Biryani With Apricots & Curry-Roasted Butternut Squash


Biryani is an Indian dish made with long grain rice.  It contains a variety of spices, such as curry, red meat (optional) and vegetables, and whatever your taste buds are hungry for!  

I am particularly fond of this dish because of its versatility.  Today I’m adding dried apricots and golden raisins.  I liked the melded taste of sweet and nutty, and fall is the perfect time to make this dish since squash is in season.  The Biryani serves three and takes approximately 35 minutes to make.  There are approximately 710 calories, 19 grams of fat, 117 grams of carbohydrates and 17 grams of protein.  You will need a medium saucepan with a lid and one baking sheet.

Ingredients For Biryani

  • 1/2 cup green lentils
  • 3/4 cup jasmine rice
  • 6 ounces butternut squash cubed
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 cucumber
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 scallions
  • fresh mint
  • 1.5 ounces dried apricots
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cut cashews (crushed)

Cooking Instructions

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Add the green lentils and 2 1/2 cups of water to a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Cover and reduce heat to low and cook for approximately 12 minutes.  Then add jasmine rice.  Cook until rice and lentils are tender and water is absorbed.  Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork.

Cut butternut squash into cubes and add to baking sheet.  Toss with the curry powder and sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of olive oil, a pinch of salt and pepper.  Roast squash until tender and slightly browned (about 15 to 18 minutes).

Thinly slice the cucumber into round pieces and place in a medium bowl.  Toss with half of the lemon juice, 1 teaspoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt.  Marinate cucumbers until you are ready to serve. 

Thinly slice the scallions and hand tear the mint leaves into large pieces.

Next, dice the dried apricots.  In a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat melt coconut oil and then add diced apricots, golden raisins and cashews.  Cook until the fruit is puffy and the cashews are golden brown.

When the rice and lentils are finished, add them to the dried fruit and nuts and combine gently.  Add half of the sliced scallions and remaining lemon juice along with a pinch of salt.  Gently fold in the curry-roasted butternut squash.

You can serve the Biryani family style or on large plates.  Sprinkle with the remaining sliced scallions and mint pieces and serve with the marinated cucumbers.  Enjoy!


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