Vegetable Biryani Recipe |Easy and Healthy [Step by Step]

Vegetable Biryani Recipe |Easy and Healthy [Step by Step]
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As an avid foodie, nothing has tempted my taste buds more than a well-cooked vegetable biryani. I am sure even your mouth is watering as I utter the word biryani. My mother thought me the perfect vegetable biryani recipe and trust me readers, it is simply mouth-watering! 

Filled with an aromatic fragrance, rich flavor, healthy veggies, long yellow basmati rice, warm spices and herbs, vegetable biryani is no wonder one of the most popular dishes and it tastes yummy 😊

In this blog post, I would share everything you need to know about vegetable biryani. In addition, I will show my readers how to make it healthy to eat.

So let’s dive right in!

Is Vegetable Biryani A Pulao?

Before I share my mother’s recipe, time for some myth buster for my readers regarding vegetable biryani.

I have a confession to make here, for a long time I did not consider veg biryani a biryani. For instance, like many others, even I undermined vegetable biryani to be a pulao.

But I would like to bust a bubble here and clear the confusion. Vegetable biryani is a form of biryani and should not be mixed up with pulao. The major difference between the two is in their preparation method.

The draining method of cooking is adopted to prepare vegetable biryani. While an absorption method is used to cook pulao. Compared to pulao, the amount of spices that are used to cook biryani is more. It is spices that give vegetable biryani a rich flavor and aroma.

Vegetable biryani is cooked with semi-boiled basmati rice and later on the water is drained from it. While pulao is prepared with water or vegetable stock which completely gets absorbed by the rice.

Layering is used to prepare biryani. Be it a vegetarian biryani or a non-vegetarian biryani, at least one layer is dedicated to the meat or the veggies and the other layer is dedicated to the fried onions.

On the other hand, pulao is prepared using vegetables, rice, and spices which are sautéed and cooked together in a definite quantity of water. No layering is used to prepare a pulao.

What is Biryani?

I promise to not give you a history lesson here. But I intend to help my readers with a very quick fact check about biryani.

Biryani takes its meaning from a Persian word “Birian” which means “to fry before you cook”. Thanks to the Mughals who brought this dish from Persia to our kitchens.

Patience and practice are two things needed to make this awesome dish. Ideally, biryani is prepared with lamb or chicken and a thick gravy.

Find the recipes for chicken biryani and lamb biryani on my blog. But for this post, I would just like to share the recipe for vegetable biryani.

What Ingredients You Need for Vegetable Biryani

Now that I have helped you clear out your confusion, let me tell you ingredients for vegetable biryani so that you can make this awesome dish at home.

Mainly three major ingredients are needed to cook a tasty vegetable biryani and these ingredients are rice, spices, and vegetables.

  • Rice:

Firstly, rice is one of the main ingredients for biryani and it is crucial that you select the right kind of rice. Veg biryani recipe is incomplete without rice.

I recommend using a long grain extra-large basmati rice. I personally use India Gate basmati rice for cooking biryani. Soak rice in a cup of water for a minimum of one hour, prior to using it for cooking vegetable biryani.

Giffy Image Of Rice
Choose Correct Rice
  • Spices:

Secondly, you would need spices. List of masala for veg biryani would include caraway seeds, cloves, green cardamoms, bay leaves, cinnamon, ginger, garlic, and fennel seeds. Spices make biryani an aromatic and flavorful affair.

To add more flavor to the rice, cook rice in boiling water along with the spices that I have mentioned above.

Giffy Image Of Spices
Choose Right Spices
  • Vegetables:

Thirdly and most importantly, you need fresh vegetables. Vegetables make this dish very healthy. The best way to make your kids enjoy vegetables is to serve them vegetable biryani.

You would need vegetables like bell pepper, baby carrots, corns, peas, potatoes, cilantro leaves, mint leaves, some cashews, and nuts.

