Butternut Squash Biryani

This is a lovely dish for mid-week cooking. It’s a great store cupboard recipe so perfect for last minute meals. Don’t be put off by the list of ingredients for the curry paste – these are all easy to find common spices, readily available and if you don’t have them all then it is quite forgiving so just go with what you have.  

Vegetable Biryani

Serves: 2 people

  • 1 medium red onion – finely diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 2 cloves (optional)
  • Half a butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into large chunks
  • 200g basmati rice – well rinsed
  • 500ml vegetable stock
  • Curry paste ingredients
    • 2 tablespoons tomato puree
    • 3 tablespoon hot water (just boiled)
    • 1 tablespoon garam masala
    • 1-2 teaspoons chilli powder
    • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
    • 1 teaspoon turmeric
    • 1 tsp garlic granules
  • 1 tablespoon of butter or diary free alternative
  • 50g cashew nuts
  • 50g raisins
  • Fresh coriander chopped (optional)


  1. Firstly ensure your steam oven is filled with fresh water, is clean and ready to go. For this recipe you need the wire rack only.
  2. Put a glug (1 tbsp) of oil into a frying pan and then add the onion, bay leaf, cardamom and cloves. Gently cook on a medium heat for 5 mins (if you have induction power level 5).
  3. Make the curry paste by mixing all of the paste ingredients together in a small bowl; using the 3 tablespoons of hot water to help form a paste.
  4. Add the paste to the pan and cook for 1 minute and then add the butternut squash and cook for two more minutes.
  5. Using a metal rectangular or square roasting/baking dish (ideally a gastronorm ⅓ size 10cm deep but a small roasting dish would work well) place the contents of the pan, the rice and the stock into the dish and stir well.
  6. Place the dish onto the wire rack in the steam oven and cook for 17 minutes at full 100° steam.
  7. When finished remove the tin from the oven, fork through the rice and there should be a little liquid left in the bottom. If not add a couple of table spoons of hot water and then cover tightly with foil and allow to rest for at least 3 mins.
  8. Wipe out the pan that the paste was made in with a bit of kitchen roll and then add a tablespoon of butter. On a high heat melt the butter and then add the cashews and raisins to the pan. Keep turning them until the raisins are puffed up and cashews have gone a dark golden brown. This should take no longer than 3 mins.
  9. To assemble the dish, fork over the rice to make sure it is nice and fluffy and then spoon into warmed bowls. Top with the raisins and cashews and scatter over the coriander serve immediately.

Cooks notes

  • The cooking time in the steam oven may vary slightly by one or two minutes depending on if you have a nexus steam oven or a standard built in steam oven. The time will also depend on how big your squash chunks are – if they are really big they may take slightly longer and too small and they may lose their bite and become a little on the soft side.
  • Easily double the recipe and cook two at once. The beauty of steam cooking is that you do not need to double the cooking time!

This recipe has been developed especially for Rangemaster by Product Demonstrator, Lindsey Payne.

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