Vegetable Vegan Biriyani With Carrot Salad


A meat and dairy-free, Indian-inspired basmati rice dish with cauliflower, French beans, peas, potatoes, homemade curry paste and carrot salad.

TIME   40 Minutes
Difficulty   EASY


424 Calories, 13 Fat, 2 Saturates, 14 Protein, 60 Carbs, 9 Sugars, 0.2 Salt, 7 Fibre

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400g basmati rice
pinch saffron threads (optional)
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 cauliflower, cut into florets
2 potatoes, cut into chunks
100g red lentil
100g French bean, trimmed and cut in half
handful curry leaves
2 handfuls frozen peas
small bunch coriander
50g roasted cashew nuts, roughly chopped
poppadums and naan bread, to serve
For the paste
1 large onion, roughly chopped
large piece ginger, roughly chopped
5 garlic cloves
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 small green chilli
For the carrot salad
4 carrots
pinch of golden caster sugar
squeeze lemon juice
handful cashew nuts, roughly chopped
handful coriander leaves, roughly chopped
thumb-sized piece ginger, shredded into matchsticks
1 tsp cumin seed, toasted


Soak the rice for 30 mins, then rinse in several changes of water until it runs clear. Cover with about 1 cm water, add the saffron (if using), cover the pan, bring to the boil, stir once, then turn off the heat. Leave for 10 mins, covered, then stir again and leave to stand, covered.
To make the paste, blitz all the ingredients together in a food processor. Heat the oil in a saucepan. Tip in the paste, then add the cauliflower and potatoes. Cook in the paste to colour, then add the lentils and green beans, and cover with about 400ml water. Add the curry leaves, season with salt, cover with a lid and simmer for 20 mins until the lentils and vegetables are tender Add the peas for the last 2 mins to defrost. Stir the rice through the curry until completely mixed and hot, then spoon onto a platter and scatter with coriander and cashews.
For the carrot salad, use a peeler to shave the carrots into ribbons. Sprinkle with the sugar and dress with the lemon juice, then toss with the other ingredients. Serve the biryani on a large platter for everyone to help themselves, with the carrot salad on the side, poppadoms for any vegans and naan bread for the vegetarians.

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