Cauliflower 'rice' biryani

Cauliflower "rice" biryani recipe

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Cauliflower is one of my favourite vegetables, right up there with kale and broccoli (yes, I’m a glutton for brassicas!). The whole cauliflower 'rice' concept has been making the rounds for a while now. Chinese-style cauliflower fried 'rice' is its most usual application, but I decided to branch out from East Asia and head south to India for this riff on biryani.

Biryani is traditionally a rice dish made with spices, meat and vegetables. Here, I replace rice with cauliflower 'rice', and in case you haven’t picked up on his trend, here’s how it works: Take some cauliflower, break it up into florets, put it in a food processor, and process until the cauliflower is broken up into tiny rice-like bits. There you have it - cauliflower 'rice'! (Or cauliflower 'bulgur wheat' if you’re making tabbouleh.)

Biryani is the perfect dish for cauliflower 'rice' because cauliflower goes so well with the spices involved: ginger, garlic, cinnamon, cardamom and chilli. Served with a big spoonful of Greek yoghurt (if not catering for vegans) and a handful of toasted cashews and it makes a meal in itself.

1
To begin, cut the cauliflower up into individual florets, then place the florets in a blender. Blitz until broken down into small, rice-sized pieces
2
Add the oil to a large pan and place over a medium heat. Once hot, add the cashew nuts, cardamom pods, cinnamon stick and bay leaves. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring until aromatic
3
Stir in the onions and cook for 10 minutes until nicely golden brown. Add the beans, carrots, pepper, peas, chilli, garlic, ginger, turmeric and salt, then place a lid on the pan and continue to cook for 20 minutes on a very gentle heat, stirring from time to time to prevent burning
4
After 20 minutes, stir in the cauliflower rice and tomatoes and cook for a further 5 minutes
5
Stir in the fresh herbs, stir well and remove the cinnamon stick and bay leaves. Taste the biryani, adjusting the seasoning and adding more herbs if needed, then place in a large serving dish. Serve with a dollop of Greek yoghurt and some toasted cashews
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