Kabocha Squash Biryani Casserole

kabocha squash biryani casserole

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Serves 4

    For the squash:
  • 1 medium kabocha squash
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Garam masala
  • For the rice:
  • 4 teaspoons coconut oil
  • 1 cup basmati rice (Chauhan recommends Royal brand)
  • 1 cup whole raw cashews
  • ⅓ cup golden raisins
  • 1 (6-inch) cinnamon stick, broken in half
  • 5 green cardamom pods
  • 6 whole cloves
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon saffron, soaked in 2 tablespoons milk for 10 minutes
  • For the vegetables:
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3 tablespoons cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons biryani masala (Chauhan recommends Shan brand)
  • 2 tablespoons dried fenugreek leaves
  • ½ cup tomato puree
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups cauliflower florets
  • 2 cups cubed butternut squash
  • To Finish
  • ¼ teaspoon saffron, soaked in 2 tablespoons milk for 10 minutes
  • 1 cup crispy fried onions
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon chopped mint
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut top off kabocha squash and scoop out seeds. Place squash on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and garam masala. Roast for 10 to 15 minutes. Set aside. (Leave oven on.)

  2. Heat a saucepan on medium, then add coconut oil. Add all ingredients and sauté briefly. Add 2 cups water and bring to a boil. Stir once, then cover with a tight-fitting lid. Reduce heat to low and simmer until rice is tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit, covered, for 10 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork and remove cinnamon stick pieces, cardamom pods, and cloves.

  3. In a large skillet, heat coconut oil. Add onion and sauté until it begins to brown. Add cumin seeds, ginger, garlic, biryani masala, fenugreek, tomato puree, and salt. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add cauliflower, squash, and 1 cup water and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until vegetables are tender, about 4 minutes. Remove lid and continue cooking until most of the liquid has evaporated.

  4. To assemble: In kabocha squash, add alternating layers of rice and vegetables. Top with saffron milk and crispy fried onions. Put kabocha lid back on squash and roast in oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Garnish with cilantro and mint before serving.

  • Recipe By
    Maneet Chauhuan of Ale & Masala House in Nashville
  • Contributing City

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