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We went for a Sunday stroll yesterday. How I love this time of year. The leaves are shedding from the trees. The weather is beginning to chill. It’s a time for chunky sweaters and warm coats. Pumpkin carving has begun. My daughter is so excited about Halloween this year. She’s just learnt to say the word ‘spooky.’ Every time we go shopping she points at pumpkins and shouts ‘spooky’, so I’ve ended up with an abundance of pumpkins this year. After everything that has happened this year I thought I’d try and make Halloween a bit special. So I’ve gone all out. Yesterday I made a pumpkin Briyani. It’s a little bit complicated and fussy, but it’s so worth the work. I served it in the pumpkin just to make it extra spooky. I didn’t add any chilli’s as I made it for my kids, but you could chuck some in if you like food spicy. Here’s my recipe;
Pinch of Saffron/ Natural Yogurt full fat 1 large tub 400g/ 3tbs Biryani massala powder/ Cinnamon/ Nutmeg/ curry powder 1 tbs/ cumin seeds/ Himalayan salt/ Paneer/ 1 Cup of vegetables (or meat)/ 1 medium pumpkin/ Basmati rice/ 1 lemon/ fresh coriander leaf/ mint leaves/ 2 cloves/ onion/ cashew nuts/ ghee (or oil) / (chilli’s and sultana’s optional)/ chopped garlic/ flaked almonds
In a cup of hot water soak a pinch of saffron until the water is an autumn auburn colour. Leave to soak 30 mins.
In a bowl add half a cup of full fat natural yogurt. Add spices, salt and cumin seeds, stir. Add cubed Paneer cheese and vegetables. (Or meat such as chicken, marinate in fridge for minimum of two hours.) Leave to marinate for 25 mins.
Cup top off pumpkin. Scoop out seeds. Drizzle inside with olive oil salt and pepper. Put lid back on, wrap in tin foil and place in oven 160 degrees for approx 50 mins.
Wash Basmati rice. In pan of hot water add lemon juice, cumin seeds, 2 cloves, 1 tbs olive oil, salt and rice. Cook for half the cooking time, until rice begins to dance in the heat. Rice should be half cooked. Drain if necessary.
Spread rice out flat on a dish to cool quickly. Drizzle saffron water over plate of rice.
In a pan heat 1 tbs of ghee (oil if preferred) cook chopped onions for 15 mins then add 3 tbs cashews, chilli’s if desired and a spoonful of sultanas.
Add marinated veg (or meat), add chopped garlic, coriander leaf and some mint leaves. Add a cup of yogurt and a good splash of water.
Add rice. Turn off the heat.
Take pumpkin out of oven and begin to scoop out flesh. Add flesh to Biryani mix and stir together.
Place mix back into the pumpkin and add flaked almonds and lemon wedge, top with lid. Wrap in tin foil again. Place in oven for 40 mins.
Serve in the pumpkin. Make a mint yogurt to accompany if you’ve added chilli’s.
My Indian Style Mint Yogurt
1/2 cup of Yogurt/ Chopped mint leaves/ Chopped Coriander/ 3 tsp Mint Sauce/ Salt
Mix together, Add whole milk to change the consistency is desired.