Muslim Matrimonials and More's Recipes


Fragrant Vegetable Rice
(Sabz Biryani)


  • 2 tbs vegetable oil
  • 1 medium-size onion, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbs peeled and minced fresh ginger
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed finely chopped cilantro, soft stems included
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tbs ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground cayenne pepper, or to taste (optional)
  • 1 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 5 cups fresh mixed vegetables, cut into 1-inch pieces (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, beans, mushrooms, colorful bell pepper, and peas)
  • 2 1/2 cups basmati rice, picked over
  • 4 3/4 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 5 black cardamom pods, pounded lightly to break the skin
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns (optional)
  • One 3-inch stick of cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala for garnish


Heat the oil in a large skillet or saucepan over high heat and cook the onion, stirring, until golden, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, ginger, and cilantro, then add the garam masala, coriander, cumin, cayenne, and salt. Stir in the vegetables. Cover and cook for 2 to 3 minutes over high heat, the reduce the heat to medium and continue to to cook until the vegetables are tender-crisp, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Wash the rice in 3 to 4 changes of water, stirring lightly with your fingertips, until the water runs almost clear. Then soak it in the water for 30 minutes or longer.

Heat the oil in a large nonstick saucepan over high heat and cook the cardamon, peppercorns, cinnamon, and cumin, stirring, until they sizzle, 30 to 40 seconds. Add the salt, stir in the rice and water, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a minimum, cover the pan (partially at first, until the foam subsides, then snugly), and cook the rice until all the water is absorbed, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Line a large ovenproof casserole with a 1-inch layer of the rice and top with a layer of cooked vegetables. Cover with rice and repeat until all the vegetables and rice are used up. Cover the casserole and bake for 10 to 15 minutes. (The rice can stay in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes if need be.)

Garnish with the garam masala and serve as a main dish or as part of a festive menu.

Makes 8 servings.

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Recipes Muslim Matrimonials and More