This easy vegan biryani is packed with aromatic spiced rice, colourful vegetables and fresh herbs. Tested to perfection – serve this flavoursome dish with crunchy poppadoms, toasted cashew nuts and creamy fresh mint raita.
Today, we’re taking a culinary journey to India with our one-pot Easy Vegan Biryani recipe. This easy weeknight dinner is packed with aromatic spices, colourful veggies, and fluffy rice, all brought together in a perfect harmony of flavour.
Whether you’re a seasoned vegan or just looking to explore new plant-based recipes, this Easy Vegan Biryani is a must-try.
- The written recipe
- The video recipe
- Why you’ll love this recipe
- Recipe tips and FAQs
- Other incredible recipes like this one
Don’t miss our other great vegan curries! Our Easy Vegan Katsu Curry Sauce can be whipped up in just 12 minutes for a quick and easy vegan dinner and our Slow Cooker Korma is a firm favourite in the AVV community.
What is Biryani?
Before we dive into the recipe, let’s talk a bit about biryani.
This fragrant and flavoursome dish originates from South Asia, with deep roots in Indian cuisine. Traditionally, biryani is made with fragrant rice, aromatic spices and meat. However, our vegan twist on this classic recipe swaps out the meat for a medley of colourful vegetables, making it a perfect choice for plant-based eaters.
The traditional cooking process involves par-boiling the rice, marinating the filling, frying the onions and then layering it with the other ingredients before slow cooking it in a sealed pot.
However, we’ve decided to take a different route by creating a one-pan recipe, in order to simplify this delicious dish. By combining the ingredients into one pot, this simple biryani recipe is more accessible for beginner cooks and for those who are looking for a quick weeknight meal.
We’ve put this recipe through multiple rounds of testing to ensure it is packed with as much flavour as you would expect from a traditional biryani. We hope you enjoy it!
Why you’ll love this Easy Vegan Biryani
Flavour Explosion. Our Vegan Biryani is a symphony of spices. The blend of cumin, coriander, turmeric, and chilli flakes infuses every grain of rice with mouthwatering flavour.
One-Pan Wonder. We’ve simplified this traditionally finicky dish into an easy one-pan recipe. Say goodbye to a pile of dirty saucepans and dishes. This one-pot recipe is designed for minimal cleanup, so you can enjoy your meal without the hassle.
It’s Customisable. Feel free to get creative with your choice of veggies. Biryani is versatile, and you can use whatever vegetables you have on hand. Broccoli, cauliflower and green beans are all good options.
Perfect for Sharing. Biryani is a wonderful dish for sharing with friends and family. Serve it alongside dishes of raita, pickled red onions, toasted cashew nuts, fresh herbs, poppadoms and naan bread, for a help-yourself feast that everyone will enjoy.
Top tips for making Vegan Biryani
- Rinse the Rice. To achieve perfectly fluffy rice, be sure to rinse the dry rice thoroughly until the water runs clear, before cooking it.
- Crispy Onions. Fry the onions until they are golden and starting to crisp up (but not burn). For added flavour, you could remove the onions from the pan and set them aside, once you’ve fried them to a golden brown and crispy finish. Cook off the remaining ingredients as per the recipe and then stir the onions in or sprinkle them on top of your biryani bowls on serving.
- Spice Level. We’ve made this biryani with a mild-medium spice level but you can adjust the amount of chilli flakes to suit your preferred spice level.
- A Touch More Stock. Keep an eye on the rice whilst it’s cooking and add 50-100ml more stock or water if the rice has started to stick to the pan. Don’t add too much though; you don’t want the rice to become mushy, add just enough to loosen the mixture before putting the lid back on the saucepan.
- Side Dishes For The Win. Try making our quick pickled red onions for a vibrant and tangy garnish. Also top your biryani bowls with toasted cashew nuts, raita and a sprinkling of fresh herbs. Serve with a side of naan bread and crunchy poppadoms.
- What size pan should I use to cook this dish? We use a 30cm cast iron casserole pan to make our one-pan biryani, like this one.
- Can I use different vegetables? Absolutely! Feel free to get creative and use your favourite veggies or whatever’s in season. Mix it up with red pepper, green beans and cauliflower florets. You could also try cubes of potato, sliced courgette or broccoli.
- How spicy is this Easy Vegan Biryani Recipe? This recipe as written is a mild-medium spice level. Feel free to add more dried chilli flakes or fresh chilli if you prefer your curries hotter.
- Could I add a protein to this dish? Yes absolutely, tofu or vegan chicken would both work well. Fry them off at the same time as the onions before adding the remaining ingredients and simmering until cooked.
- How long can I store this biryani? We recommend serving it the same day, however you can store the leftovers in the fridge to enjoy the next day. Make sure you reheat the biryani until hot through before serving, either in a saucepan over a medium heat, or in the microwave. We don’t recommend freezing this dish.
