How To Make Vegan Biryani?

Looking for a delicious and flavorful vegan dish? Look no further than vegan biryani! This aromatic and colorful dish is a plant-based take on the traditional biryani, packed with fragrant spices, tender veggies, and fluffy rice. Whether you follow a vegan lifestyle or simply want to experiment with new flavors, vegan biryani is a must-try. In this guide, we will take you through the step-by-step process of making this delectable dish, ensuring that you achieve perfect results every time. Get ready to tantalize your taste buds with this mouthwatering vegan twist on a classic favorite!

how to make vegan biryani

Types of Vegan Protein to Use in Biryani

Biryani is a popular and flavorful rice dish that originates from the Indian subcontinent. Traditionally, it is made with meat such as chicken, lamb, or fish. However, with the growing popularity of veganism, many people are now opting for vegan versions of this delicious dish. To make a vegan biryani, you can use various types of plant-based proteins that not only add texture and taste but also provide essential nutrients.

1. Tofu

Tofu is a versatile and widely available vegan protein option that works well in biryani. Made from soybeans, tofu has a mild flavor and a firm texture, which allows it to absorb the flavors of the biryani spices. You can marinate the tofu in spices and then pan-fry or bake it before adding it to the biryani. Tofu is rich in protein, calcium, and iron, making it a nutritious addition to your vegan biryani.

2. Tempeh

Tempeh is another great vegan protein option that can be used in biryani. It is made by fermenting cooked soybeans, which creates a firm and chewy texture. Tempeh has a slightly nutty flavor and can absorb the flavors of the biryani spices well. Before adding it to the biryani, you can marinate the tempeh in a mixture of spices and soy sauce to enhance its taste. Tempeh is not only a good source of protein but also contains probiotics, which are beneficial for gut health.

3. Seitan

Seitan, also known as wheat meat or wheat gluten, is a popular vegan protein option for those who avoid soy products. It is made from wheat protein and has a chewy and meat-like texture. Seitan can be seasoned with various spices and then pan-fried or baked before adding it to the biryani. It absorbs the flavors of the spices and adds a hearty element to the dish. Seitan is high in protein and low in fat, making it a suitable choice for vegans looking for a protein-rich biryani option.

4. Chickpeas

Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are a versatile legume that can be used in various dishes, including biryani. They have a slightly nutty flavor and a firm texture, which adds a pleasant bite to the biryani. You can either use canned chickpeas or cook them from scratch. If using canned chickpeas, make sure to rinse them thoroughly before adding them to the biryani. Chickpeas are an excellent source of plant-based protein, fiber, and essential minerals.

5. Lentils

Lentils are another fantastic vegan protein option that can be incorporated into biryani. They come in different varieties such as green, brown, red, and black. Each type of lentil has a unique flavor and texture. You can choose the type of lentil that suits your taste preferences and cook them separately before adding them to the biryani. Lentils are rich in protein, fiber, and various vitamins and minerals, making them a healthy choice for your vegan biryani.

In Summary

When preparing a vegan biryani, there are a variety of plant-based protein options to choose from. Tofu, tempeh, seitan, chickpeas, and lentils are all excellent choices that can add texture, flavor, and nutritional value to your dish. Experiment with different combinations and seasonings to create a flavorful and protein-rich vegan biryani that is sure to satisfy your taste buds.

Quick and Easy Vegan Biryani Recipe

If you’re a fan of Indian cuisine and have been craving a delicious and flavorful biryani, you’re in luck! This quick and easy vegan biryani recipe is the perfect dish to satisfy your taste buds. Packed with aromatic spices, tender vegetables, and fragrant basmati rice, this biryani is a crowd-pleaser that can be made in no time.

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  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 cup green peas
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tablespoon biryani masala
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Fresh cilantro, for garnish


1. Rinse the basmati rice under cold water until the water runs clear. Soak the rice in water for 30 minutes, then drain and set aside.

2. Heat vegetable oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds, cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, cloves, and bay leaf. Sauté for a minute until fragrant.

3. Add the sliced onions to the pot and cook until they turn golden brown. This should take about 5-7 minutes.

4. Stir in the ginger-garlic paste, biryani masala, turmeric powder, and salt. Cook for an additional 2 minutes to allow the spices to release their flavors.

