- 1 mug of white basmati rice
- 3 mugs of vegetable or chicken stock
- 2 onions, thinly sliced
- 2 mugs of squash or root veg, peeled and coarsely grated
- 2 tbsp curry powder
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ red chilli, thinly sliced (more or less, to taste)
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- 2 mugs of leftover chicken, duck or goose, shredded
- A handful of dried fruit, stoned and chopped
- 1 orange, zest and juice
- A large handful of nuts, toasted and roughly chopped
- 4 bay leaves
- Seeds from 1 pomegranate (optional)
Prep: 20 mins | Cook: 45 mins
1. Preheat your oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C/Gas 6. Set alidded pan on a medium-high heat. Add the rice. Toast for 1 min. Add a pinch of salt and a drizzle of oil. Pour in 2 mugs of stock. Pop on a lid, lower the heat and simmer for 10 mins.
2. Drain the rice: you want it a little al dente. Let the rice steam in the sieve. Meanwhile, set another, large pan on a medium-high heat and add a gloss of oil or ghee. Add the onions and grated veg with a pinch of salt. Lower the heat to medium-high. Sizzle and stir till tender and golden.
3. Stir in the curry powder and ground cinnamon. Once fragrant, stir in the chilli, thyme, shredded meat, dried fruit, the orange zest and juice and the remaining mug of stock. Let it bubble for 5-10 mins, or till thickened but still a little saucy. Take off the heat. Fold in the nuts.
4. Generously gloss the base and sides of an ovenproof frying pan with oil or butter. Arrange the bay leaves in a pretty pattern in the base of the pan. Spread half the rice in the base and up the sides of the pan.
5. Spoon the curried meat over the rice. Smooth out. Spread the remaining rice over the curry. Cut a piece of foil or a doubled-up sheet of greaseproof paper out to fit over the rice. Press it down to keep all the rice moist.
6. Bake for 20 mins. Gently peel the paper off the biryani. Place a large platter or cutting board over the pan. Carefully flip over to tip the rice onto the platter/board. If it sticks, simply scrape the rice from the pan and smooth over the top. Artfully arrange the bay leaves on top if they’ve moved.
7. Finish with pomegranate seeds and more nuts, if you like. Delicious served with natural yogurt spiced with a dash of cumin powder.