Giffy Image Of Vegetables
Choose Right Vegetables

How Vegetable Biryani is Made

Please review the image carousel below for an easy step-by-step guide on cooking a yummy vegetable biryani in an instant-pot. One can also make vegetable biryani in cooker.

For my detailed recipe on vegetable biryani, please read below my in-depth recipe guide. You can also print this recipe free so that you have this recipe in your record.

I really hope you like my recipe and that you enjoy my recipe with your friends and family.

Readers can cook a biryani in an instant pot or a pressure cooker. I have cooked my vegetable biryani in an instant pot. I bought it from Amazon. Readers can see below links for an instant pot and pressure cooker.

Vegetable Biryani Recipe|Veg Biryani |How To Make Veg Biryani

Samiksha Sanket
Now cook Vegetable Biryani easily with this step-by-step guide. Enjoy the rich flavor of veg biryani which is loaded with healthy vegetables, herbs, spices, and aromatic long grain basmati rice. You will best like this dish with masala papad or riata (spicy-yogurt)
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 35 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr 20 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4 People


  • Instant Pot


  • 2 cup Long Grain Basmati Rice (soaked for at least half an hour)
  • 4 tbsp Ghee or Oil
  • 3 large thinly sliced onion (2 for biryani, 1 for fried onion) (pyaaj)
  • 1 cup tomato puree (freshly made)
  • 2 pieces green chilies (slit)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp ginger paste
  • 1 1/2 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1/3 cup yogurt (dahi/curd)
  • 2 1/2 tbsp freshly chopped cilantro leaves (coriander/ dhaniya)
  • 2 1/2 tbsp freshly chopped mint leaves (pudina)
  • Salt as per your taste
  • 4 cups  water
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • Oil to deep fry onions
  • Wheat flour dough (to seal container optional)

Vegetables for Veg Biryani:

  • 1 large Potato/Aaloo (½ inch cubes)
  • 12 pieces Cauliflower florets
  • 2 large Carrot/Gaajar (½ inch cubes)
  • 1/3 cup french beans
  • 1/3 cup green peas (matar)

Spices for Veg Biryani:

  • 5 pieces Green cardamoms (ilaichee)
  • 1 piece Black cardamom (kaalee ilaichee)
  • 5 pieces Cloves (laung)
  • 2 inch cinnamon (daalacheenee)
  • 2 pieces Bay leaves (tej patta)
  • 1 piece Star anise (chakr phool)
  • 1/2 tbsp Caraway seeds (shahi jeera)
  • 1 tbsp Red chili powder
  • 1 tbsp Coriander powder
  • 3 tbsp Garam masala powder (or Biryani Masala powder)

Garnishing for Veg Biryani:

  • Few pieces Saffron strands (kesar)
  • Few pieces Cashew Nuts (quartered )
  • Few pieces Almonds blanched and halved
  • Few pieces Raisins



  • Wash and soak long grain basmati rice in three cups of water for at least half an hour. Now drain the water and keep rice aside.
  • Keep all the required spices and ingredients ready.
  • Cut all the vegetables and keep them aside.
  • Dissolve saffron in warm milk and set it aside.
  • Heat sufficient oil in a kadhai and deep-fry one thinly sliced onion until it turns golden brown.
  • Drain the fried onions onto an absorbent paper/paper towel to remove excess oil. This is a completely optional step.
  • Keep a flour dough ready for sealing handi/pot lid, completely optional step.

