Vegan Hyderabadi Biryani, a vegan take on a traditional Hyderabadi Dum Biryani. A hearty and aromatic rice dish prepared with a spicy vegetable curry.
Ingredients of Note
Basmati Rice is the star of the dish. Use the best aged long grain basmati you can find to give the dish the best flavour.
Kashmiri Chilli Powder is not used for its heat but used for its wonderful flavour and deep red colour. If you can’t find Kashmiri chilli powder don’t just swap one-for-one with an alternative chilli powder as this could make the dish very spicy. Instead swap for sweet paprika for the colour and a small amount of chilli powder if some spice is desired.
Saffron is used for colouring some of the rice and to give it a wonderful aromatic flavour. If you don’t want to use saffron just mix ¼ teaspoon of turmeric into the milk to colour the rice.
Serving Vegan Hyderabadi Biryani
Biryani is great served with some vegan raita on the side and makes for a wonderful hearty meal. You could also serve it alongside a tasty curry and a mixed salad.
The vegetables added to the curry could be mixed up to use any leftovers you have or to use vegetables that are in season. Tofu, tempeh or chickpeas could also be added to the curry to add some extra protein.
Assembling The Biryani
Spread out half the curry sauce over the bottom of the pan. Mix in 50ml of water to help stop the curry from burning.
Add half the rice in an even layer over the top of the curry, don’t mix. Spread out half the toppings over the top of the rice then pour over half the saffron milk.
Now using the rest of the curry, create an even layer over the top.
Add a final layer of rice then spread out the final layer of toppings. Pour over the remaining saffron milk.
Wrap the lid of the pot in a clean but damp dish towel then place it over the top of the pot to create a tight seal.
Vegan Hyderabadi Biryani
- 300 g long grain basmati rice
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 2 cloves
- 1 star anise
- 3 green cardamom pods
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 l water
- 2 medium potatoes
- 1 large carrot
- 100 g cauliflower
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- ½ teaspoon black mustard seeds
- ½ teaspoon caraway seeds
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 200 g mushrooms sliced
- 2 large shallots thinly sliced
- 20 g ginger miced
- 4 cloves of garlic minced
- 2 spicy green chillies minced
- 1 Indian bay leaf
- 2 fresh tomatoes finely diced
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon Kashmiri chilli powder
- 1 red bell pepper diced
- 150 ml coconut milk
- 20 strands saffron
- 100 ml plant-based milk
- Fried shallots
- 40 g raisins
- 20 g toasted flaked almonds
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander
- Thoroughly wash the basmati rice until the water runs clear. Place the rice in a bowl of water and allow it to soak for 30 minutes. The curry can be made in the meantime.
- Once the rice has been soaking for 30 minutes. Heat a large pot over medium heat. Once hot add the whole spices. Cinnamon, cloves, star anise and cardamom pods. Let them toast in the pan for 30 seconds until fragrant.
- Add the water, salt and bay leaf to the pan and bring to a rolling boil. Drain the rice then add it to the pan. Cook until the rice is almost fully cooked. You still want the rice to have a bite to it as it will be cooked again later. We cooked it for 8 minutes.
- Drain the rice and run under cold water to stop the cooking process. Set aside for later.
- Wash, peel and cut the potatoes and carrots into small bite-sized pieces. Also, cut the cauliflower into similar sized pieces.
- Add all the vegetables to a pot of salted water and bring to a boil. Cook until just fork-tender, around 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and set aside for later.
- Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat. Once hot add the mustard, caraway and cumin seeds. Cook until the seeds begin to pop, around 30 seconds.
- Add the sliced mushrooms and sauté until they have released most of their liquid and they are beginning to fry, around 10 minutes.
- Add the sliced shallots with a pinch of salt and sauté until soft and translucent, around 6 minutes.
- Add the minced ginger, garlic and chillies and continue to sauté until fragrant, around 2 minutes.
- Now add the diced tomatoes and the bay leaf and cook until the tomatoes have fully broken down, around 8 minutes.
- Add the turmeric, Kashmiri chilli powder, diced red bell pepper, and coconut milk. Stir well to combine everything together.
- Cook the sauce for 5 minutes to let the flavours infuse then carefully add in the cooked vegetables.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning. We added ½ teaspoon of salt at this stage.
- Turn off the heat and transfer to a bowl.
- Add the saffron strands and the plant-based milk to a pot over medium-low heat and bring to a gentle simmer.
- Simmer until the milk has turned orange, around 5 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and set it aside.
- Place a large heavy-bottomed pot with a lid, we used a dutch oven, over medium-low heat.
- First, add half the curry to the bottom of the pot and mix in 50ml of water. The extra water will assure the curry doesn't burn.
- Wait until the curry is bubbling and steaming then turn the heat to the lowest setting of the hob. Consider moving the pot to the smallest ring.
- Now add half the rice in an even layer over the top of the curry, don't mix. Spread out half the toppings over the top of the rice then pour over half the saffron milk.
- Now using the rest of the curry, create an even layer over the top. Add a final layer of rice then spread out the final layer of toppings. Pour over the remaining saffron milk.
- Wrap the lid of the pot in a clean but damp dish towel then place it over the top of the pot to create a tight seal.
- Let the Biryani steam on the lowest heat setting for 20 minutes or until the rice on top is fully cooked.
- Turn off the heat and allow the Biryani to rest for 10 minutes with the lid on.
- Mix all the layers together before serving.