Easy Vegetable Biryani

Vegetable Biryani is a bold and flavorful Indian rice dish with bell peppers, peas, carrots and potatoes in a spiced rice dish made with turmeric, garam masala and other warm spices.

We’re working through a list of our favorite Indian recipes including Indian Butter Chicken and Easy Chicken Tikka Masala and it felt only right the next recipe shared would be a biryani dish which is amazing served with Cucumber Raita.

Vegetable Biryani
 Easy Vegetable Biryani

Biryani has always been a recipe I’ve been intimidated to make even though it looks like it would be a recipe that’s easier to make than most Indian dishes. The rice is always so heavily flavored I worry about how long to cook it for and how the final combination of vegetables and rice will cook together so both are perfectly tender and soft at the same time.

When I started cooking with my family friend who is well versed in Indian cooking my first request was chicken biryani (coming soon). We discussed spices, I mentioned I’d only made biryani with a spice packet before, never mixing single spices together to put together that spicy, bold, flavorful rice on my own.

This biryani is easier than most, no whole spices being toasted and ground. No red curry paste or ginger garlic pastes are needed. The resulting flavors are incredibly delicious and addicting.

What to serve with vegetable biryani:

Most Indian recipes work well together, this dish is a bit spicy so a yogurt raita would be great to cool it off a little. Naan would also be a delicious side option as would other vegetarian Indian dishes like saag paneer or vegetable korma.

vegetable biryani

What kind of rice is used in vegetable biryani:

A classic biryani is made using basmati rice. This rice is thinner and longer than a traditional long grain rice.

How do you make biryani rice?

The rice is traditionally made using ghee (clarified butter) along with onions, garlic and ginger. Once cooked vegetables are added in with spices and cooked until the spices bloom. Rice is added along with stock and cooked until fluffy.

Why is biryani rice yellow?

The yellow coloring in the rice comes from the use of turmeric along with other spices. These spices are added into the dish before the uncooked rice is mixed in.

easy indian biryani rice

Tools used in the making of Vegetable Biryani:
Basmati Rice: The perfect rice for the biryani, do not substitute long grain rice.
Cast Iron Dutch Oven: I used to fry in my cast iron skillet, but this dutch oven is perfect for cooking the vegetables and rice, maintaining heat without any hot spots that may burn the food.

vegetable biryani
4.97 from 30 votes

Easy Vegetable Biryani Recipe

Vegetable Biryani is a bold and flavorful Indian rice dish with bell peppers, peas, carrots and potatoes in a spiced rice dish made with turmeric, garam masala and other warm spices.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Keyword Easy Vegetable Biryani
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6 Servings
Calories 393 kcal
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil or ghee if available
  • 1 yellow onion cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 tablespoon garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger minced
  • 1 roma tomato minced finely
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup peas
  • carrot sliced into thin coins
  • 2 russet potatoes peeled and chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper sliced
  • 2 stalks celery thinly sliced
  • 1 cup cauliflower florets
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups basmati rice rinsed and drained


  1. Add olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the onion, and cook until translucent, about 3-4 minutes.

  3. Stir in garlic, ginger, tomatoes, and 1/2 cup water.
  4. Bring to a simmer, and cook until the water has evaporated, about 10 minutes.

  5. Add in the peas, carrot, potato, bell pepper, celery and cauliflower and stir well.
  6. Add in the salt, cayenne, black pepper, garam masala, turmeric, cumin and cinnamon, stirring well.
  7. Add in the vegetable broth and bring to a boil.
  8. Rinse basmati rice.

  9. Add in the basmati rice, reduce to low heat and cook (covered) for 18-20 minutes.

  10. Turn off the heat and let sit, covered, for five minutes before opening and serving.

Nutrition Facts
Easy Vegetable Biryani Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 393 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Fat 7g11%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 1435mg62%
Potassium 605mg17%
Carbohydrates 72g24%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 7g14%
Vitamin A 2380IU48%
Vitamin C 37mg45%
Calcium 54mg5%
Iron 1.8mg10%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Vegetable Biryani with peas, potatoes and cauliflower
Easy Vegetable Biryani

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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  1. Hi, Thank you for sharing the recipe. Would love to try this out. I have few clarifications – following ingredients are mentioned – coriander, cumin, cinnamon and black pepper. Are we to use whole spices or are we using powder in this recipe.

  2. Wow this was fantastic and so easy. Definately will do it again.
    How long can I keep the leftover in the fridge? I made a bit too much 😉
    Had some the day after and it was so good. Thank you for this fab recipe

    1. Made this tonight. The family loved it. I doubled the whole recipe and it’s almost finished between 4. Lol
      Recommend taking the time to chop everything before you start.

  3. Delicious! My husband and I loved it! We didn’t have any cauliflower, so I added extra of the other veggies. We ate it with over-easy fried eggs! Yumm!!

      1. Hi,

        I’m planning on making this tomorrow. Could I add toasted cashew nuts to it?
        Also could I just cook the rice separately
        and add it to the mix?

        1. If you want to add toasted cashews, I would just add them right before serving. You cook cook the rice separately but it get so much flavor from it all cooking together (and less dishes to clean up) that I’ve always made it together. Enjoy!

  4. So easy and so good! It adapts easily to what veggies I have on hand. Love the spice combo, very flavorful. I kept the quantity of veggies the same and halved the rice and the broth, to save calories, and still found it to be very satisfying.

  5. Absolutely delicious!!! Only changes I made was that I added fresh green beans and used low sodium chicken broth instead of veggie broth and this Biryani was fabulous! Family of 4 (including 2 picky teens) ate their fill and have loads of leftovers for the coming week. This recipe definitely goes into the favorite recipe file! BRAVO!!

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