Some call it fried rice, some call it pilaf, but in Indian or Parsi cooking, it’s called Biryani. Even though the name Biryani may seem to most as Indian, this dish was actually brought by the Parsi people from old Persia, or what is now known as Iran, to India.
Iranians, in my opinion, are the masters of rice cookery. They are known to utilize almost any vegetable and fruits or a combination in savory rice dishes. Most of these preparations are very seasonal and only utilize the best plants that the season has to offer. Cabbage happens to have a long season and can run from fall all the way into summer. It is used widely in many versions of this rice dish. —Chef Reza Setayesh | Plant Loving Humans
What You'll Need
For the Biryani
medium napa cabbage, chopped
large onions, diced
saffron tea (optional)
ground black pepper
For the Salad
medium vine ripe tomato, diced
Sauté the onion in olive oil until caramelized. Add the tomato paste, cabbage and spices and cook for about 15-20 minutes on low heat.
Bring 2 quarts of water and salt to a hard simmer. Add rice and boil for about 8-10 minutes or until rice is al dente. Drain rice and rinse under cold water.
Using a heavy bottom pot. Add 2 oz of olive oil on the bottom of the pot and layer rice followed by the stew, starting with a layer of rice on the bottom followed by the stew. Repeat this process two more times.
Cover pot and allow it to steam for an hour on low heat.
Serve the Biryani with a simple tomato and cucumber salad dressed with lemon juice and salt.