A disciple of Nizamuddin Auliya asked him,
"What did the companions of the cave mean
when they spoke about the choicest of food?
The Shaikh replied,
"They wanted a food that they liked.
According to some, that meant rice!"
Buriyani is always served at religious celebrations in Sri Lanka. This one was an inspiration of Bawa Muhaiyaddeen.
Total time: 2 hours
10 cups water
6 cups rice
1 tbsp. salt (for rice)
2 cups cooking oil (for frying)
3 cups potatoes, cut into ½" cubes
½ cup lima beans
¾ cup string beans, cut into ½" pieces
½ cup shelled peas
3 tbsp. cooking oil (for vegetables)
2 tbsp. finely chopped onion
¼ tsp. salt (for vegetables)
1 cup cabbage, cut into chunks
1 cup carrots, quartered lengthwise and cut into ¼" slices
½ cup cubed kohlrabi
¾ cup bell peppers, trimmed and cut into ½" squares
3 tbsp. ghee
1 tbsp. oil
1 tsp. finely chopped chili pepper
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. turmeric
¼ tsp. cumin seeds
¼ tsp. fennel seeds
¼ tsp. fenugreek seeds
¼ tsp. black mustard seeds
1 cup finely chopped onion
2 tbsp. finely chopped chili pepper
1 cup broccoli florets and ¼" stem slices
½ cup cauliflower florets
½ cup halved cashews
2 tsp. salt
3 tbsp. finely chopped garlic
2 tbsp. finely chopped ginger
½ cup tomato puree
¼ tsp. cardamom
1 tsp. cayenne
½ tsp. cinnamon
A pinch of ground cloves
2 tsp. ground coriander
½ tsp. cumin
1 tbsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. ground ginger
2 tsp. onion powder
½ tsp. turmeric
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 cup raisins
Bring 10 cups of water to a boil. Add the rice and salt, return to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
Heat the oil in a deep pot. Deep fry the potatoes a cup at a time, until they are golden brown, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Drain them, sprinkle with salt, put them on a baking sheet lined with paper towels, and place them in a warm oven while the rest of the dish is being prepared.
Bring a 3-quart pot of water to a boil, add the lima beans, string beans and peas, and cook for 10 minutes or until done. Drain, put the vegetables in an oven-proof bowl, and place them in the oven with the potatoes.
Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a large pot, add the onions and ¼ teaspoon salt, and sauté until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the cabbage, carrots, kohlrabi and peppers; sauté, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes, until they are cooked through. Using a slotted spoon, remove these vegetables to another oven-proof bowl in the oven. Reserve the juices.
Using the same pot, heat ghee or oil, chili pepper, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon turmeric. When the oil is hot, add the seed spices. When they begin to pop, add 1 cup onions and the chopped chilies, and sauté until the onions become translucent.
Add the broccoli, cauliflower, cashews, 2 teaspoons salt, garlic and ginger, and mix well. Combine the tomato puree with the powdered spices, then add enough reserved vegetable juices and water to make 3 cups liquid. Pour this into the pot and mix well. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the lima beans, string beans and peas, and stir well. Add the lemon juice and cook for another 2 minutes.
Mix the sauce with the remaining vegetables, and add salt to taste. Let the sauce be a touch too salty, rather than too little, as it will be mixed together with the rice. Layer the rice, potatoes, raisins and curry sauce in a large serving dish and toss like a salad.
from Serving the Guest: A Sufi Cookbook