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Our Vegan Biryani recipe brings the vibrant flavours of Indian cuisine to your kitchen. With aromatic spices, colourful veggies, and fluffy rice, it’s a perfect addition to your vegan repertoire. Whether you’re sharing it with friends or enjoying a cosy night in, this easy Vegan Biryani is sure to satisfy your cravings for bold and delicious flavours.
Remember to share your Vegan Biryani creations with us on social media using the hashtag #AVeganVisit. Happy cooking!
Loved this Easy Vegan Biryani? Here are some more delicious vegan dinners to enjoy!
I hope you LOVE this recipe for Vegan Biryani! Share this recipe with someone you think will love it and don’t forget to tag @aveganvisit on social media when you try out the recipe. I absolutely love seeing your re-creations! Enjoy 🙂 x
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The Video Recipe:
The Written Recipe:
Easy Vegan Biryani (One-Pan Recipe)
- 4 tbsp vegetable or coconut oil (separated into 2 tbsp + 2 tbsp)
- 1 onion (thinly sliced (approx 150g))
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp garlic (minced)
- 2 tsp ginger (grated or finely diced)
- 1 carrot (peeled and finely diced (approx 100g))
- 1 green pepper (diced (approx 120g))
- 4 mushrooms (diced (approx 80g))
- 4 tsp dried cumin
- 3 tsp dried coriander
- 1 tsp dried turmeric
- ¼ tsp dried chilli flakes (add more if you like your biryani to be spicier)
- ¼ tsp salt
- 200 g basmati rice (dry weight)
- 400-500 ml vegetable stock (gluten free if required)
- 50 g peas (frozen)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cinnamon stick (approx 7cm long)
- 5 cardamon pods
- 1.5 tbsp fresh coriander (finely chopped)
- 1.5 tbsp fresh mint (finely chopped)
For the pickled red onions:
- ½ red onion
- 1 tbsp vinegar
Optional, to serve:
- 50 g cashews (toasted (omit if you require a nut free dish))
- fresh coriander
- poppadoms (gluten free if required)
- naan bread (gluten free if required)
- Rinse the rice in cold water until the water runs clear.Note: Rinsing the rice results in a fluffier texture and prevents the rice grains from clumping together.200 g basmati rice
- Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a large frying pan. Add the sliced onion and 1/2 tsp salt. Fry over a medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until the onions turn golden (but not burnt), which should take around 10-12 minutes.Note: If the onions are burning and sticking to the bottom of the pan, lower the heat slightly and add a little more oil. We don’t want them to be burnt but you do you want them to be browned and crispy around the edges to give the most flavour.4 tbsp vegetable or coconut oil, 1 onion, 1/2 tsp salt
- Add the garlic and ginger to the pan along with an additional 1 tbsp oil if needed. Fry for 2 minutes.2 tbsp garlic, 2 tsp ginger
- Add the finely diced vegetables (carrot, pepper and mushrooms) and sauté until the carrot and pepper pieces are tender. This should take approximately 7 minutes.1 carrot, 1 green pepper, 4 mushrooms
- Reduce the heat to medium. Add 1 tbsp oil to the pan along with the dried spices (cumin, coriander, turmeric and chilli flakes) along with 1/4 tsp salt. Stir together with the vegetables and fry for another 2 minutes.4 tsp dried cumin, 3 tsp dried coriander, 1 tsp dried turmeric, 1/4 tsp dried chilli flakes, 1/4 tsp salt
- Add the rice, 400ml of the stock, peas, bay leaves, cinnamon stick and cardamom pods. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat. Cover with a tight-fitting lid space and simmer for around 15 minutes or until the rice is cooked.400-500 ml vegetable stock, 50 g peas, 2 bay leaves, 1 cinnamon stick, 5 cardamon pods
- Keep an eye on the pan as it cooks and add 50-100ml more stock or water as necessary, if the rice is sticking. Don't add too much liquid as you don't want the rice to go mushy!
- Once the rice is cooked, remove the pan from the heat. Leave the lid on and set aside to rest for 10 minutes.
- Whilst the biryani is resting, fry a handful of cashew nuts in a dry frying pan (without oil). Fry for around 5-7 minutes until they are lightly golden and then remove from the heat.50 g cashews
- Whilst you are waiting you may also like to make some pickled red onions to add on top of the biryani on serving. To make the pickled onions, slice 1/2 a red onion and then place it in a bowl of boiling water for 5 mins. Drain the water, add the vinegar and stir. After a few minutes the onions should go a bright pink colour. Drain off any excess vinegar and they're ready to use.1/2 red onion, 1 tbsp vinegar
- Once the biryani has rested for 10 minutes, test it for seasoning and add more salt if needed, stirring through thoroughly.
- Add the fresh coriander and mint and stir through thoroughly.1.5 tbsp fresh coriander, 1.5 tbsp fresh mint
- Serve this vegan biryani with popadoms, pickled red onion and raita (plain vegan yoghurt with fresh mint and cucumber stirred in). Sprinkle the top of each bowl of biryani with fresh coriander and toasted cashews.fresh coriander, raita, poppadoms, naan bread