Roasted Pumpkin and Spinach Biryani

This is a flavourful, one pot vegan dish perfectly warming for the winter months. Two diced chicken breasts can be added in place of the pumpkin to make this a non-vegan dish.

Created by the winner of the Public Sector Catering ‘Chef of the Year 2020’ Award, Steven Cross of Park Community School.

Serves 6

Allergens – Tree nuts (Coconut Oil).

Cost per serving – £0.87


  • 300g Tilda Brown & White rice
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • Quarter of a medium pumpkin – deseeded, peeled and diced
  • 300g baby leaf spinach
  • 1 large white onion – diced
  • 1 clove garlic - crushed
  • 2 bay leaf
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 4 tbsp balti paste
  • 80g sultanas
  • 850ml vegetable stock
  • Chopped coriander and flaked almonds to serve


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. Begin by coating the large diced pumpkin with 1 tsp of Balti paste and roast in the oven for 20 minutes until soft.
  3. In a large heavy sauce pan add the oil heating until smoking, add the diced onion and garlic and slightly cooking until brown.
  4. Now add the bay leaf, cardamom pods, cinnamon stick, turmeric and remaining Balti paste cooking for 5 - 10 minutes.
  5. You now have a nice curry paste so add the spinach and allow to cook, continue to cook until the spinach is dry as this will release some liquid.
  6. Remove the pumpkin from the oven and add to the curry mixture, add the rice, sultanas and stock and stir to combine.
  7. Place a lid on the pan or tin foil and put into the oven to finish cooking for 40 – 50 minutes.
  8. Serve with chopped coriander and flaked almonds.