So I went to India to look for inspiration. This vegetable biryani is a recipe that is very tasty yet quite easy to cook. A bit of chopping beforehand, then a bit of stirring, then into the oven to cook. What couldn't be easier.
I cooked it in a corningware dish in the oven. I have a double oven the smaller oven is 2/3 the size of the large oven which is great for single dishes. As it gets hotter quicker it also saves time and energy. This cooked in 15 minutes, if you where to use a normal sized oven I would check it after 15 minutes, it may need more liquid or time if it isn't cooked, possibly another 5 - 10 minutes.
This is the dish that I use.
This recipe comes from - Meena Pathak's Flavours of India - she married into the Pataks Indian sauce and spice business.
I have altered the recipe a bit as I was time short when I made this so I cooked this for shorter time periods at certain stages, but I don't believe this altered the flavour at all, in fact Mr CLI went back for seconds and said I could cook the dish again any time, as it was flavourful and filling as well as being good for him.
3 cups vegetables - I used 1 medium carrot cut into thin julienne, florets of brocolli & cauli cut quite small so that they would cook, 250 gm basmati rice, 1/4 - 1/2 onion finely sliced, 2 tablespoons tomato paste, 3 cloves, 3 whole cardamom pods, 5 tbsps olive oil, 4 garlic cloves grated, 1 peive ginger 2 x 5 cms grated, 1/4 tsp chilli powder, 1 tsp fennel seeds, 1/2 tsp salt, boiling water to cover rice, fresh coriander leaves for garnish
Preheat the oven 200.c.
On the stove top heat the oil in your ovenproof casserole dish/frypan, add the cloves & cardamom, when popping/sizzling, add the onions stir until they are starting to soften, if sliced thinly this should only take 1 - 2 minutes.
Add garlic, ginger and remaining spices, stir. Add 2tbsps water, let bubble for 1 minute, add the tomato paste stir to combine, then add the vegetables and rice stir to cover with tomato/spice mix. Add enough boiling water to cover the rice by 1cm, stir in the salt. Bring to the boil, remove from heat.
Cover tightly with a double layer of tin foil, put on lid it you have one. Place into the oven cook for 15 minutes. Check if rice is tender, if is isn't you may need more time another 5 - 10 minutes. If the liquid has evaporated but the rice isn't cooked and another 1/2 - 1 cup.
When cooked check the seasoning it may need more salt. Serve with a dollop of greek yoghurt and pappodoms or naan bread.
I hope you try this recipe as it is quite easy, and you can alter the vegetables to suit your tastes.