★★★½   21 votes

A one-pot curry dish, biryani makes a full and satisfying meal for the whole family. This recipe is a vegetarian version made with seasonal vegetables and only mildly spicy. Use good quality basmati rice for an aromatic and utterly pleasurable dish. You can use seasonal vegetables like potatoes, carrots, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, green peppers, red bell peppers, peas, and squash, chopped into an inch thick. Chopped dry fruits and nuts like almonds, raisins, and cashews are also used in this recipe to give flavor and texture to the dish. Serve biryani with yogurt raita, dahi chutney, salad, curd, korma, boiled egg, or pickled eggplant.

This simple curry recipe is made with a mixture of spices including ginger, garlic and onion paste, jeera or cumin, fresh green chili, fresh coriander leaves, and garam masala, which is a mix of Indian spices used widely in Indian cooking.

Garam masala can be found in any Indian store and is one of the most common ingredients used in Indian cuisine. Premium varieties of biryani add saffron for color and flavor.

Before adding the rice to the pot and cooking with the other ingredients, wash and rinse it well in cold water. Remove any foreign particles or tiny stones. Drain the water from the rice grains using a fine mesh sieve. In this recipe, biryani is cooked in a pressure cooker. The spices and vegetables are sautéed in the cooker and then the rice and water is added before the cooker is closed with the lid and allowed to cook on its own.

The name biryani is derived from the Persian word ‘beryā(n),’ which means ‘roasted’ or ‘fried.’ The original Biryani was developed in the kitchen of Mughal emperors and thus biryani is found in Kashmir, Lahore, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Lucknow, and Delhi. Many versions exist throughout India and the Middle East as well as in parts of Southeast Asia.


10 min

15 min

Difficulty Level



  • 1/5 cup clarified butter or ghee; you can also use any vegetable oil

  • 2 tablespoon ginger garlic and onion paste

  • ½ tablespoon garam masala (mixed Indian spices powder, you can find in any Indian store)

  • ½ teaspoon jeera (cumin)

  • 1 tablespoon paste of fresh green chili and fresh coriander leaves

  • 1 1/3 cup good quality basmati rice, washed well

  • 1/2 lb. of seasonal vegetables like (carrots, potatoes, green beans chopped about an inch thick)

  • 2 tablespoon coarsely chopped dry fruits or nuts like cashews, almonds, or raisins

  • Water

  • Salt to taste

Preparation Instructions


Heat ghee in a pressure cooker and add jeera. Fry until golden brown.


Add ginger, garlic and onion paste, stirring to avoid sticking to the bottom of the cooker. Once the ingredients turn golden brown, add the vegetables and spices.


Keep stirring continuously until it softens. Add rice and the rest of the ingredients.


Place lid on cooker and cook until the indicator whistles twice. Wait 5 minutes, then remove lid.


Serve hot with curd or pickle.