Spiced vegetable biryani

Spiced vegetable biryani

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(112 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…

  • 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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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.
1st Sep, 2012
mine did not cook either, waited 2 hours and lots more stock added, still the rice was rock hard! in the end i had to put it in a saucepan with even more stock and cook it that way! very disappointed :(
1st Sep, 2012
my rice didnt cook in time said, in act it took 2 hours to cook and i had to add load more liquid!
6th Aug, 2012
Delicious, scaled it down for 2 and used a lot less rice about 100g and 250 mls stock, made plenty, also had no saffron and used a pinch of turmeric. Will try it for veggie family members and may also add prawns too.
3rd Aug, 2012
Delicious! A favourite with friends and the Fiance! I'm going to make it again tonight, but substitute sweet potato for normal, and also add chicken.
1st Mar, 2012
I also had the problem that the rice took forever to cook. The veg had turned to complete mush by the time it was done. But it still tasted good!
31st Jan, 2012
This was a great success. It would have been even better if it had been accompianed by a vegetable sauce.
13th Jan, 2012
Tried this for the first time....Excellent and easy Will make again
10th Jan, 2012
Really tasty and easy to do. No basmati so used brown rice which took longer to cook and needed a bit more stock. Very filling - half the recipe did two generous portions plus another to go in the freezer.


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