Monday, February 2, 2009

Chickpea and Cashew Biryani

I find I am getting into a rut when I make Indian food; the same dishes every time. They are great dishes, but it's time to branch out. So, tonight I made something I have never made before: biryani. It is fantastic. Baked rice has a wonderful texture, and with chickpeas and cashews this is a hearty meal unto itself. The raisins add small bursts of sweetness to balance the spices. In a word: yum.

- 5 cups water
- 1 1/2 cup basmati rice
- 5 green cardamom pods
- 1/2 tsp tumeric
- 1 cinnamon stick, broken in two
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 cloves
- 2 tbsp oil
- 3 onions, sliced
- 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1" piece ginger, minced
- 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp coriander
- juice of 1 lemon
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3-4 tomatoes, thickly sliced
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 2/3 cup plain soy yogurt
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 2/3 cup hot water

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a casserole dish. Get water boiling in a pot. Add rice, cardamom, tumeric, cinnamon, salt and cloves. Parboil for 3 mins, drain, then return to pot and cover to keep warm.
2. While water is boiling, heat oil in a large frying pan. Dry onions for 8-10 mins, until a deep golden brown. Add chickpeas, spices, lemon juice, and season to taste. Fry for 3-4 mins, until heated through.
3. Place chickpea mixture in the prepared casserole dish and top with cilantro. Top with enough sliced tomatoes to cover the chickpeas. Spread yogurt over the tomatoes, then top with cashews and raisins. Top that with rice, and pour water evenly over the top.
4. Cover and bake for 60-65 mins, until liquid is all absorbed and rice is cooked. Serve topped with more chopped cilantro.


shelby said...

I've had biryani before but it wasn't baked in the oven so it probably wasn't authentic. I thought that recipe was quite bland so I will have to give this one a shot!

Chris said...

See, the main reason I have never attempted Indian food is because I never knew what the dishes were. Biryani sounds so mysterious, but "baked rice" couldn't be much simpler. Though the recipe has a slew of ingredients, I'm sure it corresponds with great flavor. Thanks for demystifying this classic Indian dish :)

Jessica said...

This looks so delicious! I'll have to try it soon.

Janet said...

Hmm I've never had biryani before, it looks very interesting...I'm definitely intrigued. Anything made with cilantro is worth trying!!

Selba said...

Looks absolutely delicious!

DJ said...

I haven't made biryani for years - this sounds so good!!!

Alisa (@ said...

That looks sensational! The ingredient list looked intimidating until I noticed it was mostly spices :)

Nathan said...

Looks so good, I have to try this one!

Jeni Treehugger said...

Having just recently made my first Biryani and it coming out far too wet - I will give this recipe a try for sure. Thank you.

Mr Spooky said...

Oh!!! I am difinitley going to make this one, this week!

Tony - FoodsforLife said...

My boy loves Pistachios which I think would work well in this recipe.

Goji berries are good too instead of raisins and an indian family I know put pomegranate in the rice which i'd never thought of but is delicious and pretty!

Tony - London Nutritionists

Kelly said...

Mmmm. That looks fantastic as always. I'm doing an Indian feast for my boyfriend and I for valentine's day in lieu of doing Indian takeout so I may have to add this to the list. Thanks for another lovely recipe.

Kelly said...

Mmmm. That looks fantastic as always. I'm doing an Indian feast for my boyfriend and I for valentine's day in lieu of doing Indian takeout so I may have to add this to the list. Thanks for another lovely recipe. said...

I'm a sucker for anything with cashews... this looks *really* good

Bianca said...

I have the same problem. I always just make dhal or curries. But this looks so delicious. I love raisins in my Indian food.

Karyn said...

That looks really good and I have to admit I like having the oven on when its so cold outside!

I am going to make this tomorrow for my dinner. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

Eating Consciously said...

I know what you mean about getting into a rut with Indian dishes. Usually the high amount of ingredients keeps me from making a lot of them.

allularpunk said...

i love biryani! a pakastani friend of mine made me some a couple of times and it was always so amazing... thanks for the recipe :)

Katie D. said...

I'd love to make this dish tonight, but I (and my go-to health food store) am out of plain soy yogurt. Any suggestions? If I leave it out, will I be missing necessary moisture and tanginess?

Alyson said...

Looks and sounds yummy. I have avoided veggie biryanis so far, because none of them sounded interesting.....but yours looks great. Gotta try it!

Alyson said...

Tried this tonight......Oh YUM!!!

Alyson said...

Biryani in a crockpot? Is that do-able? It's got me thnking.......

Vegan Dad said...

I'm no crockpot afficianado, but I don't think that would work. My thinking is that the rice would cook too slowly and would go mushy. But it's just a guess.

Anonymous said...

We made this for dinner tonight, and it is SO delicious. I love it! I am planning to make 2 larger pans of it when I host a music salon at my house, along with some red lentil dahl. Thank you!

bubbasmama said...

we just made this last night for lunches this week and OMG IT IS DELICOUS!!! i put some tamarind date chutney on top and i think i am in total heaven. thanks for the AWESEOME recipe(s)!!!

Brian said...

i will echo the comments of the people who have also made this one -- there is no understating the DELICIOUS factor of this dish. so savory. this one goes up to 11. it is in our family's top 5 all time recipes.

Elisa said...

Do you really use 3 whole onions??? I want to make this but it seems like a lot of onion!