Veggie subzi biryani

Veggie subzi biryani

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(6 ratings)

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 1 hr, 30 mins Plus soaking


Serves 6
Just add chutneys, poppadums and Indian beer for an authentic curry night

Nutrition and extra info

  • Vegetarian


  • kcal562
  • fat24g
  • saturates5g
  • carbs79g
  • sugars12g
  • fibre6g
  • protein12g
  • salt0.14g


  • 400g basmati rice
  • 125ml sunflower oil
    Sunflower oil

    Sunflower oil

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

  • 4 large onions, sliced



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

  • small knob of fresh root ginger, finely grated to make 1 tsp



    Mainly grown in Jamaica, Africa, India, China and Australia, ginger is the root of the plant. It…

  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 225g tomatoes, skinned and finely chopped



    A member of the nightshade family (along with aubergines, peppers and chillies), tomatoes are in…

  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric



    Turmeric is a fragrant, bright golden-yellow root that is most commonly seen and used dried and…

  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp cloves



    A clove is the dry, unopened flower bud of the tropical myrtle tree family used to flavour a…

  • 4 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…

  • 2 bay leaves
  • 250g Greek yogurt
  • 250g potatoes, diced



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

  • 140g carrots, diced



    The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…

  • 140g frozen peas



    A type of legume, peas grow inside long, plump pods. As is the case with all types of legume,…

  • small bunch coriander, finely chopped


  1. Wash the rice thoroughly in cold, running water, then leave to soak in a bowlful of water for 1 hr. Once soaked, drain, then cook in plenty of boiling salted water for about 8 mins until 90 per cent cooked. Drain again and set aside.

  2. Heat the oil in a large pan, add the onions and fry until golden brown. Lift out half the onions with a slotted spoon and set aside. Continue frying the rest of the onions at a high heat until really crisp, then lift these out with a slotted spoon. Drain on kitchen paper, sprinkle with a little salt and set aside until ready to serve.

  3. Return the first reserved batch of onions to the pan. Fry with the ginger and garlic for 1 min, then stir in the tomatoes, all the spices, the bay, yogurt and some salt. Cook for a few mins until the oil separates out, then add the potatoes and carrots with 400ml water. Gently cook for 20-30 mins or until the veg are almost cooked and saucy (splash in more water if the sauce gets too thick). Turn off the heat and stir in the peas.

  4. Spread half the cooked rice over the bottom of a large casserole dish. Spread the saucy vegetables on top, sprinkle with the chopped coriander, then evenly cover with the remaining rice. Dampen a clean, thick tea towel, lay it over the casserole and put on the lid. Set it over a very low heat and cook for about 30 mins. Spoon into a large shallow dish to serve, gently mixing the vegetables and rice as you go, then scatter over the crispy onions.

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Comments, questions and tips

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16th Feb, 2018
The vegetable mix is absolutely delicious, but there is no need to mess about with layering the rice and using a damp cloth. Just make the veg mixture, boil the rice - preferably in a vegetable stock - and then mix together. Finish with the crisp onions. Job done. Great served with dhal and chapattis.
21st Sep, 2010
This recipe is a real stunner. It has a wonderful fragrance and sits well as a supporting dish with meat or even on its own as a main dish. The flavours are subtle and it is not so overpowering like other Indian style dishes can be at times. I never get tured of this dish. 10/10
27th Jul, 2010
I tried this recipe a couple of times. It tastes ok but it is definitely not worth the effort. It takes an unbelievable amount of time to cook. Do not believe the recipe when it says it takes 20-30 min to cook the veg. I've extended this cooking time, plus the cooking time in the casserole, and my diced potato was still super damn crunchy. Save yourself time and frustration and effort and skip this recipe.
3rd Apr, 2010
This was a fairly tasty recipe, but unbelievably complicated and takes so long to cook that the end product doesn't seem worth all the effort!
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