Indian cashew nut biryani
A colorful, tasty Indian rice dish packed with plump roasted cashew nuts.

A pinch of saffron strands
1½ cups boiling vegetable or chicken stock
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 onion—finely chopped
1 carrot—finely chopped
1 cup green beans—trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cloves garlic—finely chopped
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
1½ teaspoons garam masala
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon chili powder
1 cup basmati or long-grain rice
½ cup plain natural set yogurt
1 teaspoon salt
¾ cup unsalted roasted cashew nuts
Handful of fresh cilantro (coriander) leaves, to garnish

SOAK the saffron strands in the boiling stock. HEAT the butter and oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat and cook the onion and carrot for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. ADD the green beans and cook for 3 minutes. ADD the garlic, ginger, garam masala, turmeric, cumin and chili powder and cook, stirring, for a minute. ADD the rice and cook for a minute, stirring to coat the grains. ADD the stock, yogurt and salt, stir to combine, then bring to the boil and cover with a lid. REDUCE the heat to low and simmer gently for 20 minutes without lifting the lid. ADD the cashew nuts and fluff up the rice gently with a fork to combine the ingredients. SERVE the biryani on plates garnished with the cilantro on top.

Variations: Replace the green beans with peas; try almonds instead of cashew nuts; or use fresh mint in place of cilantro to garnish.