So the sunshine caught me a little off guard with my bowl of spicy biryani on the rooftop... but I'm not complaining.
This vegetable biryani was the first recipe I tried from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's River Cottage Veg Everyday! cookbook. I didn't have all the ingredients to hand, so instead just used whatever was left from the Growing Communities vegetable bag. It's a little re-jigged, and A LOT amazing. The new potatoes add a creamy taste that counteracts with the chili and curry powder, while I love the texture of the almonds, chickpeas and rice mixed together. It might not be the most traditional recipe, but when it comes to biryani, I think the only rule you need is to always make double. I was so upset when I finished eating this.
Makes enough for four meals
2 cups of rice
2 onions, one diced small, the other left in larger chunks
2 cloves of garlic, diced
2 carrots, sliced
2 handfuls of new potatoes, sliced
1 handful of toasted, sliced almonds
1 handful of parsley or coriander
1 tin (drained) of chickpeas
3 tbsp of your favourite curry powder
1 chili, chopped small
1 juice of lemon
2 tbsp vegetable or sunflower oil
Heat the oil in a large saucepan, and add the onions and garlic, and cook for a few minutes making sure they don't crisp. Boil the kettle with about 300ml of water and add the carrots and onions to the pan, pouring in the boiling water to just about over the vegetables. Put a lid on the pan and allow this to simmer away for about 5 minutes, until everything is coming up to parboiled.
Remove the lid and add in the curry powder and chili. You want the biryani mix to begin reducing now, so add in the chickpeas and stir occasionally, making sure it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan. In another saucepan, prepare the rice, as there's about ten minutes until the sauce is ready.
Once the vegetable curry mix has reduced, add in the almonds, lemon juice and fresh herbs, and any seasoning if you think it needs it. When the rice is ready, drain and stir into the curry mix. This will keep for two days but be sure to reheat the rice properly for leftovers- even if the temperatures outside are soaring!