Vegetable Biryani

Vegetable Biryani

Biryani, a jewel of Indian cuisine, is a celebration of aromas, flavours and textures. This Vegetable Biryani recipe is a delightful vegetarian twist on the classic dish, offering a medley of vibrant vegetables and fragrant spices that come together in a harmonious blend.



  • 1 c. Basmati rice
  • 1/4 c. whole milk
  • 1/8 tsp saffron threads
  • 4 green cardamom pods
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 (3″) cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seed


  • 1/4 cup ghee or neutral oil, divided
  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt, divided 
  • 3 green cardamom pods
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 (3″) cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seed
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 medium Yukon Gold potato, peeled and cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1 small cauliflower floret
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 2 tsp minced peeled ginger
  • 1/2 cup Greek whole milk yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
  • 1/4 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1/4 cup chopped toasted cashews
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint

Method of cooking:


Rinse 1 cup of Basmati rice under cold water until the water runs clear.

Soak the rice in the water for at least 30 minutes, then drain.

Warm 1/4 cup whole milk and infuse with 1/8 teaspoon saffron threads for vibrant colour and flavour.

Bring the water to a boil in a saucepan. Add the rice, cardamom pods, cloves, cinnamon stick, bay leaf, 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt and cumin seeds.

Cook until the rice is about 70% done, then drain and set aside.


Heat half the 1/4 cup ghee or oil in a large frying pan.

Add the sliced red onion and sauté with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt until golden brown.

Add the remaining cardamom, cloves, cinnamon stick, bay leaf, garam masala, turmeric, cumin, black pepper and cayenne pepper to the onion. Stir well.

Add the potato, cauliflower and carrot and cook until soft.

Stir in the chopped garlic and ginger and cook for another minute.

Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly, then stir in the Greek yoghurt, lime juice and chopped mint.


In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, layer half of the vegetables, then half of the rice.

Sprinkle with some of the saffron milk, chopped apricots, cashews and mint.

Repeat the layers with the remaining vegetables and rice and the rest of the saffron milk, apricots, cashews and mint.

Cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook on a very low heat for about 20 minutes to allow the flavours to meld.

Leave to stand for 10 minutes before serving.

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