Vegetable Biryani


This is a gloriously aromatic Indian rice.

(With thanks to the New Internationalist Spices of Life Cook Book for the inspiration for this recipe).

This rice can be served as a main course when it should be accompanied by chutneys and a cucumber raita,

or it can be used as a vegetable rice to accompany other dishes - (makes 8 to 10 portions).

We have served this as a party rice, and leftovers keep for 24 hours or so in a covered dish.


500 g
FAIRTRADE basmati long grain brown rice
250 g
organic carrots - peeled and chopped
125 g
frozen peas
125 g
frozen sweetcorn
cloves garlic peeled and crushed
10 ml
FAIRTRADE ground ginger
6 or so
FAIRTRADE whole cloves
5 ml
Fair Trade poppy seeds
6 or so
FAIRTRADE cardamon pods - whole
FAIRTRADE cinnamon stick
FAIRTRADE bay leaves
1 medium to large
onion skinned and chopped into small pieces
650 ml
3 tbsp (30 ml)
sunflower oil


Soak the rice in water for half an hour or more before cooking.

Prepare the onions and carrots

Crush the garlic into a little dish and add the ground ginger. Mix these into a paste by stirring with a little added water.

Using a heavy pan if you have one, heat the oil and when hot add the cloves, poppy seeds, cardamon pods and bay leaves and stir for half a minute.

Add the onion and saute until turning translucent.

Add the garlic and ginger paste and stir fry until the paste is well mixed with the onion, this takes about half a minute

Now add the carrots and stir fry for a minute or two whilst they heat through.

Now add the peas and corn and stir fry whilst they heat through as well.

Add a pinch of salt and the drained rice, stir gently until all the ingredients are mixed.

Cook over a low heat for 3 minutes or so until the rice is heated through.

Gradually add the water and then bring to the boil. Then turn down the heat, cover and simmer for 25 minutes (approx.) until the moisture is all absorbed.

To serve

Eat hot as an accompaniment to other dishes (8 portions)

Or use cold as a party dish.


You don't need any but the veg can be altered as necessary. Do not use big lumps of anything as it all needs to cook during the 25 minute simmer which is why you stir-fry the hard stuff first.

If you are out of cinnamon sticks, use 5 ml ground cinnamon mixed in with the ground ginger.