Thursday, May 24, 2012

Vegetable Biryani

1 more week and I get to have a mini-vaca and go home to visit family and friends! I'm very excited, and have been looking forward to it for at least a month. We'll be doing some apartment hunting, as I'll be moving in the later summer to get set up to do my Masters degree in the fall. I'll also be baking and setting up for my good friend's wedding shower! I've finally decided on a design for the cake, but I'm not 100% on the actual cake. That's the problem when you have 2 months to plan something- you can't stick with one recipe because new ones keep coming up and things constantly change. I have a good idea though, but I can't say what exactly because it has to be a surprise!

This Indian dish packs a punch of flavour and nutrition all in one! The curry-scented vegetables, lentil, dried fruit and nut pilaf is a delectable dish with a variety of textures and flavours. It's great served on it's own, but I found serving it with naan bread and a scoop of Greek yogurt (or just plain yogurt) added an extra something. The yogurt is a great addition if you use a spicy curry paste and need something to cool your palate. Sean laughed at me when I said there was a little heat to the dish even though I used a mild curry paste. I openly admit that I have no tolerance for heat whatsoever... I blame it on my mother. You see, she never cooked spicy things for us growing up, so I never developed a taste for it, and now I'm just a big baby. So unfortunately you won't see too many spicy things posted on this blog; however, some you will be able to adjust to your taste, like this one. Use whatever curry paste suits your taste for this dish!

Yield: 4-5 servings
3/4 cup lentils (canned or dried- drained and rinsed)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon curry paste (once again, adjust to your taste. I added a little more than this)
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups small cauliflower florets
1 cup basmati rice
1/4 cup raisins or dried currants
3 cups vegetable broth
1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds

If you're using dried lentils rather than canned then add them to a saucepan of boiling water, and cook for 10 minutes. Drain.

Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat and saute onions for 3 minutes. Add carrots and continue to saute for another 3 minutes, or until onions are deep golden brown.

Add the garlic, curry paste, salt and pepper, and saute until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Stir in cauliflower, rice, raisins and lentils to coat.

Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until the rice, lentils and vegetables are tender, about 20-25 minutes. Stir in peas and cook until heated through, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle with almonds. Serve with a scoop of yogurt and naan bread, or as desired.

Source: Canadian Living: The Vegetarian Collection
What else? This is my favourite cookbook! I think if you're a vegetarian, you really should invest in this book. I think even if you're not, it's worth looking at!

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