Preheat the oven to 190°C/Gas Mark 5.
Start by adding the rice, water and whole spices (bay leaves, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon stick and star anise) to a large casserole pot and bringing it up to a gentle simmer on the stove.
7.25 cups water, 1.5 cups brown basmati rice, 2 bay leaves, 4 cloves, 1 star anise, 1 cinnamon stick, 4 cardamom pods
Cook for 15 minutes, or 6 minutes if using white basmati rice (which cooks quicker than brown basmati rice). The rice will be al dente by the time the 15 minutes (or 6 minutes) is up. Drain and remove the whole spices once done.
While the rice cooks, grab a sauté pan and fry the onions for 15 minutes. Keep them moving, they should become translucent and slightly brown.
Add the ginger, garlic, powdered spices (turmeric and garam masala) and fresh chillies to the onions and mix well.
4 cloves of garlic, 1 tbsp ginger, 1 tsp turmeric powder, 1 tsp garam masala, 2 green chillies
Pop in the mushrooms and cook for a further 5 minutes.
500 g mushrooms
Chuck the part-cooked rice into the pan and give it all a good stir so it’s all well combined.
1.5 cups brown basmati rice
Grease the stock pot or casserole dish with the vegan butter.
2 tbsp vegan butter
Fill the dish with all of the Biryani mixture, and pour over ¼ of a cup of water and an optional 2 tbsp of melted vegan butter.
2 tbsp vegan butter
Pop the dish into the oven with the lid on for 10 minutes. This allows the rice to steam and cook fully, and take on more flavour.
Take the dish from the oven and add the peas and peppers. Stir it all gently, then put the lid back on but leave the dish out of the oven. Leave it to stand, lid on, for 10 minutes so the vegetables can steam from the remaining heat in the dish.
1 cup peas, 2 peppers
Season to taste, and serve with toasted almonds or peanuts, desiccated coconut, fresh coriander and biryani gravy.
Fresh coriander, Desiccated coconut, Toasted almonds, Peanuts