Spiced vegetable biryani

Spiced vegetable biryani

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(81 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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9th Jun, 2013
Delicious and easy :)
6th Jun, 2013
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 :-)
30th May, 2013
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!!
30th May, 2013
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!
4th Apr, 2013
Served it as part of an Indian feast. My cauliflower-hating sons loved it and ate the lot.
26th Mar, 2013
Nice easy recipe which worked exactly as described. I used Turmeric instead of saffron and curry powder rather than paste. Makes enough for lunch tomorrow too. I'll try it with peppers and prawns next time :)
20th Mar, 2013
First time I have made athing like this, and I have to say it was wonderful. So easy to make, plenty of flavours working through it and great portion sizes. Highly recommended. Thank you.
3rd Feb, 2013
Great recipe! I do not how come the rice will not cook in 30-40 min. Mine was perfect. It is probably because of the oven...easy and very filling dish! Perfect with a simple sauce from yogurt, lemon, garlic and coriander mixed together!
5th Jan, 2013
DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME AND MONEY MAKING THIS DISH. I followed the recipe exactly and not only was the rice still hard after 40 minutes the whole thing tasted like all the ingredients just clashed! Awful! Why put a madras sauce in a dish and then add other ingredients like Saffron (which costs a fortune)!? VERY disappointing! My husband is now having to eat beans on toast instead but at least that tastes miles better than this terrible Biryani.
5th Oct, 2012
Very tasty. I always have to reduce quantities as don't have a dish big enough (even a large casserole dish holds about half the quantity of rice). First time I cooked this I just covered it with tin foil and it took ages to cook. Think it really needs a good seal to cook within the given cooking times. Good with other veg especially peppers.


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