With Autumn in full swing and Halloween nearby it’s time to get festive. Pumpkin carving with leftover mixture hanging around? Why not add a twist to the humble biryani. Watch @Kavskitchen2020 creates this flavoursome pumpkin biryani, the perfect seasonal spin on a classic this Fall.
2 cups of rice
3 tbsp of milk
Bunch of mint
Bunch of coriander
300g baby potatoes
80g Green fine beans
200g frozen peas
200g frozen sweetcorn
2/3 large tomatoes
Garlic (grind 7 garlic cloves with a bit of water)
Ginger (grind 2 inches of ginger with water)
2 Star anise
2 Bay leaves
2 cinnamon sticks
2 dried red chills
4 green/ Birdseye chills (optional depending on chilli level)
Few strands of Saffron
Salt to taste
Red Chilli powder
Add a few strands of Saffron into 3 tbsp of milk. (Optional)
Wash and slice up the potatoes with skin on (The skins soaks up a lot of the masala and adds great flavour to the biryani)
Wash, peel, slice and cut up the pumpkin into bite-size pieces.
Grate carrots and cut up.
Slice the green beans in half.
Cooking the rice
Wash the rice several times, then allow it to soak in water for 30 minutes.
Once the rice has soaked for 30 minutes, drain and set aside (soaking it separately helps remove the starch and cuts down cooking time).
Heat up a large pan of water, add a small cinnamon stick, 5 cardamom pods, 5 cloves, 2 star anises and salt to taste. (the dry spices add flavour to the rice).
Once the water has boiled, add the drained rice and bring to boil again.
Cook this for around 5 -7 minutes. You want the rice to 85% cooked, (I would say 90% but every time I have attempted to achieve that my rice ends up slightly softer than I like, so I aim for 85%)
Drain the rice and set aside for the biryani layering.
Cooking the vegetable mixture
I love to pan-fry the vegetables as it gives them a nice crispy texture.
Heat up a wok and add two tbsp of oil. Once the oil is hot add 2 cut up cloves of garlic.
After a minute add the bite-sized potato and pumpkin. Cook together on a medium heat for 6- 8 minutes. Then add the green beans, carrots, peas and sweetcorn and cook for another 5 minutes.
Next heat up a pan, add 3 tbsp of oil, once heated add the sliced onions and allow these to cook for 7- 10 minutes until browned. (stir occasionally to ensure they do not burn).
Once cooked remove 2/3 tbsp worth for garnishing later.
Add the 2/3 tbsp of garlic paste (grind 7 garlic cloves with a bit of water).
Add 2 tbsp of ginger paste (2 inches of ginger).
After a minute add 2 tsp of cumin seeds, 1 cinnamon stick, 1 bay leaf, 2 dried chillies, 5 cloves, 4 peppercorns.
Let the dried spices roast together for a few minutes and then add your chopped tomatoes. Put the lid on and let the tomatoes cook for a few minutes.
Then add your salt (to taste), 1 tsp of haldi, 1 tsp of red chilli powder, 1 tsp of coriander powder, 1 tsp of garam masala, 1 tsp of cumin powder.
Put the lid back on and allow this to cook until the oils separate from the tomato mixture.
Next add the pan-fried vegetables to the pan with 1 ½ cup of boiled water. Allow this to cook together for 5 -7 minutes, your vegetable mixture is ready for layering.
The Biryani Layering
Get a nice big pan or casserole dish with a matching lid.
Add 2/3 tbsp of oil to the pan. Add a third of the rice, then half of the vegetable mixture.
Then add 2/3 tsp of yoghurt, some chopped mint and coriander.
Repeat again with another layer.
When you add the final layer of rice, sprinkle the saffron milk, 3/4 fresh green chills (depending on heat tolerance), tbsp of ghee (optional), mint and coriander leaves and fried onions.
(You can add as many layers as you want, but the final layer should always be rice)
Cooking the Vegetable Biryani
Preheat the oven to 180c.
Add foil around the lid to ensure all the steam stays in the pan and cooks the biryani all the way through.
Add the pan to the oven and cook for 25 minutes.
Try to scoop out the biryani from the bottom of the pan so that each serving has both the veggies and the rice. Best served with yoghurt raita.
If you are having a dinner party, why not serve the Biryani inside a pumpkin for the ultimate party centrepiece.
Asiana magazine: @asianatv