Vegetable biryani

Vegetable biryani

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  • 4 to 6
  • Easy
  • Meat-free
  • 20 minutes, plus 30 minutes’ soaking time
  • 30 minutes
  • Woolworths Kleine Zalze Chenin Blanc

I enjoy the green versions of most dishes, and this fabulous vegetarian biryani cooked on the coals is no exception. The masala can be prepared in a bigger batch and used to marinate chicken. While I made this biryani on the fire, it can also be cooked in the oven or on the stove.


  • For the green masala:
  • 1 ginger, thumb-sized piece
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 10 g Woolworths green finger chillies
  • 1 T fennel seeds, toasted
  • 80 g fresh coconut, grated
  • 60 g fresh coriander, plus extra for serving
  • 1⁄2 cup water
  • 60 g ghee
  • 1 large onion, sliced julienne
  • 40 g raw cashew nuts
  • 1 large carrot, halved and sliced
  • 180 g canned chopped tomatoes
  • 200 g basmati rice, soaked for 30 minutes
  • 2 T lemon juice
  • salt, to taste
  • raita, for serving
  • Woolworths naan, heated, for serving

Cooking Instructions

1. To make the green masala, blend all the ingredients into a smooth paste, gradually adding the water. Set aside until ready to use.

2. Melt the ghee in a potjie over the coals. Add the onion and cashew nuts and cook for 5 minutes, or until golden brown, stirring often.

3. Stir in half the green masala. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the masala appears to split. Add the carrot and tomatoes, then the rice. Stir to combine, then add the remaining masala and the lemon juice.

4. Cover the potjie in tin foil and cook for 25–30 minutes, or until the rice is cooked through and the grains almost appear upright. Fluff the rice with a fork and serve warm with raita and warm naan.

Find more rice recipes here

Photographs: Toby Murphy
Production: Khanya Mzongwana
Food Assistant: Emma Nkunzana

Khanya Mzongwana Recipe by: Khanya Mzongwana
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If you're anything like our deputy food editor Khanya Mzongwana, you're obsessed with uniqueness and food with feeling. Cook her family-tested favourites, midweek winners and her mouth-wateringly fresh takes on plant-based eating.

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