Coconut Rice and Two Squashes
So, I’ve taken some liberties with this recipe, but that’s nothing new!
The original recipe came from a wine maker’s website. This is a traditional Indian mixed rice dish called Biryani, (pronounced [bɪr.jaːniː]) sometimes spelled Biriyani or Biriani. It’s made with spices, rice and usually meat or vegetables. I had two different squashes in the house, so my Biryani was bright and colorful!
The spices are warm and soothing and the addition of toasted coconut and pistachios are crazy delicious.
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Occasionally, I will include a wine pairing suggestion with certain recipes. My friend, and wine expert, Josh from Table Wine in Asheville provides delicious wine descriptions of choices to accompany these recipes. For this Indian rice dish, Josh suggests either a white or red wine.
White: 2014 Villa Wolf Pinot Gris – From the warmer Pfalz region of Germany, Pinot Gris really thrives here yielding a wine of ripe fruit, creamy texture, and gentle spiciness. With just a touch of residual sugar present, this one works really well with warm Indian spices. Even better, at less than $15/bottle, it’s a great value.
Red: 2013 Daniel Landi Uvas de la Ira – Daniel Landi is one of the rising star producers of Spain, and this Grenache-based wine is absolutely gorgeous. With wonderful purity, soft tannin, and a gentle spiciness, this red fruited beauty is a natural partner to warm spiced dishes. In addition, Landi farms using biodynamic principles and makes less than a 1,000 cases of this wine. It sells for about $30, but it’s worth every penny.
- 2-3 Garlic cloves
- 3 Tbls. (juice of one lemon) and 1 tsp. lemon zest
- 2 medium size Delicato squash
- 2 Yellow Summer Squash
- 1-½ cups brown or basmati rice
- 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes or shreds
- 1/2 cup unsalted pistachio nuts, roughly chopped
- 1/2 Sweet onion, diced
- 1/8 tsp. Turmeric
- 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp. garam masala
- 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp. cardamom (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Peel garlic cloves and combine in small bowl with lemon juice with the lemon zest. Set aside to steep for 30 minutes.
- Cut Delicato squash in half, lengthwise. With a spoon, remove all seeds from the middle.
- Slice Delicato squash into 1/2″ thick slices, resulting in moon shapes.
- Slice Yellow squash into 1/2″ thick discs. Transfer all squash pieces in a single layer to a roasting pan lined with parchment. (You may need 2 roasting pans to accommodate all squash).
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast squash in oven for 12-15 minutes. Turn pieces over and roast for another 10 minutes. Remove from oven when squash is tender and slightly brown.
- Cook the rice according to package directions,* then place in large casserole dish and sprinkle with turmeric.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add chopped pistachios. Cook for 3 minutes, then add coconut flakes.
- Stir or shake pan to keep nuts and coconut moving while cooking. When it becomes fragrant, or coconut begins to turn color, remove pan from heat quickly! Transfer coconut and nuts to a plate.
- Using the same large pan, heat again to medium high and saute chopped onion until golden brown, about 7 minutes. Deglaze pan with white wine or vegetable stock, scraping up all the browned (delicious) bits from pan.
- Add onions and bits to casserole dish with rice and stir together.
- Add the Indian seasoning mix to rice, and stir well to combine.
- Remove garlic cloves from lemon juice and pour this garlicky juice on the rice. Stir to combine.
- Add all the roasted squash pieces to the top of the rice and pop back in the oven to heat through for about 10 minutes.
- Garnish with pistachios and toasted coconut.*
*Recipe Notes: using vegetable stock instead of plain water to cook the rice adds another layer of flavor, but is optional. Additional garnishes could include chopped cilantro or tomato wedges.