Fragrant vegetable & cashew biryani

Fragrant vegetable & cashew biryani

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(30 ratings)

Prep: 40 mins Cook: 45 mins - 1 hr

More effort

Serves 8
A delicious vegetarian main dish or accompaniment to another curry, ideal for a curry buffet or spicy feast

Nutrition and extra info

  • Vegetarian
  • Healthy

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal469
  • fat18g
  • saturates4g
  • carbs67g
  • sugars7g
  • fibre4g
  • protein14g
  • salt1.11g
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  • 500g basmati rice
  • 2 large onions, halved and thinly sliced



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

  • 4 tbsp sunflower oil
    Sunflower oil

    Sunflower oil

    Sunflower oil is made from pressing sunflower seeds and extracting the oil. It's usually…

  • thumb-size piece fresh root ginger, shredded
  • 65g sachet korma curry paste (we used Sharwood's)
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 6 green cardamom pods
  • 3 star anise
    Star anise

    Star anise

    star an-eese

    Star anise is one of the central spices in Chinese cooking. It has a strong anise flavour, with…

  • 250g diced potatoes



    The world's favourite root vegetable, the potato comes in innumerable varieties. A member of…

  • 1 small cauliflower, cut into small florets



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

  • 250g Greek yogurt
  • 225g frozen peas
  • 2 good pinches saffron



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

  • ½ tsp rosewater
  • butter, for greasing



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 100g roasted, salted cashew nuts



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

For the garnish

  • 2 onions, halved and very thinly sliced



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

  • 3 tbsp sunflower oil
    Sunflower oil

    Sunflower oil

    Sunflower oil is made from pressing sunflower seeds and extracting the oil. It's usually…

  • good handful coriander


  1. Rinse the rice in several changes of water to remove excess starch, then put in a bowl of cold water and leave to soak for 30 mins.

  2. Meanwhile, fry the onions in the oil for 8 mins until soft and starting to colour. Add the ginger, then cook for 2 mins more. Stir in the curry paste followed by the whole spices, cook for 1 min more, then tip in the potatoes and cauliflower. Pour in 300ml water, cover and boil for about 5-7 mins until the veg are just tender, but still have a little resistance. Stir in the yogurt and peas with 1 tsp salt.

  3. Mix the saffron, rosewater and 3 tbsp boiling water together and stir well. Drain the rice, tip into a pan of boiling salted water, then cook for 5 mins until almost tender. Drain again. Get out a large ovenproof dish with a lid and butter the base. Tip the curry sauce into the base, scatter over the nuts, then spoon over the rice. Drizzle over the rosewater mixture, then cover with foil followed by the lid. Can be chilled overnight until ready to cook.

  4. Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Put the biryani in the oven for 45 mins-1 hr until thoroughly heated through. To check it’s ready, try a spoonful from the centre of the rice. For the garnish, slowly fry the onions in the oil until really golden and crisp (this can be done in advance). When the biryani is hot and ready to serve, gently toss through the onions and coriander.

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Comments, questions and tips

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16th Mar, 2019
Delicious. I upped the amount of spice as I thought it might be a little bland. And flung in a few cloves for good measure. I thought baking yogurt into it sounded a bit weird so I substitued a sachet of Patak's coconut cream and some extra boiling water. I also squeezed the juice of a lemon over it before serving to give it an extra kick. It went down very well.
Nick Goddard
2nd Aug, 2016
I was really looking forward to a tasty curry, but sadly found this dish very bland. I also thought there was far too much rice. I won't be making it again.
6th Feb, 2016
I'll use less rice when I cook this again, but it's a very good dish.
6th Mar, 2012
I really love this dish - made it for a lunch party and had it all ready the night before. All I had to do on the day was chuck it in the oven. It tasted lovely but I would make sure that the potatoes are cooked quite well before putting in the ovenproof dish. Also it took a good 20 mins longer to cook.
28th Nov, 2011
Really tasty, even my 12 month old loved it - and easy to make. Would defo make again.
1st Nov, 2011
I had high hopes for this as I read the recipe and while cooking it, but it ended up being disappointingly bland - think there was too much rice...
20th Mar, 2011
Turned out really dry and bland. this recipe is similar but much tastier:
25th Sep, 2009
I pre-prepped everything for this dish and found it incredibly easy to follow and make. The only problem I found (other than having a four hour power cut, the power came back on 15 minutes before I had to put the oven on!) was getting hold of rosewater but it really didn't detract anything. My husband and I loved the dish (accompanied it with the one pot mushroom and potato curry) and will definitely make it the next time we have company!
20th May, 2009
Quite easy to make, very, very nice and healthy though I didn't have a big enough ovenproof dish for all that rice!
1st Mar, 2009
A great recipe. Husband and I loved it and there was plenty of leftovers for lunches. I didn't have any rosewater so didn't use it, but didn't miss it either. It is quite fiddly to make, but delicious and definitely worth it.


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