Lassi is a refreshing yogurt drink popular across the Indian subcontinent, perfect for those hot summer days. This simple drink can be made sweet or savoury. Today we'll be making a sweet mango lassi using the Spicecraft Lassi Mix which is a delicious blend of spiced cardamom sugar and organic rose dust. It is mixed with plain yogurt, water and mangoes. You can make lassi with any seasonal fruit - especially blueberries and strawberries.Use Almond Milk for a delicious vegan alternative.Make your own Lassi Mix with 1 tbsp caster sugar, 1 pinch cardamon powder, 1 tsp rose dust or rose petals, 1 pinch salt.
If you are unfamiliar with this much loved dish, Biryani is traditionally made by layering spiced rice and meat, then cooking the assembly in it’s own steam.
Versions of biryani can be found all across the subcontinent. In addition to the multiple varieties found in India, there are versions of Biryani from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Myammar, the Middle East and even countries like Tibet and Poland.
Purists will say that Biryani must be a meat dish, and a vegetarian version cannot exist. But this vegetarian Biryani will delight vegetarians and meat-eaters alike.
First par boil rice in salt and spices. Separately make a vegetable curry with chunky veggies like potato, carrots, beans, onions and mushroom in yogurt and Biryani spices. You can also add in Paneer (cottage cheese) for some protein.
The rice and mixed veg curry then are formed into alternate layers in a deep pot, and allowed to steam gently on low heat in the sealed pot.
It can take a couple of hours to put the whole thing together, so put on your music of choice and let’s begin.
Hyderabadi Vegetable Biryani Recipe
This beautiful vegetarian version uses half the marinade spices from the Spicecraft Biryani Spice Kit and a selection of veggies.
Dutch oven or 12 cm deep pot with a well fitting lid
1Spicecraft Hyderabadi Biryani Spice Kit
400gBasmati RiceGood quality
1bunchFresh Mint leaves
1bunchFresh Coriander leaves
1cupPlain Greek Yogurt
3tbspCanola or sunflower oil
2tbspGhee or Butter or olive oil
Salt to taste
2-3Potatoes (3 small or 2 large)
900gmixed veggies (carrots, cauliflower, green beans, capsicum) and paneer (Indian cottage cheese)
Soak rice in water for one hour.
Slice potatoes into 2-3 cm thick discs. These discs will be used to form the base layer.
Cut all other veggies into 2-3 cm pieces.
Roughly chop the mint and coriander
We first cook the vegetables to make a curry for layering.
To make the curry, sautee onions in a wok with 1 tbsp of oil. When the onions soften, add in all remaining vegetables (including paneer if using), except for the potatoes.
Mix 1 cup yoghurt, half of the chopped mint and coriander, half the contents of Biryani Marinade Spices 1 and half the contents of Biryani Marinade Spices 2. This is to avoid the Biryani getting too spicy.
Add this mix into the veggies in the wok and cook on medium heat till the carrots soften a little, or about 5 minutes, and set aside. Your veggies are ready for the Biryani.
Add spices from the Rice Spice Mix sachet to a large saucepan along with 1 tbsp oil and 2 liters of boiling water. Check the water for saltiness. It should be salty like the sea. If not, add more salt. This step is very important to ensure the rice is properly flavoured. The salt will be rinsed away later.
Drain the rice that's been soaking underwater and carefully add it into the boiling water. Stir once, then allow the rice to cook on high heat for 4 mins. After 4 mins, turn off the heat and strain the parboiled rice discarding the water. It is very important to not overcook the rice to avoid a gluggy Biryani.
You now have fragrant, gently spiced riced all ready for layering.
Build the layers
Preheat the oven to 170 fan forced.
To assemble the Biryani spread a 1 tbsp of oil in a thin layer at the base of a heavy pot.
Place the sliced potatoes discs in a single even layer at the bottom of the pot. Ensure the base is completely covered without too much overlapping.
Spread half the parboiled rice over the potatoes.
Spread the Vegetable curry prepared earlier over the rice evenly.
Sprinkle half the chopped mint and half the chopped coriander over the curry.
Now spread remaining rice in an even layer. Do not press down the rice.
Drizzle half a cup of water over the rice.
Finally sprinkle remaining mint and coriander along with the fried onion from the sachet over the rice.
Finish with a drizzle of 2 tbsp of ghee or olive oil.
Cover the pot with aluminium foil and then the tight fitting lid.
Cook the Vegetable Biryani
Cook the Biryani in the oven in it’s own steam at 170 degrees for 25 mins with the lid tightly on.
Remove pot from the oven and allow it to stand for 5 mins. Remove the lid and the foil. Biryani is ready to serve.
Garnish with a handful of fried cashews and raisins.
A small cup of Raita on the side goes really well with this Biryani.
To make the Raita – combine 1 tbsp sugar, 1 tsp salt, juice of half a lemon with a cup of yoghurt in a bowl. Mix through finely chopped mint, diced cucumber, onions and tomatoes. Serve fresh.
A delicious version of Butter Chicken made with vegan/vegetarian ingredients. Perfect if you avoid animal products or if you are trying to get some extra veggies in.
‘Paneer Makhani’, as the traditional Indian vegetarian version is known, is almost as popular as actual Butter Chicken in the subcontinent. It is made using Indian cottage cheese called Paneer, available in the dairy section of all Australian supermarkets.
But really you can use tofu, tempeh, soy protein, chickpeas and any number of veggies. Our favourite vegan option uses roasted cauliflower. Absolutely sensational!
Spicecraft kits come with the 13 herbs and spices pre-portioned for this dish. We add in different spices at different stages of cooking to build layers of flavour.