Quick and Easy Vegetarian Biryani! A fragrant Indian rice dish infused with Indian spices – vegan adaptable and gluten-free. A quick and easy weeknight meal. | Serve it with Cilantro Mint Chutney.
- 2 cups white basmati rice (see notes for brown basmati)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (or sub ghee or coconut oil)
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 cup diced carrot ( or use match sticks)
- 4 garlic cloves, rough chopped
- 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated or use ginger paste
- 1 tablespoon cumin ( or whole seeds)
- 1 tablespoon coriander (or whole seeds, cracked open)
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon (or one cinnamon stick)
- 1/2 teaspoon cardamom (or 3 crushed cardamom pods)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 star anise pod (optional)
- 4 cups veggie stock ( or chicken stock)
- 3/4 teaspoon salt, more to taste
- 1 can chickpeas, drained, rinsed
- 1/2 cup raisins
- Garnish: 1/4 cup cashews and chopped parsley or cilantro
Serve with Cilantro Mint Chutney (vegan adaptable!)
Soak rice in a bowl of hot water while you prep ingredients.
In a large skillet, or shallow Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté, stirring often, until tender and golden, 5 minutes. Turn heat to medium, add the veggies, garlic and ginger, and saute 4-5 minutes. Remove one cup of the mixture and set aside.
Top with chickpeas, raisins and the cup of veggies you set aside. Bring to a simmer over high heat, then lower heat to low. Cover the pot with a thin dish towel, then place the lid over the top of the towel, and bring the four corners of the towel up and over the lid. This will tighten the seal and keep the steam in, allowing the rice to cook more quickly and evenly.
Simmer on low 20-30 minutes or until the rice has soaked up the liquid. See notes.
While it is simmering make the Cilantro Mint Chutney
Uncover the Vegetarian Biryani and fluff up with a fork. Top with the toasted cashew and cilantro. Serve with optional Chutney.
***Instant or “Quick Cooking” Basmati Rice does not taste good here.
Brown basmati rice may require 10 more minutes of cooking time and more liquid. Check package directions for cooking time and liquid requirements- adding more liquid if need be-each rice is different. Alternatively, you could par-cook the brown rice, in a pot of boiling water so it is “half cooked” – like you would pasta. For example, cook the 2 cups rice in 8 cups boiling water, uncovered for 15 mins or somewhat tender, drain and add to the biryani pan when the recipe calls for it.
You are welcome to add other veggies to the biryani- here I’ve added thinly sliced sweet peppers. If you want to add chicken to this, make sure to season it well and brown it first before adding to the rice mixture to simmer.
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