5. Add the diced carrots, peas, and bell pepper to the pot. Stir well to coat the vegetables with the spices.

6. Drain the soaked rice and add it to the pot. Gently mix the rice with the vegetables and spices.

7. Pour 4 cups of water into the pot and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the rice is cooked through and fluffy.

8. Remove the pot from the heat and let it sit, covered, for an additional 5 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.

9. Fluff the rice gently with a fork and garnish with fresh cilantro. Serve hot and enjoy your quick and easy vegan biryani!

In summary, this quick and easy vegan biryani recipe is a delightful option for those looking to enjoy the flavors of Indian cuisine without compromising on taste. The combination of aromatic spices, tender vegetables, and fluffy basmati rice creates a mouthwatering dish that will satisfy both vegans and non-vegans alike. Give this recipe a try and impress your family and friends with a homemade biryani that is both delicious and effortless to make.

Healthy Substitutes for Traditional Biryani Ingredients

Biryani is a popular and flavorful Indian dish that is traditionally made with fragrant rice, spices, and a variety of meat or vegetables. While biryani is undoubtedly delicious, it can also be rich and heavy due to the use of ingredients like ghee (clarified butter) and fatty meats. If you’re looking for a healthier version of this classic dish, here are some healthy substitutes for traditional biryani ingredients:

1. Brown Rice

Instead of using white rice, which is high in carbohydrates and low in nutritional value, opt for brown rice. Brown rice is a whole grain that retains its bran and germ layers, making it a healthier choice. It is rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and has a lower glycemic index compared to white rice. Brown rice adds a nutty flavor to your biryani while providing more nutrients and promoting better digestion.

2. Lean Proteins

To make your biryani healthier, choose lean proteins instead of fatty meats like mutton or chicken with skin. Options like boneless skinless chicken breast, turkey, or tofu are excellent substitutes. These protein sources are lower in fat and calories, making your biryani lighter and healthier. You can marinate the proteins in yogurt and spices to add flavor before adding them to the biryani.

3. Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt can be used as a healthier alternative to traditional full-fat yogurt or cream in biryani recipes. It adds a creamy and tangy flavor without the excess calories and fat. Greek yogurt is high in protein and calcium, and it also contains probiotics that support digestive health. You can use it as a marinade for the proteins or as a garnish on top of the biryani.

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4. Vegetable Oil

Instead of using ghee or other saturated fats, opt for healthier cooking oils like olive oil or coconut oil. These oils are rich in monounsaturated fats, which are heart-healthy fats that help lower bad cholesterol levels. They also add flavor to the biryani without the extra calories. Use them sparingly to sauté the spices and aromatics before adding the rice and proteins.

5. Fresh Herbs and Spices

To enhance the flavor of your biryani without adding excess salt or unhealthy seasonings, use a variety of fresh herbs and spices. Fresh herbs like cilantro and mint add a refreshing taste, while spices like cumin, coriander, turmeric, and cinnamon provide depth and aroma. These natural ingredients not only enhance the flavor but also offer numerous health benefits, such as anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

6. Mixed Vegetables

Incorporating a variety of vegetables into your biryani not only adds color and texture but also boosts its nutritional value. You can add vegetables like carrots, peas, bell peppers, cauliflower, and green beans to your biryani. These veggies are high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and they provide a satisfying crunch. They also make the biryani more filling and nutritious without adding excessive calories.

7. Low-Sodium Broth

Instead of using traditional biryani stock or bouillon cubes, opt for low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth. This helps reduce the overall sodium content of the dish. You can use the broth to cook the rice, infusing it with flavor while keeping it moist. Be mindful of the amount of salt you add to the biryani, as the broth may already contain some sodium.

In summary, making healthier choices in your biryani recipe doesn’t mean compromising on flavor. By swapping traditional biryani ingredients with healthier alternatives like brown rice, lean proteins, Greek yogurt, vegetable oil, fresh herbs and spices, mixed vegetables, and low-sodium broth, you can enjoy a delicious and nutritious version of this beloved Indian dish. Experiment with these substitutes, and tailor the recipe to your taste preferences while keeping it health-conscious.

Tips for Enhancing the Flavors of Vegan Biryani

Biryani is a popular and aromatic rice dish that is loved by many. Traditionally, biryani is made with meat, but vegan versions have become increasingly popular among those following a plant-based diet. While vegan biryani can be delicious on its own, there are several tips and tricks you can use to enhance its flavors and make it even more enjoyable. In this section, we will discuss some of these tips to help you create a flavorful and satisfying vegan biryani.

