Sindhi Vegetable Biryani

This Sindhi vegetable biryani is a popular and traditional dish, with layers of spiced vegetables and chickpeas and basmati rice. It’s a delicious recipe, and extra special! Give this vegan and gluten free recipe a try!

What is biryani?

For those unfamiliar with biryani, I’ll give a quick run through. And while there are different kinds of biryani there are some unifying themes.

It’s could be described as a layered rice casserole. The rice is basmati, a fragrant, fluffy, and non-sticky long grain. Typically white rice is used, but brown could be substituted with some changes to cooking length.

Next we have the curry layer, consisting of a curry-yogurt marinated protein (and/or vegetable). Then we have the fried potato layer and the fried onion layer. Mint and cilantro are their own very important layer, as are roasted cashews.

Then, we have a layer of thinly sliced lemons. These are optional, if you’d prefer you can just squeeze lemon juice on at the end to serve.

To finish the dish, a drizzle of saffron infused [plant] milk tops the rice. The saffron soaks into some of the kernels of rice in the top layer, making for a gorgeous golden hue staining some of the rice and adding a floral/earthy/almost indescribable essence that is saffron.

Ingredients

The rice layer

  • 1 tsp saffron
  • 1/4 cup warm plant milk
  • 3 cups (550g) white basmati rice
  • 12 cups water
  • 2 tbsp salt

The marinade

  • 1/4 cup plain, unsweetened coconut yogurt
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne, more or less to taste
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 30oz cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 small head cauliflower, cut into small florets (~250g)

The fried potatoes

  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 2-3 yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2″ dice
  • 1/4 tsp salt

The curried vegetables

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 yellow onions, cut into quarters and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp minced ginger
  • 2 green chiles, minced (seeded for less heat if desired)
  • 3 tomatoes, diced

Everything else

  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, more for garnish
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh mint, more for garnish
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced and seeds removed (optional)
  • 1 cup cashews, dry roasted*

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