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.
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.