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Vegetable Biryani — vibrant spices and flavorful

This is a popular dish in India and surrounding countries. There are many variations of Biryani but it is a basically a mixture of rice, herbs, spices, and other flavors as desired. Ideas for altering spices to your liking include cloves, ginger, saffron, and mint.

Vegetable Biryani


  •  2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seed
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 6 cardamom pods
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 tablespoons golden raisins
  • ¾ cup basmati rice
  • 1 carrot
  • 8 ounces Idaho potato
  • 2 cups peas (frozen, then thawed, are perfect for this)
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated (peeled) ginger  – optional
  • 2 tablespoons slivered almonds
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 375° F.

Combine and mix in a small bowl, the cumin, coriander, and turmeric.

Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a medium pan over medium heat. When butter is foamy, add 1½  teaspoons spice mix, cinnamon stick, golden raisins, cinnamon stick, cardamom and basmati rice. Stir to coat. Add 1¼ cups water and bring to a boil over high heat. Then cover and place in oven on bottom rack until rice is tender and water is evaporated, 15 – 17 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl and fluff with a fork. Set aside.

Meanwhile, wash carrot and potatoes. Peel carrot and cut into ½-inch dice. Cut potatoes into ½-inch dice. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and a light sprinkling of salt. Arrange in a single layer and place in oven on rack above rice. Roast until almost tender, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, thaw peas in a small bowl. Peel onion and cut into small dice. Set aside.

Wipe pan from rice clean with paper towel. Add remaining butter and heat over medium heat. When butter is foamy, add remaining spice mix and diced onion, and ginger if using. Cook, stirring often, until spices are fragrant and onion is soft and translucent, about 3 minutes.

Add roasted potatoes and carrots to pan with onion. Stir to coat, about 2 minutes. Add ⅓ cup water and cover pan. Increase heat to high and cook, covered, until vegetables are tender, about 3 minutes.

Discard cinnamon stick and cardamom pods from rice. Add rice, slivered almonds, and peas to pan with vegetables. Stir until rice is heated through and almonds are toasted, about 3-4 minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.

Divide biryani evenly between 2 bowls.

Serve immediately.

Note: This recipe can be doubled for additional servings

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