Vegan Moroccan Biryani
Inspired by a trip to Morocco, this savoury dish marries the fragrant warmth of cinnamon with the sweetness of honey and makes for a tasty vegan dinner alternative. Sunflower seed mince makes a great vegan protein base for this dish and I’ve also added a special twist in using chickpea rice, doubling the protein and deliciousness!
- 100 g sunflower seed mince (you can buy this online or Source Bulk Foods)
- 2 Echalion shallots, peeled and finely chopped
- 40 g pine nuts, toasted
- 250 g chickpea rice (I recommend the brand Mr Organic)
- 2 tbsp. tomato puree
- 1 pint of stock (you can use a stock cube vegan or vegetarian)
- 1 tbsp. olive oil, light in colour
- 2 tsp. agave or maple syrup (if you're not vegan you can use acaia honey)
- 2 handfuls fresh coriander, chopped
- 1-2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- sea salt
- black pepper
- white pepper
- garlic granules
- Pre-heat the oven to 375°F, gas mark 5, 190°C (170°C fan-assisted).
- Cook the chickpea rice as instructed in the packaging, alternatively if you prefer you can use white or brown rice.
- Place a large, non-stick, frying pan over a medium heat and toast the pine nuts, tossing occasionally until they are toasted and golden, then move the pine nuts onto a plate and leave to cool.
- Add the oil to the frying pan together with the chopped shallots, over a gentle heat and cook until soft and translucent, stirring occasionally.
- Turn the heat up to medium, then add the sunflower seed mince, stirring until the onions are combined into the mince. Then add the warmed stock to the frying pan and cook for 5 minutes until the liquid has evaporated. Then add the tomato puree and cook for a further 2 minutes.
- Stir in the ground cinnamon, garlic granules, season with sea salt, black pepper and mix well before leaving to cook for another 2 minutes – then turn down the heat to low and stir in the honey, chopped coriander and toasted pine nuts and leave to cook for a further 2 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool.
To assemble the dish…
- Taking a fairly deep, medium sized baking dish cover the base with 1/3rd, of your rice mixture, and then, using around ½ of the sunflower seed mixture add a layer over the rice. Repeat the layering process, finishing with a layer of rice (you should have 3 layers of rice and 2 of sunflower seed mince).
- Bake in the pre-heated oven for 30 minutes until piping hot then remove and allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.
- middle eastern salad, tahini or hummus
- When making this recipe, I’d LOVE to see how you get on so either send me a photo to firstname.lastname@example.org or post a picture to Instagram using the #myrelationshipwithfood and tag @myrelationshipwithfood
LISA’S TIP- I love to serve this dish with a middle eastern salad and this dish tastes delicious with tahini drizzled over the top. For those unfamiliar with biryani, I’ll give you a quick run through. It could be described as a layered rice casserole, which I’ve mentioned above if your unable to get the chickpea rice, you can substitute with white rice, but you can also use brown. This is a special dish, perfect for those vegan guests or if you’re looking to get a few plant-based meals into your diet. I hope you give it a try as it’s so delicious and delightful to eat!