Spiced vegetable biryani

Spiced vegetable biryani

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(96 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 potatoes, 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 lemons, 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…

  • poppadums 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, questions and tips

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29th Apr, 2019
I make this regularly for my family and it’s always a winner! I have seen that lots of people don’t rate it but, as with all rice meals, you need to keep an eye on it. I didn’t put all the liquid in at first, checked it after 15 minutes or so, added the rest of the liquid ...make sure the veggies are a bit soft before adding everything else and you’re good to go! Thanks for this recipe! :)
Liz Huby's picture
Liz Huby
27th Apr, 2019
Took about three times the amount of time to cook despite following the recipe to the letter. Not great when you have a hungry family to feed. Really disappointed.
kibethewalrus's picture
13th Feb, 2019
We love this recipe, been doing it for years, always turns out great. The cashew nuts and fresh coriander give it a extra flavour and texture, and we have served this to vegetarians and meat eaters with no complaints. The kids even love it, we serve with popadoms to scoop, because it's a biryani it doesn't have a sauce so bear that in mind if you prefer something wetter with naan.
constelisetion's picture
28th Jan, 2019
It took 3 hours to cook in the oven even on a high setting, a ridiculous amount of rice and after 3 hours still not cooked. sweet potato was raw until I was just too hungry to not eat it. tasty but if youre going to cook it I reccomend halfing the rice and cooking the vegetables completely before adding rice and stock.
Anna B's picture
Anna B
5th Dec, 2018
Absolutely loved it! Tips: We cooked it for an hour (not half) and added another half litre of stock. We just finished this off tonight. For the 2 of us, it lasted throughout 4 separate meals and we don’t eat miniature portions. One meal we added some chicken and another time added prawns - both delicious. Next time we’ll also try with paneer. My boyfriend said he’d have preferred it with a bit less lemon but ate it regardless. I just loved it as it was, and even the 4th time eating it we were both so pleased with how fantastic it tastes. It has become a new favourite of ours and we’ll make it many times!
16th Sep, 2018
TERRIBLE, TERRIBLE, TERRIBLE. We followed the recipe by the exact amounts/method. Once in the oven this took 2 hours, constantly needed more stalk. In the end this Biryani STILL wasn’t cooked. Just an obscene amount of rice. Everything just turned to gloop. Would not recommend this dish. We were so angry we couldn’t even look at the biryani. Had to dispose of it into the bin at 12am nearly vomiting in the process. Ended up putting frozen pizza in the oven instead. Just terrible. This experience has sadly put me off biryani for life and this was one of my favourite dishes. Such a disappointment and complete waste of a Saturday night.
Emma Campbell
2nd May, 2018
Added 1.5 litres of stock instead of 1 litre, and cooked for 30 minutes. It was perfect! Absolutely delicious veggie meal.
21st Jan, 2018
We cooked this for an hour and had to add more liquid. The vegetables were fine but the rice was hard even with the extra liquid. This is the second time we have had this problem so thought the extra liquid would solve it this time. As some people have this problem and others don't I'm wondering whether this is to do with the type of Basmati rice? We will make it again but with less rice and add more liquid earlier in the process if necessary.
13th May, 2017
I cannot believe how this turned out. I followed the recipe & the vegetables weren't cooked after the 30 mins so I put it back in the oven & so far it's had a further hour & still the cauliflower & beans are not cooked! Think it will go in the recycling! Really annoyed.... I make Silvana's Baked Spanish Risotto all done in the oven & it is perfect every time hence I thought I would give this a go. Really disappointed.
17th Jun, 2017
Are you sure you were at 190 degrees Celsius (ie 375 F) rather than 190 F? No offense intended, it's not an uncommon mistake.


4th May, 2017
Can you freeze this?
goodfoodteam's picture
5th May, 2017
This recipe is much better if not frozen. All our recipes which freeze well are marked with a blue star above the nutritional information.
13th Aug, 2016
Can this be frozen?
7th May, 2016
Having a hard time converting the recipe from grams to US metric units like cups, and ounces. Can you help please??
5th May, 2015
Do you cook the rice before putting it into the oven?
goodfoodteam's picture
12th May, 2015
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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