Sweet potato and chickpea biryiani

Following on from my blog “Eating well on a budget “ I’ve decided to start sharing a recipe of the week with you. I’m a cooker by nature and whilst following exact measurements and steps is not my strength, looking in a fridge and throwing a tasty meal together is.  So based on that, any recipe I share can be changed or will have a few options you can choose from. If you make it, and you come up with a better version, let me know!

I’ve called this one sweet potato and chickpea biryani because that’s how I usually make it but really its “anything you have leftover” biryani.  It may seem a bit strange offering you something spicy just before Christmas but it can incorporate any veg and meat you’re bound to have left over at the end of this festive season and will be a nice change to the pallet!

Serves 3-4 (it makes the best leftovers)

Base ingredients

  • 1/2 tbsp- 1tbsp gram masala
  • 1/2 tps chilli powder or 1/2 a fresh chilli
  • 1/2 tps cumin
  • 1/2 tps coriander
  • A couple of pinches of turmeric
  • 2tbsp oil (rice bran, coconut or avocado oil works really well)
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves crushed
  • A couple of pinches of cinnamom
  • salt/pepper
  • I tin of Chickpeas/1 tin of lentils/shreeded meat

Vegetables– mix and match as you like but you want a few different flavours/textures

  • 2 sweet potato (or substitute for potato or another sweet root vegetable like butternut squash) – cubed
  • 5/6 mushrooms – quarters
  • 1/2 courgette – sliced and then halved
  • 1 onion – diced
  • 2 handfuls peas/green beans cut into chunks
  • 1 pepper – bite sized chunks


  • 2tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 bay leaves (remove before serving)
  • Fresh coriander


  1. Cut up your vegetables, keeping the diced onion separate.
  2. Heat up a large, thick based pan with oil over a medium heat. The pan needs to have a lid
  3. Add the spices and mix in for 30 seconds
  4. Add the garlic and onion and them soften for 5 minutes
  5. Add all the other vegetables and cook for a couple of minutes making sure they are covered in the spices and onion/garlic.
  6. Add the tin of chopped tomatoes, stir through and let it cook until the tomatoes start to bubble.
  7. (Carefully) taste the mixture and add more of any base ingredient you’d like, according to how you like it. I usually end up adding more gram masala. You can add a tbsp of tomato paste if you want to bring out the tomato flavour.
  8. Put lid on and lower the heat so that it simmers. Make sure you stir every so often.
  9. Cook rice for 2 people
  10. 5 minutes before the tomatoes and veg are cooked, add the rice and the chickpeas/lentils/meat and stir through properly.
  11. Add salt and pepper to season
  12. If you have it, add fresh coriander
  13. Serve in bowls with naan bread or by itself.

I hope you enjoy it!

C x

p.s If you do cook it, send or share a picture please- I’d love to see how it turned out for you.


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