Curried Rice with Roasted Veggies


Curried Rice with Roasted Veggies

This vegan rice dish is inspired by a traditional Indian meal, Biryani, which is traditionally is made with meat and yogurt. I like to add chickpeas and vegetables to make it a complete dinner, and it makes the best leftovers for lunch the next day. What’s not to love about that?!

  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Servings: 8


  • 1 cup white basmati rice
  • 1 eggplant (sliced into 1-inch cubes)
  • 2 whole carrots (scrubbed, diced into small pieces)
  • 2 cups chickpeas (cooked or canned/drained)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt (divided)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup cilantro (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts (optional)
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil (divided)


  1. Wash and rinse rice with cold water in colander for 1 minute. 

  2. Pour rice into medium mixing bowl and cover with 2 inches cold water, then let soak for at least 30 minutes.

  3. Place rack in middle of oven and preheat to 425 degrees F. 

  4. Spray baking sheet with nonstick cooking oil spray or brush lightly with olive oil. 

  5. Spread out eggplant cubes and diced carrots on baking sheet.

  6. Drizzle evenly with 2 tablespoons olive oil, then sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and use clean hands to toss vegetables, coating lightly.

  7. Roast for 10 minutes. 

  8. Stir vegetables with wooden spoon, then continue to roast until vegetables are tender and some pieces are caramelizing (about 15-20 minutes). 

  9. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

  10. Drain rice in colander and rinse again with cold water, shaking out excess water.

  11. Bring 1 1/2 cups water to boil in 5-quart pot. 

  12. Add rice and 1 teaspoon salt and stir, bringing water back to boil. 

  13. Let mixture simmer uncovered on medium until water fully absorbs (about 5-8 minutes). 

  14. Stir rice periodically during cooking, making sure not to cook too long or rice will stick to pot.

  15. As soon as all liquid has absorbed, pour rice into colander again and rinse with lukewarm water then drain to remove excess starch and make rice extra-fluffy. 

  16. Rinse and dry pot and put back on stove. 

  17. To rice in colander, add turmeric, cumin, black pepper, cayenne pepper, fresh chopped cilantro, chickpeas, roasted diced vegetables, and pine nuts (if using), carefully stirring and making sure spices, vegetables, and herbs are well mixed throughout rice.

  18. Pour 1/4 cup olive oil in bottom of pot on stovetop and turn heat to medium to let olive oil heat up. 

  19. Carefully scoop rice with vegetables out of colander and into pot -- it should sizzle as you place bottom layer of rice. 

  20. Continue to mound rice on top of bottom layer, forming round mound in middle of pot. 

  21. Make hole in center of rice mound with handle of wooden spoon, pushing almost to bottom of pot.

  22. Place thin kitchen towel over top of pot, being careful not to let towel get too close to heat source. 

  23. Place lid tightly over top of towel, reduce heat to low, and cook for 30 minutes longer.

  24. Fluff rice with a fork and serve immediately.