Monday, April 20, 2009

Vegetable Biryani

I'm going to leave all you lovely people to think about this recipe for a while. Like say a week, just until I can refresh myself enough to not feel foodie burn out anymore.

This blog has done everything I was hoping for. It gave me the motivation to stick to the diet and writing here every day got me in the practice of writing again. The only problem is I now have a back log of creative writing sitting in my notebook begging for attention. So I'm using this week off from food blogging to edit some writing, I fear if I don't submit something for critiquing soon my writing group may kick me out. Which would be particularly embarrassing considering I'm the one who started the group.

I've been neglecting my fellow writers and my muse in the name of giving you all delicious recipes. And will go back to doing so as soon as I get the next great American short story typed up so my editing team can correct my grammar, punctuation and sentence structure and bring me back down to earth. I'll probably still post little wine reviews as I go long just so no one misses me too much. And when I come back I'll be armed with a new cache of impressive French meals.

But getting on to the recipe. This version of Biryani isn't much like the kind found in Indian restaurants which is high in fat and usually drowned in oil. They're both tasty but this is a low fat, high fiber more healthful recipe. The great thing is you can swap out the vegetables for other ones you like better, its best with a combination of root vegetables and crisp fresh vegetables that are in season. Add some well seasoned rice, create a blend of spices, toss it in the oven and you're set for a filling super flavorful meal. It's perfect for people who like Indian but don't like spicy.

The fella made Dal with it and we were quite happy. We also opened a bottle of Chateau St. Michelle Gew├╝rztraminer which was very basic and easy drinking. It wasn't anything spectacular but it was sweet and spicy so it fit with the Biryani nicely.

Vegetable Biryani

1 cup brown rice
2 whole cloves
2 cardamom pods, seeds only
2 cups vegetable stock

2 garlic cloves
1 small onion, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
2 tablespoons water

2 small zucchini, cut into 1 inch cubes
1/ 2 cauliflower, broken into florets
1 small head broccoli, broken into florets
5 ounces green beans, cut in 1 inch lengths
6 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons lime juice

Put rice, cloves, and cardamom seeds into a large saucepan. Pour in the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes or until stock is absorbed but rice is still crisp. Do not fully cook the rice at this point.

Preheat the oven to 350. Put garlic, onion, all the spices, and water into a food processor to blend into a smooth paste. Add salt and pepper to taste then spoon the spice mixture into a large flameproof casserole dish and cook over low heat about 2 minutes.

Add the vegetables and 6 tablespoons of water to the casserole dish, cover and cook for about 12 minutes. Stir occasionally, adding cilantro towards the end of the cooking time.

Remove the cloves from the rice and spread rice over vegetable mixture, sprinkle with the lime juice. Cover and cook in oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Fluff up rice and combine before serving, topped with more cilantro.

Original recipe from The Ultimate Healthy Eating Cookbook by Anne Sheasby.

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