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    Das Sreedharan's Celebration Biryani

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    Das Sreedharan's Celebration Biryani

    "Biryani is a festival dish, traditionally served at Indian weddings," says Das Sreedharan of the Rasa restaurant chain. "It comes from Kerala, where rice is the staple food, and is usually made with meat. The highlight of this vegetarian version is the delicious spicing, and the fact that everything goes in one pot. Served with a raita, it's a substantial meal."

    • Preparation time: 25 minutes, plus soaking
    • Cooking time: 40 minutes
    • Total time: 1 hour 5 minutes 60 minutes 5 minutes

    Serves: 4


    • 350g basmati rice
    • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
    • 10 raw cashew nuts
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 1 cinnamon stick
    • 10 cardamom pods
    • 3 onions, finely sliced
    • 100g carrots, cut into batons
    • 75g green beans, trimmed
    • 75g peas (fresh or frozen)
    • Half red pepper, deseeded and cut into strips
    • 1 tbsp chilli powder
    • 1 tsp turmeric powder
    • 2cm root ginger, finely sliced
    • 1 clove garlic, chopped
    • Salt
    • 50g ghee
    • 100g broccoli, cut into small florets
    • Handful coriander leaves,chopped
    • Handful mint leaves, chopped
    • 75g tomatoes, chopped
    • Raita
    • Pinch chilli powder
    • 1.5cm cube root ginger, finely chopped
    • 200g plain yoghurt
    • 1 tomato, cubed
    • 50g cucumber, cubed
    • 3 fresh green chillies, finely sliced
    • A few sprigs fresh coriander, chopped


    1. Soak the rice in cold water for 20-30 minutes, then wash and set aside to drain.
    2. In a large pan, heat the oil over a medium heat and add the cashews, bay leaves, cinnamon and cardamom. Cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes, or until fragrant.
    3. Add the onions and cook for 10 minutes, or until well browned. Mix in the carrots, green beans, peas and red pepper, together with the chilli, turmeric, ginger, garlic and 1/2 tsp salt. Cover and cook for 20 minutes over a very low heat, stirring occasionally.
    4. Meanwhile, in a large pan of boiling salted water, cook the rice with the ghee for 10-15 minutes or until it is tender. Drain, before refreshing it under cold running water, then set aside to drain thoroughly.
    5. When the vegetables have been cooking for 20 minutes, add the broccoli and the tomatoes and continue cooking for 5 minutes.
    6. Meanwhile, make the raita. In a small bowl, combine the yoghurt, tomato, cucumber, chillies and ginger. Mix well, then garnish with the coriander and chilli powder.
    7. When the vegetables are cooked, add the cooked rice to the vegetables with some of the coriander and mint and mix well. Remove the cinnamon stick and bay leaves, adjust the seasoning and stir gently over a low heat to heat the rice through. Transfer to a serving dish, garnish with the remaining herbs and serve hot with the raita.

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