Step By Step Method

  • Add four cups of water and salt in a kadhai or pot, bring to a boil, add soaked rice into it and cook it until the rice is three fourth done.
  • Drain the excess water from the rice and spread the rice out on a plate to cool down.
  • Heat the instant pot or a pressure cooker; once heated now add oil/ghee into it.
  • Once oil / ghee is heated; add star anise, bay leaves, caraway seeds, cloves, black and green cardamoms and cinnamon sticks. Saute these whole spices for 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Add thinly sliced onions, fry onions until they turn golden brown. Now add green chillies, stir it a few times.
  • Add ginger paste, garlic paste and saute it until the raw smell has gone.
  • Add freshly made tomato puree and cook it until the raw smell has gone. This is completely an optional step. You can skip this step if you don’t like or prefer tomatoes in veg biryani.
  • Add all the cut vegetables one by one starting from potato cubes, cauliflower florets, carrot cubes, french beans pieces and then green peas. Saute it well for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Add paneer cubes, red chili powder, coriander powder, biryani masala powder or garam masala powder, salt as per your taste, mix everything very well.
  • Now, add yogurt, give it a good stir; add coriander leaves, mint leaves. Mix and saute everything well for the next 1-2 minutes.
  • Divide cooked rice into two equal portions. Take a thick bottom handi, transfer the one portion of rice into a handi, spread it evenly. Layer the cooked vegetables evenly over the layer of rice. Spread a second portion of rice evenly over the vegetables layer.
  • Sprinkle the remaining biryani masala/ garam masala, mint leaves, coriander leaves and the fried onions. Garnish with cashew nuts, almonds if you would like. Garnishing and sprinkling fried onions is completely optional.
  • Sprinkle saffron milk on the top layer, now place a moist cloth on top and close the lid.
  • Place the sealed handi on the top of a tawa and cook biryani on very low flame for 20 to 25 minutes. Cooking biryani on very low flame brings out the flavors of vegetables and all species. 
  • Hot veg biryani / veg dum biryani is now ready to serve with raita or salan and papad. 


Nutritional Facts
Keyword Veg Biryani, Vegetable Biryani

What Goes With Vegetable Biryani

Biryani is often made at home for special occasions. Moreover, birthdays, potlucks, festivals, family get-togethers, house-warming parties, etc. are good occasions to serve your guests some hot and spicy vegetable biryani.

There are many side dishes that complement vegetable biryani very well. Do check out my blog post on how to make these side dishes as well. Moreover, these side dishes will surely give your biryani an extra edge.

The following are side dishes that you can have with your biryani.

  • Onion and Cucumber Raita: This side dish is yogurt-based and one of the easiest dishes to make. Irrespective of veg or non-veg, it compliments with biryani well. Veggies like cucumber, onion, and tomato bring down the spice levels and help in better digestion as well.
  • Mirchi Ka Salan: Salan is an Urdu word for a curry. This is a pungent curry made from spices and chili or capsicum. Salan is most often eaten with rice-based dishes like pulao, biryani, or tahari, etc.
  • Vegetable Kurma: This is also one of the most common side dishes to be had with a biryani. It is a curry-based dish which is made either with potatoes or with mixed vegetables
  • Masala Papad: This is my favorite sides for biryani. Simply roast papad and top it up with finely chopped onions, tomatoes, and cilantro. Sprinkle some Chaat Masala (a powdered mix of spices) over the papad.

Is Vegetable Biryani Healthy?

Absolutely yes! Well, you can rest assured and enjoy your vegetable biryani guilt-free. Are you wondering how? Let me share some valuable tips that will make your veg biryani healthier.

While cooking your biryani, use olive oil instead or pure ghee instead of regular cooking oil. Instead of using regular yogurt, go for a low-calorie yogurt.

Instead of using regular milk or coconut milk for cooking, use a low calorie, low-fat milk. I recommend using almond milk which is healthy and low fat.

Instead of using white long grain basmati rice, you can use brown rice. If you are too concerned with calories, you can also use quinoa, shirataki rice, or riced cauliflower.

Closing Thoughts

I am so glad that you discovered my recipe. If you have tried this recipe at home, I want to hear from you. Did you and your friends enjoy it? Please let me know in the comments or on your favorite social media channel.

Are you hosting any party at home and don’t know what to cook? Well, don’t worry as vegetable biryani will save your day, above all my recipe is a healthier version. And now you also know that it is super easy to make.

In conclusion, do check out other recipes on my blog. You can thank me by sharing my recipes with your friends on social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest. In addition, subscribe to my recipe newsletter. In this way, you will get notified every time I post new recipes.

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