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vegan biryani in a pot ready to serve

Vegan Biryani

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 6 reviews

  • Author: Verna
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 6 Servings
  • Diet: Vegan


Turn to this easy Vegan Biryani recipe for quick weeknight ​​dinners. It’s an aromatic and veggie-packed rice dish that’s ready to eat in 20 minutes!


  • 2 cups white basmati rice (see notes*)

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons of cooking oil (olive oil, grapeseed etc,..)

  • 1 large yellow or red onion, diced or sliced thin

  • 3 to 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped minced or paste

  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated and chopped or paste

  • 2 teaspoons salt, kosher or table salt

  • 2 teaspoons garam masala

  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric

  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • Pinch of black pepper

  • 1 medium tomato, chopped with the juices

  • 3 and 1/2 cups good quality vegetable broth (see notes for options*)

  • 2 cups peeled and chopped potatoes, bite size (I like yukon gold)

  • 1 cup small cauliflower florets

  • 1/2 cup bell pepper, diced (any color)

  • 1/2 cup grated carrot

  • 1/2 cup frozen green peas

  • 1/3 cup raisins, rough chopped (I prefer sultana could use golden raisins)

  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro

  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped small

  • 3 star anise (plop on the top when boiling before adding lid)


  1. Prep all ingredients, measure salt and spices in a bowl set aside (makes it easier later)

  2. In a large pot (I use my 4 qt dutch oven) saute the onions and oil over medium heat for 8-12 minutes until golden brown, stirring frequently. Stir in the garlic, ginger, salt, spices and tomatoes. Cook for 30 seconds or so.

  3. Stir in the broth, veggies, rice and the rest of the ingredients. Bring to a boil on high heat, give it a stir. Add star anise to the top. Cover with a heavy tight fitting lid, then reduce to a good simmer (medium-low), and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, do not remove the lid and let sit for 10 minutes undisturbed.

  4. Gently Stir and fluff with a fork. Enjoy with a side of raita and/or any optional toppings listed in the notes section! (see instant pot option below)


Topping ideas:

Basmati rice: I recommend using good quality basmati rice, preferably aged and imported from India (not California) I always buy in bulk bags from Walmart. It's very affordable. 

Instant pot option (6 qt):  First follow the first 2 steps for the stovetop version. Then press saute function and fry onions and oil for 5 minutes until softened. Press cancel. Stir in the garlic, ginger, salt, spices and tomatoes. Stir in the broth (scrape bottom with wooden spoon to remove brown bits if needed -to prevent burn notice), veggies, rice and the rest of the ingredients. Seal and lock the lid and set at high pressure and cook for 3 minutes. Do a quick release and once the pin has dropped let the rice sit with lid on for 10 minutes. Gently Stir and fluff with a fork. Enjoy! See notes for topping ideas.

Vegetable broth: could sub vegan chicken broth in the biryani and throw in some diced vegan chicken too!

  • Prep Time: 20 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 Minutes
  • Category: Mains
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Indian