Spiced vegetable biryani

Spiced vegetable biryani

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(76 ratings)

Takes 50 minutes - 1 hour


Serves 6
This simple vegetarian curry, full of fresh Indian flavours, is quick to make and cooks in a single pot

Nutrition and extra info

  • Vegetarian


  • kcal494
  • fat12g
  • saturates1g
  • carbs89g
  • sugars0g
  • fibre5g
  • protein14g
  • salt0.99g
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  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 small cauliflower, broken into small florets



    A brassica, like cabbage and broccoli, cauliflower is a mass of tiny, tightly packed flower…

  • 2 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
    Sweet potatoes

    Sweet potato

    sweet po-tate-toe

    Sweet potatoes have a creamy texture and a sweet-spicy flavour that makes them ideal for savoury…

  • 1 large onion, sliced



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 1l hot vegetable stock
  • 3 tbsp hot curry paste (Madras is good)
  • 1 red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
  • large pinch of saffron strands



    The stigma of a type of crocus, saffron threads have a pungent and distinctive aroma and flavour…

  • 2 tsp mustard seed (black or white)
  • 500g basmati rice
  • 140g trimmed green bean, halved
  • 2 lemon, juice only



    Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…

  • a handful of fresh coriander leaves
  • 50g packet salted roasted cashew nuts



    The seeds from the 'Cashew Apple' - a tree which bears bright orange fruit and is native…

  • poppadoms and raita, to serve


  1. Preheat the oven to 220C/gas 7/fan 200C. Pour the oil into a large roasting tin or ovenproof dish and put in the oven for a couple of minutes to heat through. Add all the vegetables to the tin, except the beans, stirring to coat them in the hot oil. Season with salt and pepper and return to the oven for 15 minutes until beginning to brown.

  2. While the vegetables are roasting, stir together the stock, curry paste, chilli, saffron and mustard seeds.

  3. Mix the rice and green beans with the vegetables in the tin, then pour over the stock mixture. Lower the oven to 190C/gas 5/fan 190C. Cover the dish tightly with foil and bake for 30 minutes until the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed. Stir in the lemon juice and check the seasoning, then scatter over the coriander and cashew nuts. Serve with a pile of poppadums and a bowl of raita.

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Comments (97)

ZT's picture

Very spicy and went down very well. You could make a vegetable curry sauce to go with but I thought it was great on it's own.

shagofta's picture

recipe good if all followed. instead of all ingredients i used spring onions, potatoes, added peas too, for flavour added green chilly, chilly powder, corriander powder, jeera powder, curry powder and paprika.
the taste was really good i served it with potatoe salad. the only thing was the amount of vegetable ws not enough evan though i used all the tin of green beans and whole cauli it did not go with 2 mugs of basmati rice so i would make only 1 mug. i like there to be atleast 1/3 vegetables to the rice but they were all mixed in and i could not see or find much of the veg. i did not oven cook i just stir fried the rice into the veg then added salt around the rice. wouldv been perfect if i used less rice and cooked the veg for jus 10 mins bfr adding in the rice.

djohnson99's picture

Really nice biryani and very easy to make! I cooked it all for a little longer as the vegetables and rice were still a bit hard after 30mins. I made a curry sauce to go with it as I feared it might be dry, the sauce really topped the dish. Delicious!

Frances Claire's picture

Delicious healthy recipe! I only used 420g of rice and replaced the curry paste with spices and it turned out great.

benry's picture

Worked really well, but these are *very* generous servings. It says six but it would easily feed eight or more. I am hopeful it freezes...

rubot's picture

This turned out perfectly.
I followed it pretty much to the letter with ingredients/times/amounts (bar the nuts and the saffron) and the rice cooked perfectly. Based on some comments I feared the rice wouldn't be cooked, but it was great.

