Simple Vegetable Biryani


  • 1 cup Basmati Rice
  • 1 1/2 cups Mixed vegetables, chopped
  • 1 Onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp Fennel seeds
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 1-inch Cinnamon stick
  • 2 Cardamom pods
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp Red chili powder
  • 2 tsp Biryani Masala (store-bought)
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp Ghee or Oil (skip ghee if making it vegan)
  • 1 3/4 cups Water


Stovetop Method:

  1. Wash and soak the rice for about 30 minutes if possible. If not, soak it before you start chopping vegetables, giving it about 10 minutes.
  2. In a heavy-bottomed pan, heat oil and ghee (if using). Add the whole spices: cumin seeds, fennel seeds, bay leaves, cinnamon, and cardamom. Let them fry for about 30 seconds.
  3. Add the sliced onions and sauté until translucent.
  4. Add the rest of the chopped vegetables (bell pepper and carrot in this case). You can also use potatoes, peas, green beans, cabbage, and cauliflower. It’s a great way to use up leftover vegetables.
  5. Sauté the vegetables for a couple of minutes, then add the turmeric powder, red chili powder, and biryani masala. Give it a quick stir.
  6. Add the drained rice and gently mix it. Let it fry for about 30 seconds.
  7. Add the water needed along with salt to cook the rice. Mix well.
  8. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the flame to low and cover the pot with a lid. Let it cook on low heat until the rice is completely done, approximately 10 to 12 minutes. Check the rice occasionally to ensure it’s cooking.
  9. Avoid stirring too often as it may break the long rice grains. Once all the water has been absorbed and the rice is cooked, turn off the heat and fluff it lightly with a fork. Let it sit covered for a few more minutes.
  10. Serve the Vegetable Biryani warm with raita and/or plain yogurt.

Instant Pot / Pressure Cooker Method:

Follow the same steps as above, but instead of using a stovetop pan, use the inner pot of your Instant Pot or pressure cooker. Use the sauté mode to sauté the onions and spices, then add the vegetables, rice, and water as described. Pressure cook for 6 minutes, followed by a natural pressure release for 10 minutes.

Enjoy your flavorful and aromatic Simple Vegetable Biryani!