Cooking with vegetables

Not sure where all my time goes at the moment.  Perhaps trying to juggle too many things as usual.  However today is a good veggie day as we are having Vegetable Biryani with all our veggies.   It always feels good to be able to use what I grow, knowing what has been sprayed on it (nothing), how it has been stored (various) and how good they taste (very).  So in case anyone wants to try it (would highly recommend it too):

Spiced Vegetable Biryani

  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 small cauliflower (North Foreland at the moment) broken into small florets
  • 2 large sweet potatoes (I have substituted butternut squash instead)
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1.2ltr hot vegetable stock
  • 3 tablespoons Balti curry paste
  • 1 red chilli, seeded and finely chopped (I used my dried ones and 1 tablespoon boiling water)
  • Large pinch of saffron stems (must try growing some)
  • 2 tsp mustard seeds (black or white)
  • 500g basmati rice
  • 140g trimmed green beans halved (I have defrosted some peas and broad beans)
  • 2 lemons, juice only
  • a handful of fresh coriander leaves (just picked from the garden, amazed how hardy they are!
  • 50g packet salted roasted cashew nuts.

Preheat oven to fan 200, pour the oil into a large stock pot and put in the oven for a couple of mins to heat through.  Add all the vegetables except the beans to the tin and stir to coat in oil.  Return to the oven for 15 mins or until beginning to brown (really brings out the cauliflower).

While the vegetables are roasting, stir together to stock, curry paste, chill, saffron and mustard seeds.

Mix the rice and green beans (or peas/broad beans) with the vegetables in the stock pot then pour over the stock mixtrure. Lower the oven to fan 190, cover the dish and bake for 30 mins unilt the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed.  Stir in the lemon juice and scatter over the coriander and cashew nuts.

I like to serve it with naan (which I usually make but not enough time today) and fresh raita made with cucumber, yoghurt, red onion, mint sauce and a squeeze of lemon.

DSCN0351[1] DSCN0353[1]

Once cooked it will look something like this:


Stir in the lemon juice (I like lots) and nuts and a sprinkle of lovely cut coriander (6 year old let loose with scissors and herbs, kept her amused for ages)

Serves about 6 and it does have some spice to it but you can lessen it if you want by adding less chilli peppers/balti sauce.  My 6 year old was shovelling it in like it was going out of style, 1 shovelful, one drink of water.  Mum my tongue is tingling, I love it!!



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