aubergine & cashew biryani

When we cooked this recipe for dinner it became an instant favourite. The rice soaks up so much flavour from the shallots and spices, with the roasted aubergine adding a great bite and the golden cashews creating a crunch in each mouthful. We love to make this on a Friday night with some spicy chutney and natural yoghurt.



Serves 4 & takes 45 minutes to cook


Ingredients

  • 300g brown basmati rice

  • 2 large aubergines, roughly chopped (or 8 baby aubergines, halved)

  • Handful of cashews

  • 2 shallots, peeled and chopped

  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric

  • 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds

  • 1 teaspoon of paprika

  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon of coriander

  • 2 tablespoons of harissa paste

  • Handful of dates, chopped

  • 1 vegetable stock cube, mixed with 800ml boiling water

  • Juice of 1 lemon

  • Handful of coriander, chopped


Method


1. Preheat the oven to 190C, fan setting.


2. Rinse the rice under cold water until the water runs clear before placing into a small pan over a medium heat. Cover with water and leave to partially boil for 15-20 minutes while you cook the rest of the dish.


3. Place the aubergine chunks onto a large baking tray and drizzle with olive oil and a pinch of salt. Mix well and cook for 30 minutes until soft, adding the cashews in the last 5 minutes to turn golden.


4. While the aubergine cooks, place a large pan over a medium heat and add a drizzle of olive oil. Once warm, add the diced shallots and a pinch of salt. Mix well and cook for 5-10 minutes until the shallots become soft.


5. Once the shallots are soft, add all of the spices and cook for 1 minute before stirring through the harissa paste and chopped dates. Cook for 5 minutes, before draining the partially boiled rice and stirring through.


6. Cover with half of the boiling stock. Mix everything together and bring to the boil. Cook for 15-20 minutes until the rice feels really soft, adding a dash of stock bit-by-bit when the mixture feels dry.


7. Once the rice feels soft and has absorbed all of the stock, turn off the heat and mix through the lemon juice, roasted aubergines and cashews.


8. Serve with some fresh coriander sprinkled on top.