Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Biryani, A Light Indian Meal

We've been eating some pretty delicious meals lately, and it's been hard to keep up! Summer is a season filled with birthdays, parties with good friends, our anniversary, days of arts and crafts, late nights at the Raven, special gatherings with our church family, selling art!, gardening, brewing, and other fun summer things. 

Summer seems to need light meals, and lately we've been making a lot of Indian-inspired meals, so this was the perfect pairing. I like this meal a lot because although honestly it takes awhile to make, it's such a nice light meal, vegetarian with cold (refreshing) garnishes. So satisfying after a summer's day hike or downtown antique-ing. Enjoy!

Biryani
Adapted from Vegetarian editor Nicola Graimes, a Barnes and Noble Publication
Time: 1 1/2 hrs Serves: 4
Vegetarian | Gluten-Free

Ingredients:
1 small eggplant, cubed
10 oz basmati rice
3 carrots, julienned
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1-inch ginger root, peeled and grated
4 tbsp coconut oil, divided
4-6 oz sliced almonds, unsalted
1/4 cup raisins
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 1/4 cup vegetable stock
2 tbsp butter
salt and pepper to taste
2 hard boiled eggs, halved
cilantro to garnish

How To:
1) Place eggplant in a bowl and sprinkle with coarse salt. Let rest for 30 minutes. Rinse, and squeeze dry with a paper towel. Set aside.

2) Pour rice in a bowl and cover with water. Let the rice soak for 30 minutes. Bring 1 1/4 cups water to a boil. Drain rice and add to boiling water. Cook for 6 minutes, turn off heat. 

3) Heat 3 tablespoons of the coconut oil in dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions. Cook until softened. Remove and set aside. Add almonds and raisins. Cook for a couple minutes. Remove and set aside with onions. Add eggplant, carrots, and bell pepper to dutch oven. Cook for 5 minutes. Remove and set aside with the rest of the cooked items. 

4) Heat the remaining tablespoon of coconut oil in the dutch oven. Add cumin, coriander, chili powder. Cook for a minute or two until fragrant. Add yogurt. Stir until well combined. Add half of the vegetable stock, and all of the cooked vegetables. Stir until well combined. Add the rest of the stock and salt and pepper to taste, and bring to a boil. Simmer for 30 minutes with the lid on. 

5) Preheat oven to 300ºF. Drain rice, and evenly dollop on top of the vegetable mixture. Dot the rice with butter. Place lid on the dutch oven, and bake for 35 - 40 minutes.

6) Serve biryani with chilled hard boiled eggs and cilantro.

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