Roasted Vegetable Biriyani

Ready for some serious cooking? Here is our most extensive recipe yet.

Serves: 8-10


Roasted Vegetables:
1 large yam
, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
1 to 1 ½ cups
Brussels sprouts (if large, cut in half) or broccoli
red bell pepper, cored and sliced into 1 inch strips
yellow bell pepper, cored and sliced into 1 inch strips
large yellow onions, peeled and sliced into 1 inch slices
One 14-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
xtra-virgin olive oil
Ginger-Garlic-Cashew Puree (see below)

2 ½ cups
basmati rice
½ tsp
saffron threads, or a generous 1/4 tsp of turmeric
1/3 cup
cinnamon sticks
green cardamom pods, lightly crushed
whole cloves

Garlic-Cashew Puree:
medium onion, cut into chunks
large garlic cloves
1/3 cup
salted broken cashews
¼ cup
canola oil

¼ cup
canola oil
3 tbsp
medium onion, thinly sliced
½ cup
¾ cup
roasted cashews or almonds


  1. Roast the vegetables. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Combine yams and Brussels sprouts in one large bowl, and the onions and peppers in another. Toss generously with olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread yams and Brussels sprouts on a large cookie sheet, leaving space between the vegetables so they have room to brown. (Do this in batches if the vegetables are crowded.) Spread the peppers and onions on another cookie sheet (or roast the vegetables in batches). Roast for 15 – 20 minutes, until they begin to soften and color.
  1. Make the Garlic-Cashew Puree. While the vegetables are roasting, make the puree by combining all ingredients, except the canola oil, in a food processor and puree to a paste. Pour in the oil and process until completely combined.
  1. Remove the vegetables from the oven and divide the Garlic-Cashew puree equally between the pans and toss it gently but thoroughly with the vegetables on the cookie sheet. Return pans to the oven and roast another 10 – 15 minutes until the vegetables are nicely browned. Scrape everything into a large bowl and repeat until all the vegetables are roasted. Stir in garbanzo beans. The vegetables can be made a day ahead and kept covered in the refrigerator.
  1. Make the rice. Rinse the rice in several changes of water until the water is clear. Then soak the rice in enough water to cover for 30 minutes to 6 hours. Drain.
  1. Fill a 6-quart pot two-thirds full of water. Add 3 tbsp of salt and bring to a boil. Add rice and cook it like pasta, about 5 minutes, or until tender but with a slight firmness. Drain in a sieve immediately and spread the rice on a cookie sheet so it cools quickly.
  1. Lightly toast saffron for 30 seconds to 1 minute in a small, dry saucepan over medium heat. Immediately add milk. Pull the pan from the heat and set aside to steep for a minimum of 20 minutes.
  1. Assemble the biriyani. Preheat the oven to 325ºF. You’re are going to top the vegetables with a dome of rice in a baking dish, tent it with foil and bake until it’s heated through.
  1. Butter the inside of a shallow 13×9” baking dish. Mound the vegetables in the center and cover with rice, patting it into a smooth dome. Tuck the cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods and cloves into the rice and drizzle the entire dome with the saffron or turmeric milk.
  1. Tent foil over the dome so it does not touch the rice. Seal it around the edges of the dish, then bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until hot at the center.
  1. Make the garnishes: Meanwhile, prepare several layers of paper towel on a plate. In a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat, warm the oil and butter and fry the onions until crisp. Lift out with a slotted spoon, spread on the paper towels and sprinkle with salt. Fry the raisins until they puff, and scoop them out onto the towels. Finally, briefly fry the nuts until golden.
  1. Remove the biriyani from the oven and lift off the foil. Remove the whole spices and scatter the garnishes over the top of each serving.

Adapted from splendidtable.org