Pumpkin with Rice and Beetroot (4)

A simple biriani from Nigel Slater.

Pumpkin with Rice and Beetroot (4)
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Pumpkin with Rice and Beetroot (4)
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Peel and roughly chop the onions. Warm 3 tablespoons of the oil in a deep pan then add the onions and cook over a low to moderate heat.
  2. Grate the ginger and stir into the onions with the chilli flakes, and let them continue cooking until the onions are soft and golden brown – a good 25 minutes.
  3. Peel the pumpkin, cut into large pieces, then steam for 15 minutes till soft. Drain and mash with a vegetable masher or fork. Stir in black pepper and a little salt.
  4. Wash the rice in warm water: put the rice in a large bowl with plenty of warm water, stir the rice around in the water with your hand, pour off the cloudy water, then repeat twice until the water is almost clear.
  5. Drain the rice, put in a medium-sized saucepan with enough water to cover by 3cm. Add the saffron and whole cardamom pods, peppercorns, bay leaves and cinnamon stick, then bring to the boil.
  6. Lower the heat so the water simmers, then cover tightly with a lid. Leave to cook for 10 minutes.
  7. Remove the rice from the heat and leave to rest without removing the lid. Coarsely grate the beetroot and set aside. Lift the lid from the rice and stir briefly with a fork to separate the grains.
  8. Now assemble the dish. Pour the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil into the dish then add one third of the rice followed by a third of the pumpkin. Scatter a third of the onions over the pumpkin then half of the beetroot.
  9. Now continue layering until all the rice, pumpkin, onion and beetroot is finished.
  10. Bake for an hour at 200C/gas mark 6.
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