Basmati Rice and Curry Casserole (Chana and Saag Biryani)

by Anjali @ The Picky Eater on May 26, 2009

Today I decided to try an interesting recipe I found on Eatingwell.com and it turned out great! I did make some modifications to the recipe, so my modified recipe is below – if you want the original you can find it in the link above. This recipe was full of flavor and very nutritious/filling. I’d highly recommend it for anyone who loves the flavors of Indian cooking. 

Yield 

6 servings, about 1 cup each

Ingredients

  • 2 large tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 1 large red onion, 1/2 coarsely chopped and 1/2 thinly sliced 
  • 3-5 fresh green chiles, such as Thai or serrano, stemmed
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil, divided (I didn’t use this much oil – I used about 1.5 Tbsp – and it was definitely enough!)
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins 
  • 1/4 cup raw cashews
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 3-inch cinnamon sticks 
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala 
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 cup white basmati rice, preferably Indian or Pakistani (I actually used minute brown rice instead of white rice and it added a nice nutty flavor & texture to the dish)
  • 1 bunch (8 ounces) mustard greens, tough ribs removed, leaves finely chopped (I used baby spinach)
  • 8 ounces cauliflower, cut into 1/2-inch florets
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed
  • 2 cups water, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads

Directions 

2 large tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 large red onion, 1/2 coarsely chopped and 1/2 thinly sliced 
3-5 fresh green chiles, such as Thai or serrano, stemmed
3 tablespoons canola oil, divided
1/2 cup golden raisins 
1/4 cup raw cashews
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
4 cardamom pods
2 bay leaves
2 3-inch cinnamon sticks 
1 teaspoon garam masala 
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 cup white basmati rice, preferably Indian or Pakistani
1 bunch (8 ounces) mustard greens, tough ribs removed, leaves finely chopped 
8 ounces cauliflower, cut into 1/2-inch florets
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed
2 cups water, divided
1/2 teaspoon saffron threadsDirections (note – these are my modified directions which I think worked just as well as the original but are much easier to do!)

1. Bring one cup water to a boil. Once it’s boiling, add in 1 cup minute brown rice and 1/2 tsp saffron threads. Stir and lower heat (to lowest setting) and let the rice cook. 

This is what the rice should look like when it's done!

This is what the rice should look like when it's done!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

3. Puree tomatoes, chopped onion and chiles to taste in a food processor, scraping down the sides as needed, to make a smooth sauce.

4. Heat 2 teaspoons 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.

These are the cooked raisins & cashews

These are the cooked raisins & cashews

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. After you take out the raisins/cashews, add about 1 Tbsp oil in the skillet. 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.

6. 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.

7. Stir mustard greens, cauliflower, chickpeas and 1 cup water into the tomato sauce. Cover and remove from the heat. 

DSC01450

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8. Lightly coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. 

9. 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, ~35 min. Remove the bay leaves, cardamom pods and cinnamon sticks before serving.

Finished Product!

Finished Product!

Closeup - YUM!

Closeup - YUM!

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

lailablogs May 27, 2009 at 1:35 pm

Looks really delicious .. Laila … http://lailablogs.com/

Reply

anjalim May 28, 2009 at 12:33 am

Thanks! It did turn out really well – let me know if you try it and how you like it! 🙂

Reply

HappyTummy May 28, 2009 at 10:25 am

this dish is right up my alley. looks delicious, and high in fiber. i’ll have to try this!

Reply

anjalim May 28, 2009 at 5:50 pm

Let me know how you like it! One note – if you don’t like super spicy food, use 1.5 chilis instead of 3-5. I used only 3 and it made my dish pretty spicy!

Reply

Aanchal Mehta April 17, 2016 at 10:00 pm

Wow this looks delicious! Can’t wait to try it!

Reply

Anjali @ The Picky Eater April 18, 2016 at 5:56 am

Thanks! Enjoy!

Reply

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