), but my mom lived in India for nine (9) years and has some wonderful Indian recipes she makes, infused with some Persian spices and techniques of course. 🙂 The “Chutney” in this recipe can be made in advance and kept in the freezer for future use. Note, this is the same “Chutney” used in our Tofu Daal Aloo Mattar.

To reduce the heat on this spicy rice dish, we make a traditional Salad Shirazi (chopped tomatoes, red onion, and cucumber) but without the added lemon juice or olive oil. Rather, we add Kite Hill plain yogurt and a dash of salt and pepper to make our own version of Indian “raita” (a traditional Indian condiment made of yogurt and vegetables).

Ingredients

  • “Chutney” (see Chutney directions below)
    • 4 garlic heads
    • 5 Serrano chili
    • 2 medium sized gingers
    • 1 bunch cilantro
    • 3/4 cup shredded coconut
  • “Curry”
    • 1 small yellow onion chopped
    • 1 tsp. cumin (seeds or ground)
    • 1 cup thinly sliced russet potatoes
    • 1 cup thinly sliced carrots
    • 1 cup frozen cut green beans
    • 1 cup frozen green peas
    • 1/4 tsp. ground saffron
    • 1 tsp. cinnamon
    • 1 tsp. ground cardamom
    • 1 tsp. turmeric
    • 2 tsp. salt
    • 4 ripe tomatoes chopped
  • 4 Tbsp cooking oil (divided)
  • Basmati Rice
    • 3 cups of long-grain Basmati Rice
    • 1 Tbsp salt

Directions

  1. Prepare “Chutney”
    • Peel ginger and garlic heads
    • Wash and dry cilantro and Serrano Chili
    • Add all “Chutney” ingredients together in a food processor and blend well.
  2. Prepare “Curry”
    • In a large sauté pan on medium heat, add 2 Tbsp. cooking oil.
    • Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes until golden.
    • Add the cumin and stir.
    • Add 3-5 Tbsp. of “Chutney” depending on preferred level of spice. Stir and sauté for another 1-2 minutes.
    • Add the potatoes, stir and sauté for 2-3 minutes.
    • Add the carrots, green beans, and green peas and the remaining spices. Stir and sauté for 3 minutes.
    • Add the chopped tomatoes. Stir and cook until the tomatoes are very tender (approximately 15-20 minutes)
  3. Prepare Basmati Rice
    • Wash and pick over the rice to remove small particles. To wash the rice, place the rice in a large bowl and cover with water. Move the rice with your hand to loosen particles. Pour off the water. Repeat the process 3-4 times until the rice is clean.
    • Fill a large pot with water (3/4 full), add 1 Tbsp. salt, cover and bring to a boil.
    • Add rice to boiling water, and cook on medium heat, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
    • Drain the rice.
  4. Layer “Curry” and Basmati Rice
    • Add 2 Tbsp. cooking oil and dash of turmeric to the bottom of a large non-stick pot or Persian rice cooker.
    • Add 1/2 of the Basmati rice to the pot/rice cooker.
    • Add “Curry” as the second layer.
    • Top off with the remaining 1/2 of the Basmati rice.
  5. Cover and cook 50 minutes in the rice cooker. (If cooking in a non-stick pot, cook for 50 minutes on medium/low heat).
  6. Before serving, mix the rice and curry in the pot until well blended.
  7. Noosh-e-jan! Enjoy!

SERVES 4-5 people