Vegetable Biryani

2 tsp olive oil, plus a little extra for brushing

2 large onions, peeled and thinly sliced lengthways

2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped

2.5 cm/1 inch piece fresh root ginger,peeled and finely

Grated

1 small carrot, peeled and cut into sticks

1 small parsnips, peeled and diced

1 small sweet potato, peeled and diced

1 tbsp medium curry paste

225 /8 oz basmati rice

4 ripe tomatoes, peeled, deseeded

And diced

600 ml/1 pint vegetable stock

175 g/6 oz broccoli florets

50 g/2 oz peas, thawed if frozen

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

To Garnish

Crispy onion rings: freshly ground black pepper, roasted cashews nuts: raisins and fresh coriander leaves (optional).

Method:

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6. Put 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large bowl with the onions and toss to coat. Lightly brush or spray a nonstick baking sheet with a little more oil. Spread half the onions on the baking sheet and cook at the top of the crisp. Remove from the oven and reserve for the garnish.

Meanwhile, heat a large ovenproof casserole over a medium heat and add the remaining oil and onions. Cook for 5-7 minutes until softened and starting to brown. Add a little water if they start to stick. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for another minute, then add the carrot, parsnip, and sweet potato. Cook the vegetables for a minutes, add the stock and stir well. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer over a very gentle heat for about 10 minutes.

Add the broccoli and peas and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until the rice is tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve garnished with the crispy onions, cashew nuts, raisins and coriander. (Optional) to alleviate the dryness, biryani is best served with dhal and raita.