At my home, biryani is always a hit. After all, what's not to love in a dish that combines the richness of a spicy sauce with the pure fragrance of basmati rice and the decadent sweetness of raisins and nuts?
But biryanis in restaurants often suffer from fat overload. The rice is usually greasy and so is the sauce. And while all of it tastes pretty good, you get up from the meal feeling like you ate for four instead of one.
That's certainly not the case with my decadent Peas-and-Mushroom Biryani which uses a smidgen of canola oil and a cup of coconut milk. Since the biryani can easily feed at least six people, the amount of fat consumed per person is still very low.
I use mushrooms here because of their robust texture that stands up well to strong spices. And peas are a perfect match to mushrooms, so in they went.
I've had a really long day today, so I am going to shut up now and just let the biryani do the talking for me. Enjoy, everyone!
Peas and Mushroom Biryani
1 1/2 cups Basmati rice, washed and drained
1/2 tsp turmeric
4 cardamom pods
1-inch stick of cinnamon
2 bay leaves
3 cups water
1 pound crimini mushrooms, quartered
1 cup green peas (I used frozen)
1 cup coconut milk
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
1 1-inch piece ginger, grated finely
6 garlic cloves, crushed into a paste
1/2 cup of cashew pieces and raisins
1 tbsp + 1 tsp canola oil
1/4 cup chopped coriander leaves
In a spice grinder, grind to a powder, then toast lightly in a dry skillet:
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp black peppercorns
3 cardamom pods
1-inch stick of cinnamon
In a saucepan, heat the water and add the whole spices and turmeric to it. When the water comes to a boil, add the rice.
When most of the water is absorbed by the rice, turn the heat to low, cover tightly with a lid, and let the rice cook on low heat for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat.
Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in another, larger pot with a tight-fitting lid.
Add the sliced onions and saute over medium heat until the onions turn golden-brown.
Add the ginger and garlic and saute another minute.
Add the mushrooms and tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes have broken down completely.
Add the toasted spices and stir in.
Now add coconut milk and peas and salt. Cook another 5 minutes over low heat.
Now layer the cooked rice on top of the sauce in an even layer. Cover with the lid and cook for about 15 minutes on very low heat.
Heat 1 tsp oil in a saucepan. Add the raisins and nuts and stir until the cashew nuts are lightly browned.
Garnish the biryani with the nuts and raisins and coriander leaves. You can also garnish with crisply fried onions.
Enjoy piping hot!
[vegan mushroom biryani]