This vegetable biryani is quick and easy to make. It is packed full of vegetables and flavour making it a perfect comforting and warming meal on a cold winter’s days. The vegetables are infused with spices and then cooked with rice to make a hearty Indian rice dish that works well as a main meal.
Traditionally, biryani is made using meat as it originates from the Muslim population of India. It has been adapted over the years. Like most Indian dishes, it’s easy to make a vegetarian version by simply omitting the meat and replacing it with lots of vegetables. This is also a vegan and gluten-free recipe.
My mum makes a killer layered biryani but its more time consuming and needs some specialist Indian ingredients. I am keen to share that layered biryani recipe too but need to work on replacing a few ingredients. For now, you get this simplified vegetable biryani recipe, which I love to make as an evening meal.
This biryani recipe is packed full of vegetables. Most vegetables will work in this dish and it’s a great way to use up leftover vegetables. Start with preparing all the vegetables by cutting them into 2cm cubes. Temper the whole spices in oil before adding the vegetables and spices. You will need all the vegetables to cook for 10 minutes with the pan covered and then add the rice. The rice is fried for a few minutes and then topped with water. Now you can just sit back and let the rice cook until it’s soft and fluffy.
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vegetable biryani – quick and easy recipe
Yield 2-4 people
This vegetable biryani is quick and easy to make. It is packed full of vegetables and flavour making it a perfect comforting and warming meal on cold winter days.
- 2-3 bird’s eye chillies, minced
- thumb-sized root of ginger, minced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3-5 cloves or whole peppercorns
- 3 dried bay leaves
- 1 medium potato, peeled and cut into 2cm cubes
- 1 medium carrot, cut into 2cm cubes
- 1 medium onion, cut into 2cm cubes
- 1 aubergine, partly peeled and cut into 2 cm cubes
- 1 bell pepper, cut into 2cm cubes
- 100g or 1 cup green beans, trimmed
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 125g or ⅞ cup basmati rice
- 400ml boiling water
- Fresh coriander to garnish
- Mince the chillies, ginger, and garlic in a food processor into a fine paste and set aside.
- Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat for a minute.
- Add the cinnamon stick, cloves and bay leaves, stir for 30-60 seconds until they start to darken.
- Now add the potato, carrot, onion, aubergine, pepper, green beans, turmeric, garam masala, salt, chilli, ginger, and garlic.
- Mix well, cover the pan and let it cook for 10 minutes, stir occasionally.
- Wash the rice a few times in warm water, I use a strainer or sieve.
- Stir the rice into the vegetables and cook for 3 minutes, stir continuously.
- Add the boiling water. The water should cover the rice and vegetables with about 2 cm of water.
- Cover the pan and let the vegetable biryani cook for 20 minutes on a medium heat, reduce the heat to low for the final 5 minutes.
- The biryani is cooked when the rice is soft and fluffy, serve warm.
- Save 5 minutes on the preparation time by checking out my cooking tips and tricks.
- Leftover rice can be kept in the fridge for 2 days or frozen.
- If making the biryani in advance, sprinkle with water before re-heating on a low heat.
- Serves 2 as a main meal and 4 as a side dish.