Alexis Ryan’s South Indian biryani

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Curry lovers unite. UnitedHealthcare professional cyclist Alexis Ryan calls this classic South Indian dish one of her favourite dinner recipes. It’s quick and easy to make. It’s full of colourful, healthy and easy to find ingredients. And it’s easy to modify to suit your tastes. Bonus – it makes great leftovers!

This recipe is modified from The Feedzone Cookbook by Allen Lim and Biju Thomas.


  • 2 cups of jasmine or basmati rice
  • 4 cups of cold water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped vegetables (choose anything – carrots, broccoli, yellow squash, zucchini, peas, potato)
  • 1 onion, sliced into strips
  • 1/4 cup cashews or peanuts
  • 1/4 cup raisins or dried cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder, or to taste
  • optional ingredients: chopped fresh ginger, chopped fresh coriander


  1. Rinse the rice to remove excess starch
  2. Combine rice and water in a rice cooker. No rice cooker? No worries! Make rice on your stovetop. Boil water, add rice, reduce to simmer, cover with lid and cook until desired consistency.
  3. While the rice is cooking, bring heat olive oil in large deep pan over medium high heat.
  4. Add all the other ingredients. Sauté until raisins (or dried cranberries) are plump and curry powder is fully incorporated. This should take roughly three to five minutes.
  5. Add cooked rice to your pan. Stir and cook until the rice is evenly distributed among the vegetables and colour is uniform.
  6. This should take roughly eight to ten minutes
  7. Add salt to taste.
  8. Serve with plain yogurt or a splash of lemon juice.

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