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 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
  • Allergens: Nuts
  • 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 a medium mixing bowl and cover with 2 inches of cold water, then let soak for at least 30 minutes.

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

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

  5. Spread out eggplant cubes and diced carrots on a 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 a 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 the rice in a colander and rinse again with cold water, shaking out excess water.

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

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

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

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

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

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

  17. To rice in a 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 the rice.

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

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

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

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

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

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

  24. Fluff rice with a fork and serve immediately.