When I lived in Malaysia, it was easy to find cheap biryani, soul food to many. Unfortunately, in the UK, it costs a lot more.  Here is my simple, anglicised version, after several trials.  It is not the best, but it is simple and made from readily available spices, and more importantly, not too exotic for my family.

  • 350g basmati rice
  • vegetable oil and a knob of butter
  • 2 medium onions
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 5 green cardamom pods
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 inch piece of root ginger peeled and finely sliced
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 green chilli, finely chopped
  • Tikka Masala Paste
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tbsp yoghurt
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 potato, diced
  • 4oz button mushrooms, diced
  • 2 tbsp unsalted cashew nuts
  • A handful of raisins
  • fresh coriander and finely sliced onion to garnish
  • Salt and pepper

Soak basmati rice in warm water and then rinse thoroughly with cold water.

Fry the onion in oil and butter. Add in all the spices and fry until fragrant. Add the chopped tomatoes, then stir in the yoghurt.

Add the rice to the mix and enough water to cover the rice. Add the raisins, Cook over low heat until all the water is absorbed. If the rice is still hard, stir in more water. Add the cashew nuts just before the rice is cooked. Season to taste.

Garnish with chopped coriander (I used parsley because I didn’t have any coriander) and finely sliced onion.

Note: I served mine with spicy chicken sides: chicken coated in garlic salt, chilli powder, seasoned flour, tossed in olive oil and fried in an air fryer. Alternatively, you could serve yours with dhal for a vegetarian meal. For dhal recipe, click for a lentil curry and Sri Lankan dhal, my style.