Pistachio Biryani

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This is an adaptation from a wonderful cookbook called The Complete Encyclopedia of Vegetables and Vegetarian Cooking. I saw it at the library recently and had to have my own copy because I knew if I borrowed it, I'd never take it back. Every recipe in the book looks great; this is the first one I tried. I selected it at random and it was as good as I'd hoped. It's called "Pistachio Pilaf in a SpinachCrown" but it is really a biryani with pistachios. I've adapted it slightly for Japanese ingredients.

Pistachio Biryani
serves 4

Rice Part
2 cups vegetable stock
1/2 cinnamon stick
1 tsp ground corriander
1/4 tsp saffron threads
2 onions, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 Tbsp ginger, grated
2 green togarashi, minced (or fresh green chiles)
2 T olive oil
2 carrots, grated
1 1/4 c basmati rice
1/4 c pistachios
1/2 tsp salt

Spinach Part
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp garam masala
3 bunches spinach (~250g/1 lb), roughly chopped
1 T olive oil

Mix together the stock, coriander, cinnamon stick & salt. Crush the saffron threads through your fingers and add to the stock. Set aside while you prep the carrots, onions and other bits.

Fry the onion, garlic, ginger and togarashi/chiles in olive oil until the onion starts to turn translucent. Add the carrot and rice. Cook for a minute or two, then pour in the seasoned stock. Bring the rice mixture to a boil, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.

Remove from heat and allow to stand uncovered for 5 minutes. Remove the cinnamon stick and stir in the pistachios.

While the rice is resting, prepare the spinach part. Fry the onion and garlic in the oil until the onion is slightly browned. Add the spinach and garam masala. Cook until spinach is tender. Drain.

Arrange the spinach around a platter; mound rice inside the ring. Goes well with a tomato salad.

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