I love a good biryani every now and then. The only problem with making a biryani is that it always comes out more that it should and guess who cries.
My father he can eat biryani today and tomorrow but give it to him the third day and he will cry like a small child and ask if there is anything else to eat.
Normally I will make a vegetable biryani and most recently I have discovered how to make mutton biryani. That is about as far as my biryani recipes go.
That was until I came across a different kind of biryani recipe in Anjum Anand’s recipe book. I was intrigued, because I would never have thought of using this specific ingredient and making it the main component in a rice dish.
I have never in my life bought saffron. Whenever I pass it and see the price, I quickly look the other way and then I finally decided to just take a chance and spend the money and buy a pinch of these strands and use them after all I am Indian and we are always using saffron threads… or so I am told.
The verdict, I myself who would never eat vegetable biryani unless the world was ending decided to taste some and it was extremely delicious even if I must say so myself.
My parents verdict, my mother loved it, my father well I gave him the left over chickpea and roasted butternut salad for lunch and when he came home and saw the chick pea biryani on the table he was grumbling under his breath… chickpeas again, what is it national chick pea day that he isn’t aware of???
Ingredients for the rice:
- 400g x plain white rice, soaked in water overnight.
- 2 x tbsp. butter.
- 5 x whole cloves.
- 5 x green cardamom pods.
- 1 x bay leaf.
- 2 x onions, thinly sliced.
- 750ml x boiling water
- A good pinch of saffron threads.
- 4 x tbsp. boiling milk.
- A handful coriander, finely chopped.
- A handful mint, finely chopped.
Ingredients for the chick peas:
- 2 x tomatoes, roughly chopped.
- 4 x tbsp. plain yoghurt.
- 2 x onions, finely chopped.
- 4 x cloves garlic, chopped.
- 1 x tsp ginger, grated.
- ½ x tsp chilli powder.
- 2 x tsp coriander powder.
- 2 x tsp cumin powder.
- ½ x tsp turmeric powder.
- 2 x tsp garam masala.
- 2 x 400g tins chick peas, drained and rinsed.
Method for the rice:
- Mix saffron and milk together, set aside.
- Heat oil and melt butter in a pot.
- Add the spices, and bay leaf and cook for a couple of minutes.
- Add onions and salt.
- Saute till the onions are soft.
- Drain the rice and add it to the onions.
- Mix thoroughly and add the water.
- Cover and cook till the rice is cooked.
- Pour in the milk and saffron mixture, toss till everything is coated.
- Set aside for now.
Method for the chick peas:
- Blitz the tomatoe and yoghurt together till well combined.
- Heat some oil in a pot.
- Add the onions and salt and saute till the onions are soft.
- Add spices, ginger and garlic and mix.
- Add a little water to create a paste.
- Add the tomato mixture and stir to mix.
- Allow the mixture to come to the boil.
- Add the chick peas, cover and cook for about 30 minutes until the sauce has reduced and thickened.
- Pour the chick peas and sauce over the rice mixture.
- Cover with foil and pop into a preheated oven to steam at 18-0 degrees for 30 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, remove the foil and garnish with the mint and coriander.