2 cups mixed vegetables cut into similar bite sized pieces (Carrots, peas, green beans, cauliflower)
1/2 cup water
1 cup plain yogurt
Salt to taste
1/4 cup chopped mint
1/4 cup chopped coriander
1/2 cup roasted cashews
1 tablespoon ghee
A pinch of saffron soaked in 1/4 cup hot water
1 cup crispy onions to garnish (optional)
Rinse basmati rice several times, until the water runs clear. Soak for 30 minutes and drain.
Bring a large pot of water to the boil and add salt and spices. Add soaked basmati rice, and cook for approximately three minutes or until al dente. Drain and set aside.
Heat a large pot with oil on medium-high heat and add bay leaf, star anise, green and black cardamom, cloves and cinnamon stick. Heat until the cloves puff up, 15-20 seconds.
Add onions, and saute until they have browned. Then add ginger, garlic, green chillis, chilli powder, and turmeric. Continue to cook until ginger and garlic are softened and fragrant.
Add vegetables, and stir to coat in oil and spices. Increase heat to high and add water, yogurt, and salt to taste. Cook for three to four minutes or until vegetables are al dente in texture and gravy has reduced and thickened.
To assemble, layer 1/2 of the vegetable gravy at the bottom of a pot, followed by half of the basmati rice. Top rice with half of the chopped mint and coriander, and drizzle half of the saffron water and ghee over the top. Repeat process using remaining vegetable gravy, and rice.
Cover pot with aluminum foil, and place lid on top. Place in a 400 degree oven and bake for 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven and garnish with crispy onions. Enjoy! :)