Biryanis are rice-based casseroles that combine a saucy meat, vegetable or legume curry with basmati rice, whole spices, nuts and raisins. This particular dish is a nutritional powerhouse, thanks to the mustard greens and chickpeas. Look for the specialty spices--cardamom pods, saffron and garam masala--in the spice section of well-stocked supermarkets or online at penzeys.com.
large tomatoes, coarsely chopped
large red onion, 1/2 coarsely chopped and 1/2 thinly sliced
fresh green chiles, such as Thai or serrano, stemmed
canola oil, divided
white basmati rice, preferably Indian or Pakistani
bunch (8 ounces)
mustard greens, tough ribs removed, leaves finely chopped
cauliflower, cut into 1/2-inch florets
Puree tomatoes, chopped onion and chiles to taste in a blender, scraping down the sides as needed, to make a smooth sauce
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add raisins and cashews and cook, stirring, until the raisins are plump and the nuts are lightly brown, 1 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate with a slotted spoon
Add cumin seeds, cardamom
pods, bay leaves and cinnamon sticks to the pan and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add the sliced onion and cook, stirring, until light brown, 2 to 3 minutes.
Carefully pour in the pureed tomato mixture (it may spatter) and reduce heat to medium. Stir in garam masala, 3/4 teaspoon salt and turmeric
. Simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid evaporates, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, place rice in a medium bowl. Cover with water. Gently rub the rice through your fingers to wash the grains. (The water will become cloudy.) Drain. Repeat three or four times, until the water remains relatively clear. Then cover the rice with cold water and let it sit for 20 minutes. Drain.
Stir mustard greens
, cauliflower, chickpeas and 1 cup water into the tomato sauce. Cover and remove from the heat.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a 9-by-13-inch baking
dish with cooking spray.
Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the drained rice and saffron
, and carefully stir (it may spatter) to coat the rice with the saffron. Add the remaining 1 cup water and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Stir once to incorporate the ingredients. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook, uncovered, until the water has evaporated from the surface and craters are starting to appear in the rice, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Spread half the chickpea curry evenly in the prepared baking dish. Spread the rice mixture on top of the curry. Spoon the remaining chickpea mixture over the rice. Scatter the reserved raisins and cashews over the top. Cover with foil. Bake until the rice is tender, 45 to 55 minutes. Remove the bay leaves, cardamom
pods and cinnamon sticks before serving.
Calories 313, Total Fat 11 g, Saturated Fat 1 g, Monounsaturated Fat 5 g, Sodium 522 mg, Carbohydrate 51 g, Fiber 8 g, Protein 9 g, Potassium 572 mg. Exchanges: Starch 1.5,Fruit 0.5,Vegetable 2,Fat 2.
Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet