Tofu biryani

It has been the longest time since I made Indian food – it used to be a regular feature on our dinner table back in Australia but not so much since we moved here. I think it’s time for that to change.



Serves 4 – 6


The sauce

60g (4 tbsp) ghee (see below)
½ tsp cumin seeds
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
4 tbsp desiccated coconut, soaked with 2 tsp water
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp chilli powder
½ tsp turmeric
pinch salt
1 x 400g (14oz) can chopped tomatoes
250g (9oz) frozen peas, thawed
400g (14oz) firm tofu, cubed
2 tbsp (30ml) lemon juice

The rice

85g (6 tbsp) ghee
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 cup basmati rice, soaked for 30 minutes and drained
pinch ground cloves
freshly ground black pepper
½ tsp ground cardamom
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp saffron
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ground cumin
pinch salt
2 bay leaves
1 cup raisins
1 cup cashews
2 cups (500ml) water


If you can’t buy ghee locally, you can make your own clarified butter – melt butter and bring it to the boil until the milk solids separate as a foam on top and the liquid becomes clear, then strain through cheesecloth and set aside to cool. The clarified butter will last for months in an airtight container. 150g of butter should yield the right amount of ghee for the two parts of this recipe, but it wouldn’t hurt to do a bit extra to be sure.

The sauce

Melt the ghee in a large, heavy based saucepan over medium high heat and fry the cumin seeds until fragrant, 2 – 3 minutes.

Add the garlic and onion and fry until golden.

Stir in the coconut and fry for 2 minutes.

Stir in the spices, salt, tomatoes, peas and tofu. Cook over medium-low heat for about 20 minutes or until all the liquid has been absorbed.

Stir in the lemon juice and remove from the heat.

The rice

Melt the ghee in another large, heavy based saucepan and fry the cumin seeds until fragrant.

Add the onion and fry until golden brown.

Stir in the rice and fry for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

Stir in the spices, salt, bay leaves, raisins, nuts and water and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat for 10 minutes or until the rice is dry.

Layer the rice and sauce in thin layers in a large saucepan, starting and ending with a layer of rice. Cover and cook over low heat for 5 minutes.

Serve with chutney, raita, or whatever takes your fancy.

This entry was posted in asian, indian, rice, tofu. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Tofu biryani

  1. cominomh says:

    Fabulous! Lots of love and healing vibes being sent your way. I LOVE your recipes

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