Preparation info

    • Difficulty


    • Ready in

      20 min

Appears in

The New Vegetarian

The New Vegetarian

By Colin Spencer

Published 1986

  • About

Created by chefs of the Moghul emperors, these dishes were originally highly complicated with many layers of rice, meat, fish and vegetables, all spiced in different ways. The rice is partly cooked before the dish is composed, and then baked in the oven. This recipe makes eight generous servings.


  • 3 tablespoons corn oil
  • 1 large onion and 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 5-cm/2-inch piece root ginger, finely sliced
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 225 g/½ lb mushrooms, cleaned
  • 225 g/½ lb each spinach, parsnips and swede/rutabaga, chopped small
  • 1 head of celery, chopped small
  • sea salt


    Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas mark 4. Heat the oil and fry the onion, garlic, ginger and first spices until the onion is soft. Add the lemon juice, vegetables and salt. Cover the pan and simmer over a low heat for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, boil the rice in salted water for 5 minutes. Drain and set to one side. Warm the milk and soak the saffron in it. Heat a little oil and fry the onion. Add the milk, saffron and stock. Pour in the rice and heat, then strain again, reserving the liquid. Place half the rice in the bottom of an oven dish. Scatter the second lot of spices over it. Cover with the vegetables and then the remaining rice. Pour in the stock. Cover and bake for 45 minutes. Garnish before serving.