I call this recipe Mummyji’s biryani as this is a recipe my mother in law (MIL) taught me to make nearly 35 years ago!!. This dish is my husband’s favourite so she was keen that I learnt how to make the dish. Although we call this dish biryani – it’s actually rice cooked with vegetables that are kept whole and stuffed with spices. In this recipe, the vegetables are stuffed with several spices. The origins of this recipe are from a small coastal town in Tanzania. I have never known anyone else make this dish so I would be very interested to hear from anyone who does make this dish. I love making this dish as it is a perfect one pot meal for Saturdays when you have so many chores to catch up on. I have changed the stuffing ingredients slightly over the years. I always keep a bottle of the stuffing ready mixed in the fridge to save time.
In Tanzania, my MIL used to make it on a coal burning stove called Jiko. It was a slow cooking process but this made the food taste nicer as it gave all the spices a chance to blend. Now a days, making this dish has also become quicker and easier in the microwave but I do miss the taste of Africa sometimes.
You can also make this dish in the instant pot. cooking it in the Instant Pot makes it so easy as the food doesn’t require too much attention when cooking. The Instant Pot (IP) is a pressure cooker but can also be used as a slow cooker. rice cooker, sauté/browning, yoghurt maker and steamer. The recipe for making this in the Instant Pot is here
Ingredients to make biryani for 4 servings
- 2 tablespoons coriander powder
- 2 tablespoons cumin powder
- 2 tablespoons chickpea flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons chilly powder (you can use less if you so wish)
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil (I used sunflower oil)
- 1 teaspoon of crushed and blended garlic
- 2-3 tablespoons of blanched peanuts
- 2-3 tablespoons of porridge oats
For the biryani:
- 1 cup of basmati rice
- 6 small potatoes
- 5 small aubergines
- 4-5 baby onions
- 2-3 peppers
- half a cup of frozen mixed vegetables (peas, carrots and green beans)
- 2-3 tablespoon of cooking oil (I used sunflower oil)
- 1 ½ teaspoons of a mixture of mustard, cumin and dry coriander seeds for the tempering (you can use only mustard seeds or cumin seeds if you don’t wish to use the mixture)
10. Usng a fork, press down the vegetables gently.
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