zoom Pumpkin, spinach & coconut biryani

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    Pumpkin, spinach & coconut biryani

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    Pumpkin, spinach & coconut biryani

    Coconut milk gives the rice in this dish a lovely creamy flavour, and you
    can adjust the amount of curry paste to your liking


    2 tbsp olive oil
    1 large onion, chopped
    2 cloves garlic, chopped
    1 cinnamon stick
    1 bay leaf
    4 cardamon pods, crushed and seeds removed
    500g pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and chopped
    260g pack essential Waitrose Spinach
    3 tbsp hot curry paste, such as Madras
    300g basmati rice
    2 tbsp toasted flaked almonds
    50g raisins
    400ml vegetable stock
    400ml can essential Waitrose Reduced Fat Coconut Milk
    4 tbsp Greek-style natural
    yogurt, to serve 


    1. Preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and gently cook the onion for about 3–4 minutes, then add the garlic and whole spices and continue to cook for a further minute.

    2. Stir in the pumpkin or butternut squash and cook for 3 minutes. Pile in the spinach and allow to wilt down in the pan, stirring gently. Stir in the curry paste and cook for 1 minute.

    3. Spoon half of the vegetable mixture into a shallow, 2-litre ovenproof dish or casserole. Top with half of the rice and a sprinkling of toasted flaked almonds and raisins. Repeat with another layer of the remaining vegetables, the rest of the rice and flaked almonds and raisins.

    4. Mix the stock and coconut milk together in a large saucepan, bring to the boil then carefully pour over the rice and vegetables. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 40 minutes until the rice has absorbed all the liquid and is tender. Serve with a dollop of thick yogurt.  

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    Cook's tips:Try this delicious rice dish with other seasonal vegetables, such as cauliflower florets, sweet potato and green beans, and replace the flaked almonds with roasted cashew nuts. 

    Short of time? Try using ready-prepared veg, such as Cooks' Ingredients Diced Onions and a 500g pack essential Waitrose Butternut Squash.


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    4 stars