Coolkitten's picture

Did not use vegetable stock used water instead; used chilli powder instead of chillies; did not use mustard seeds; used some tomatoes; used madras curry powder instead of curry paste; used sona masoori rice instead of basmati; mixed finely chopped coriander leaves into rice just before the last thirty minutes in the oven; gives a fantastic aroma;used onion raita instead of the cucumber raita ; came out amazingly well; thank you very much for the recipe!!

chesty's picture

I think I used this recipe for the technique, rather than ingredients. Made this with brown rice - took an hour to cook, I found the stock level was perfect. Really enjoyed this dish, and I think we'll be enjoying it for a few days to come, there is so much of it! I used new potatoes, carrots, onion and cauliflower. I would put peas or green beans in next time, for colour more than anything. I also used curry powder, rather than paste. Served it with a jar of curry sauce that I filled out with chick peas and green lentils (canned) Definitely a dish I'll make again. A small amount of prep, for a lot of food.

jessporter91's picture

Gorgeous! I forgot to lower it down to 190C/gas 5 but it didn't matter - just cooked the rice faster! Added green pepper as it needed using up. Also made the raita - love the crunch!

emmas29's picture

Having read the previous comments I soaked the rice in cold water for half an hour before cooking and that solved the issue of timing. I made it for 2 and used 125g of rice, which was enough for 3 in the end. I added a sliced red pepper to the vegetables and a handful each of frozen peas and sweetcorn 10 minutes before the end. Otherwise I stuck very closely to the original recipe and it was delicious! I will try it with chicken next time I think as it is much quicker and easier than my normal biryani recipe.

alisonpg's picture

Absolutely scrumptious! Didn't have saffron and didn't miss it. Getting a tight seal with the foil is key to having evenly cooked rice. Looking forward to making this again.

jkpaul's picture

I made this for the family recently and was surprised how easy it was - I usually use stir in sauces for curry but I'll make this again. The only slight issue was that it was too spicy for the kids - I'd anticipated this and used Biryani paste instead of Madras, but it was still on the hot side, even for the adults, so we stirred a little coconut milk in as it was served - this helps!

bettybugg's picture

I made this in the oven in a large cast iron pan- I omitted the saffron and coriander leaves. It turned out well- I didn't have problems with it taking that too long to cook (40 mins, rather than 30 in recipe), but I do have a well fitting lid for the pan, which probably helps. It makes quite a lot, but that's a good thing, as it can be frozen to feed us at a later date!

louisewinder's picture

4 stars. I made this after work tonight for the first time. So easy to make and was delicous ; a really tasty and moist Biriyani. My friend doest like sweet potatoes but loved this.
To those that had issues cooking it was probably due to a poor seal of foil around the edges.

jenclews's picture

I cooked this on the hob and reduced the amount of rice after reading the previous comments - the rice was cooked but vegetables were a bit overdone for my taste. It makes an enormous amount! There are better biryani recipes out there and I probably won't cook this again.

veronica_nelson10's picture

Oops - forgot to rate it! Delish and easy :)

veronica_nelson10's picture

Delicious and easy :)

rachsweets's picture

Really tasty and once the prep's done, the oven does all the work :-) have made this twice now - once on its own and second time with some sliced chicken. Yum :-)

caroljefferson's picture

made this with a few alterations, broccoli instead of cauli, omitted green beans, walnuts instead of cashews, on hob instead of oven, simple, quick and delicious!!

caroljefferson's picture

Just making this with a few alterations, broccoli instead of cauli, no green beans as I dont have any and walnuts instead of cashews, am making on the hob to save heating oven in le creuset pan, its coming along nicely!


Questions (4)

Bentleybird's picture

Can this be frozen?

jek1's picture

Having a hard time converting the recipe from grams to US metric units like cups, and ounces.
Can you help please??

kurrykpop's picture

Do you cook the rice before putting it into the oven?

goodfoodteam's picture

Hi there kurrykpop, the rice goes in raw and cooks in the stock in the oven. Hope this helps to clarify. Let us know how you get on if you decide to try this recipe. 

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