Spiced vegetable biryani

Spiced vegetable biryani

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(115 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


  • 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…

  • 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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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.
2nd Feb, 2017
Great recipe and like others halved the quantities apart from the curry paste as we like it currified. Also added garlic and fresh ginger and some frozen mixed veg. Superb tasty recipe which made us go back for second helpings. Still have plenty left. I had to cook it for 1 hour probably because of the quantity. Give it a try you won't be disappointed.
Noah's Grandma
20th Dec, 2016
Tried this for the first time, it was really delicious. Cut down on the rice, as recommended, still loads for 4 people with plenty left over for tomorrow. I added some broccoli & peppers and used only half a chilli and a medium hot curry paste as anything too spicy gives my husband hiccoughs! I didn't pre cook the veg, just mixed everything together and popped in the oven for 1hr, came out perfectly. Served it with the red lentil and squash dhal. Will definitely do this one again.
3rd Jul, 2016
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.
18th May, 2016
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.
20th Feb, 2016
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!


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