1. Use Fragrant Spices

One of the key elements of a flavorful biryani is the use of fragrant spices. Opt for whole spices such as cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, and star anise, and toast them in a dry pan before adding them to the dish. This will help release their essential oils and enhance their flavors. You can also experiment with different spice blends like garam masala or biryani masala to add depth and complexity to your vegan biryani.

2. Marinate Vegetables

To infuse your vegan biryani with flavor, consider marinating the vegetables before cooking. Create a marinade using spices, herbs, and a splash of lemon juice or vinegar. Allow the vegetables to marinate for at least 30 minutes, or even overnight if possible. This will help the flavors penetrate the vegetables and make them more flavorful when cooked in the biryani.

3. Use Aromatic Herbs

In addition to spices, aromatic herbs can also elevate the flavors of your vegan biryani. Fresh herbs like cilantro, mint, and curry leaves can bring a burst of freshness and fragrance to the dish. Chop the herbs finely and add them towards the end of the cooking process to preserve their flavors.

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4. Cook with Vegetable Stock

Instead of using plain water to cook the rice for your vegan biryani, consider using vegetable stock. Vegetable stock adds depth and richness to the rice, infusing it with enhanced flavors. You can either make your own vegetable stock or use store-bought options, depending on your preference and availability.

5. Include Caramelized Onions

Caramelized onions add a touch of sweetness and depth to any dish, including vegan biryani. To caramelize onions, thinly slice them and cook them slowly over low heat until they turn golden brown and develop a rich flavor. Stir them into the biryani during the cooking process or use them as a garnish to enhance the overall taste.

6. Layer the Biryani

Layering is an important technique in making biryani, and it can also help enhance the flavors of your vegan version. Begin by spreading a layer of cooked rice at the bottom of the pot, followed by a layer of marinated vegetables and spices. Repeat the layers until all the ingredients are used. This layering technique helps infuse the flavors throughout the dish, creating a more flavorful biryani.

7. Garnish with Nuts and Fried Onions

A final touch to enhance the flavors of your vegan biryani is to garnish it with nuts and fried onions. Toasted almonds, cashews, or pistachios add a delightful crunch and a hint of richness to the dish. Fried onions, known as birista, provide a caramelized and crispy element. Sprinkle these garnishes on top of your biryani just before serving to add extra flavor and texture.

By following these tips, you can take your vegan biryani to the next level and create a dish that is bursting with flavors. Experiment with different spices, herbs, and garnishes to find your preferred combination. Whether you are a vegan or simply looking to add more plant-based meals to your diet, these flavor-enhancing techniques will help you create a delicious and satisfying vegan biryani.


1. How do I make vegan biryani?

To make vegan biryani, start by sautéing onions, garlic, and spices in oil. Then, add vegetables like potatoes, carrots, and peas, along with soaked basmati rice. Add water, salt, and any additional spices or herbs. Cook the biryani on low heat until the rice and vegetables are tender. Serve hot and garnish with fresh cilantro.

2. Can I substitute meat with tofu in biryani?

Yes, you can substitute meat with tofu in biryani. To ensure the tofu absorbs the flavors, marinate it in spices and yogurt or plant-based yogurt. You can either stir-fry the tofu separately or add it directly to the biryani while it cooks. This will give the biryani a delicious vegan protein option.

3. How can I make vegan biryani more flavorful?

To make vegan biryani more flavorful, you can add ingredients like whole spices, such as cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves, to the sautéed onions. You can also use homemade vegetable stock instead of water to cook the rice, and add fresh herbs like mint and cilantro. Additionally, you can add a splash of lemon juice or sprinkle some fried onions on top before serving.


In conclusion, making vegan biryani is a simple and rewarding process that allows you to enjoy the rich flavors of this popular Indian dish without the use of animal products. By substituting meat and dairy with plant-based alternatives, you can create a delicious and hearty meal that is both healthy and environmentally friendly.

Experiment with different vegetables, spices, and rice varieties to customize your vegan biryani to suit your taste. Don’t be afraid to get creative and add your own personal touch to the dish. With a little practice, you’ll be able to master the art of making vegan biryani and impress your family and friends with your culinary skills.

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