Biryani - the paella of Indian cuisine - is a one-pot wonder; a delicious, fragrant dish of rice, vegetables and spices. And meat, if you're that way inclined, although this version is vegetarian. Ten minutes prep, 40 minutes in the oven while you argue with your housemates about whether it's cold enough to put the radiators on, and 15 minutes to wolf it down with some naan, just in case your carb levels are dangerously low.
Vegetable biryani (serves 2)
You will need:
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 small potato, cut into small cubes
- 250g mixed veg, cut into small pieces - I used cauliflower, green beans, pepper and okra
- 300ml vegetable stock
- 1 green chilli, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 5cm piece of ginger, grated
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 150g basmati rice
- 1 tbsp salted cashew nuts
- Small handful fresh coriander, chopped
- Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. Pour the oil into an ovenproof dish and put in the oven for a couple of minutes to heat up. Add all the veg except for the green beans (or anything similarly delicate that doesn't need lots of cooking) and stir to coat well with the oil. Return to the oven for 15 minutes.
- While the vegetables are roasting, make up the stock and stick the green chilli, garlic, ginger and spices in with it.
- Take the tray out and add the green beans, rice, and stock. Pop a lid on or cover it tightly with foil so no steam escapes. Bake for 30 minutes until all the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender.
- Taste and add seasoning - the stock means it won't need much extra salt - and scatter over the cashews and fresh coriander. Serve with chutney, raiti, poppadums and bread to make it a feast.