Spicy Vegetable Biryani

Author: Shelley Bennetts   Date Posted:17 January 2019 

I first had this dish at a festival in India where it was served to thousands on squares of banana leaf. It's a nice thing to do for a feast for many that you can prepare in advance and keep warm for serving. I’m a great fan of one-pot dishes and this one is aromatic and full of spicy flavour. The spiciness comes from our Mild Curry blend of eleven heavenly spices. Typically, most of the effort is in the preparation of the ingredients, and I highly recommend that everything is chopped, measured and ready to go before cooking begins. You’ll need a large oven-proof dish with a lid. I use a cast iron Dutch oven which has a heavy lid and is perfect.


2 tbs Vegetable Oil
½ small Cauliflower, broken into small florets
1 large Sweet Potato, diced
2 cups Pumpkin, diced
1 large Onion, sliced
1 litre hot Vegetable Stock
1 tbs PFE Mild Curry Powder
1 red Chilli, de-seeded and chopped
Pinch Saffron threads
2 tsp Black Mustard Seeds
500 g Basmati Rice, washed and drained
100 g Green Beans, trimmed and halved
12 small Okra, trimmed
2 Zucchini, trimmed and cut into chunks

Before serving

Juice of 2 lemons or Limes
Fresh Coriander
50g roasted Cashews


1. Pre-heat the oven to 220C. Pour the oil into your oven dish and heat for a couple of minutes. 
2. Add the Cauliflower, Sweet Potatoes, Pumpkin and Onion and mix to coat the veggies. Season with salt and pepper and bake for 15 minutes until they start to brown. 
3. While the veggies are roasting, heat the stock and blend in the Curry powder, diced chilli and saffron threads
4. In a separate, small pan fry the Mustard seeds in a little oil until they begin to pop and splutter. Sprinkle over the roasted veggies.
5. Mix the Basmati rice, green veggies, and the stock mixture into the baked veggies. Blend it all well, pop the lid on to seal tightly.
6. Lower the oven temperature to 190C and bake the dish for 30 minutes, ensuring that the rice is cooked and all the liquid has been absorbed.
7. Add the lemon or lime juice, scatter over the coriander and cashews and gently blend them through.
Serve with Poppadums or Naan and this refreshing Raita.

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