Easy Gluten-Free and Vegan Vegetable Rice Biryani

Vegetable rice Biryani with almonds and raisins
Dorling Kindersley / Getty Images
Ratings (8)
  • Total: 30 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 25 mins
  • Yield: 3-4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
325 Calories
10g Fat
53g Carbs
7g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 3-4 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 325
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 12%
Saturated Fat 1g 6%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 366mg 16%
Total Carbohydrate 53g 19%
Dietary Fiber 4g 13%
Protein 7g
Calcium 46mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This homemade Indian rice biryani recipe is vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free. Featuring green peas, slivered almonds, and raisins, this dish is spiced with fragrant cumin seeds, ginger, and peppercorns. For the most authentic recipe, choose basmati rice.

In India, rice biryani (sometimes spelled "biriyani" or "biriani") is often prepared with meat, but vegetarian versions aren't atypical. If you prefer more vegetables in your Indian rice biryani, pile it high with steamed cauliflower, trimmed green beans, tomatoes, or even chickpeas for a bit of protein. Steamed potatoes are another common ingredient in vegetable biryani recipes. Instead of almonds, you could try adding cashews. For a more exotic flavor, substitute the raisins for currants. 

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil (for a more traditional Indian and non-vegan version, use ghee)
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped small
  • 1/2 tsp. whole cumin seeds
  • 3-4 whole peppercorns (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp. ginger powder
  • 1 tsp. coriander
  • 2 cups water or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup rice (basmati rice is traditional in an Indian biryani recipe)
  • 1/2 cup frozen green peas, thawed
  • 2-3 tbsp. raisins
  • 1-2 tbsp. slivered almonds

Steps to Make It

  1. In a large skillet or saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the onions. After a minute or two, add the whole cumin seeds, whole peppercorns, turmeric, ginger and coriander, toasting just for a minute or two, and being careful not to burn.

  2. Heat onions. Toast spices for about 2 minutes, until fragrant and seeds are crackling.

  3. Add the rice and the water or the vegetable broth. Bring the liquid to a boil and then reduce the heat to bring it to a slow simmer and allow to cook for 15 to 20 minutes until rice is cooked and liquid is absorbed. Turn off the heat and add the thawed green peas, stirring to combine. Then, stir in the raisins and almonds. 

As with many Indian food recipes, this one is completely salt-free. With the amount of delicious Indian spices, you're not likely to miss the salt, but if you're used to heavily salted foods, you might want to add just a pinch for flavor.