Vegetable biryani with mint yogurt raita
Serves 2 with leftovers
Ingredients for the curry paste
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 tablespoon tomato purée
1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes
Spices for toasting: 3 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
Ingredients for the vegetable biryani
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 small cauliflower, broken into small florets
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1 onion, sliced
1/2 litre hot vegetable stock
2 tablespoons medium curry paste (see above)
1 red chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped
Pinch of turmeric
1 teaspoon mustard seed (black or white)
250g basmati rice
70g frozen peas
1 lemon, juice only
Handful of cashews or peanuts
Ingredients for the cheat’s mint raita:
1 teaspoon mint sauce
3 tablespoons vegan natural yogurt
2 inch piece of cucumber, grated
If you’re feeling lazy you can buy a jar of curry paste, or alternatively you can make your own by toasting the spices in a dry pan, shaking them until they are going golden and start to smell delicious. Crush these until powdered.
Then peel the garlic and ginger and add all the rest of the ingredients, including the toasted spices, in a blender and whizz together. This is your curry paste.
Preheat the oven to 220°C.
Pour the oil into a large roasting tin and put in the oven for a couple of minutes to heat through.
Add all the vegetables, except the peas, to the tin, stirring to coat them in the hot oil. Season with salt and pepper and bake for about 15 minutes until just beginning to brown.
While the vegetables are roasting, stir together the stock, curry paste, chilli, turmeric and mustard seeds.
Scatter the rice and frozen peas with the cooked vegetables in the tin, then pour over the stock mixture.
Lower the oven to 190°C. Then cover the dish tightly with foil and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes, until the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed.
Stir in a squeeze of lemon juice and season with a little salt, then scatter over the coriander and nuts. Serve with a bowl of plain yogurt or raita.
To make the cheat’s raita cut the cucumber in half and scoop out and discard the seeds. Grate the cucumber, pat the excess water off with a paper towel and mix into the yogurt with the mint sauce. Season to taste.