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
Serves 4

Gluten Free


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Peel garlic cloves and combine in small bowl with lemon juice with the lemon zest. Set aside to steep for 30 minutes.
  3. Cut Delicato squash in half, lengthwise. With a spoon, remove all seeds from the middle.
  4. Slice Delicato squash into 1/2″ thick slices, resulting in moon shapes.
  5. 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).
  6. 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.
  7. Cook the rice according to package directions,* then place in large casserole dish and sprinkle with turmeric.
  8. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add chopped pistachios. Cook for 3 minutes, then add coconut flakes.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Add onions and bits to casserole dish with rice and stir together.
  12. Add the Indian seasoning mix to rice, and stir well to combine.
  13. Remove garlic cloves from lemon juice and pour this garlicky juice on the rice. Stir to combine.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.