Inverse biriyani

Inverse biriyani

If biriyani is the painstaking process of cooking meat and rice with spices, then this version is the cheats version that does all the infusion after you’ve cleaned up.

This textured spiced rice is perfect to pad out lunch options and can be assembled in the 14mins it takes to cook the rice.

The trick is to be flexible with the spices — because they’re not cooked, you may need more to get a nice effect.

The inversion comes from letting the rice cool while the flavours stir themselves to full potency (while you’re off doing something else).

Inverse biriyani


I follow the Thermomix instructions for rice and love basmati: (400g rice, 900g water, speed 4, varoma, 14 mins). Put in a couple of bay leaves and 1 tablespoon of butter/ghee to stop the rice from sticking to the basket.

60g (or whatever) of toasted almonds (lazily chopped)

1/4 – 1/2 cup dried berries (craisins, dates, sultanas all work well with almond)

1/2 cup of chopped spring onion (mostly green parts)

Adjust to taste

2 tablespoons caraway seeds

2 tablespoons whole coriander seeds

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon paprika (or smoked paprika)

1/2 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg

1 dried chilli broken

Good drizzle of olive oil

Pepper to taste


In the 14 minutes it takes for the rice to cook, assemble the rest of the ingredients in a heatproof storage bowl. Stir it all together including the oil — yes it will look strange but when you dump the cooked rice on top and mix the effect is the same. Transfer cooked rice into the same storage bowl, mixing through.

Will keep for 3 days.

Serve with any easy protein - boiled eggs, tinned fish etc.