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South Africa : Vegetable Biryani

More by user: fwitcher
Created: 10th Jul 2009
Modified: 10th Jul 2009
approximately 1 hour
The Africa News Cookbook
  • 3 large onions, sliced
  • 4 tblsp. butter, or clarified butter
  • 6 chili peppers, crushed into a paste, or tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 2-inch piece of fresh ginger
  • 10 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup dry lentils, pre-soaked
  • 1/2 lb. fresh green peas, shelled
  • 1/2 lb. carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 lb. green beans, chopped
  • 3 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 1 4-inch stick cinnamom
  • 6 cardamom pods, crushed
  • 1 tsp. tumeric
  • 3 sprigs of fresh mint, 1/2 tsp. dried mint leaves. pounded
  • 2 cups long-grain white rice (Basmati is a good choice), uncooked
  • 6 large potatoes chopped into large chuncks
  • 1-2 tsp. salt
  • yogurt

In a large, heavy skillet or stew pot, fry the onions in the butter until they are golden brown. With a slotted spoon, remove about 1/3 of the slices and set aside. Add to the pot the ginger, garlic and chili paste, and fry for 5 or 6 minutes, stirring constantly. Then add the lentils, green peas, carrots and green beans. Reduce heat to cook for 15 minutes, adding more butter, or a bit of oil , if necessary.

Add tomatoes, spices and mint, and stir for 5 minutes. Then pour in about a cu[p of hot water, cover and simmer unitl vegetables are about half cooked. Add rice, potatoes, salt, and another 4-5 cups of hot water (use lesser amount if you r vegetables have created quite a bit of liquid). Cover again, and cook for another 20-30 minutes until rice is done and water is absorbed .

To serve, garnish with the reserved onion slices, and pass around a bowl of yogurt as a sauce.

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