I usually only have to say the word "biryani" to put the twinkle into Desi's eyes, because it is one of his most favorite foods. And I can't deny that it puts a song in my heart too. Especially when it's as easy to make as this one is.
My mixed-vegetable biryani with lentils is very versatile, and you can try using all sorts of veggies in here. And so long as you have your spices right, it's hard to mess this one up.
I served this biryani with a vegan coriander raita made with tofu that's luscious and creamy and almost ridiculously good for you.
I want to put my feet up for the rest of my Sunday, so I'm going to make this a quick post. These have been unusually busy days for me which has meant less time for my blog, but rest assured I'll be back to a more frequent schedule pretty soon.
Biryani With Lentils and Mixed Vegetables
2 cups vegetables, cut in a fairly small and uniform dice (I used carrots, red peppers, potatoes and green peas. You can also use zucchini, sweet potatoes or green beans)
1 cup rice
1/2 cup red lentils
1 tbsp canola or other vegetable oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 tbsp garlic, minced
1 tbsp ginger, grated
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tsp red chili powder
3/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 cup soy yogurt
Salt to taste.
Soak the rice and lentils together and set aside for half an hour.
Heat the oil in a skillet.
Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until they are golden brown.
Add the ginger and garlic and stir for a minute.
Add the vegetables except the green peas. Add garam masala, chilli powder and turmeric. Cook, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes until the vegetables begin to soften.
Add the green peas and the soy yogurt. Mix well and cook another 5 minutes.
Drain the soaked rice and lentils and add to the skillet. Mix with the vegetables.
Add salt to taste.
Add 2 1/4 cups of water and bring to a boil.
Cover with a lid, turn the heat to low, and cook 15 minutes.
Allow the biryani to stand for 10 minutes at least before removing the lid.
Garnish with coriander and fried onions, if desired.
Serve hot with Tofu-Coriander Raita (recipe follows).
1 package firm tofu
1/4 cup soy milk
1 tbsp grated ginger
Juice of 1/2 large lemon
1 cup coriander leaves
Salt to taste.
Put all the ingredients into the bowl of a food processor and process until blended and smooth.
Serve cold or at room temperature.