Veg biryani recipe with pot, pressure cooker & Instant pot options. Vegetable biryani is an aromatic rice dish made by cooking basmati rice with mix veggies, herbs & biryani spices. Traditionally Biryani was made by dum cooking marinated meat with basmati rice & spices. Making a vegetarian version becomes much simpler as the veggies need no marination.
This recipe yields a perfect lightly spiced & aromatic veg biryani loaded with veggies. It only takes 30 minutes to prepare & makes a perfect meal for your hubby or kids lunch box.
This veg biryani can be made in a pot, traditional pressure cooker or even in a Instant pot. This recipe is one that’s made at home time and again for years. So I have the instructions for all the 3 methods.
If you have the time and patience to make a elaborate dum biriyani, then you may try this delicious Veg dum biryani. Usually a dum biryani takes more time to prepare and cook. So often I resort to this simple one pot veg biryani.
The difference between this one pot dish and a veg pulao is that there is no yogurt and spice powders used to make a pulao. But both are used in a biryani recipe.
I do make this veg biryani in pressure cooker & instant pot often since it doesn’t require much preparation. It is not time consuming and yet tastes good.
It is flavorful on its own and can be served without any side dishes. But if you prefer you can serve with a simple sherva/ shorba, bagara baingan, mirchi ka salan or raita. You can find a collection of raita recipes here.
You can also have lassi & papads in your vegetable biryani meal.
Veg biryani recipe
Veg biryani recipe | How to make vegetable biryani
Ingredients (1 cup = 240ml )
- 1 cup basmati rice (soaked for at least 20 mins)
- 1 medium onion sliced
- 1 green chili (slit or chopped) (skip for kids)
- 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
- 2 tablespoons mint leaves chopped (pudina)
- 2 tablespoons coriander leaves or cilantro chopped
- ½ teaspoon red chilli powder (or cayenne pepper, adjust to taste)
- ¾ to 1 teaspoon garam masala (adjust to suit your taste) or Biryani Masala Powder
- 1 small tomato (optional) chopped
- 1¾ cups water or thin coconut milk (1¼ cup for IP)
- 2 tablespoons Oil (or ghee)
- 2 tablespoon curd or yogurt
- 1/8 teaspoon salt for veggies + ¼ tsp for water
1 cup mixed vegetables
- 1 small potato or beans cubed
- 1 medium carrot chopped (gajar)
- ⅓ cup green peas (matar)
Whole spices for vegetable biryani
- 1 bay leaf (tej patta)
- 2 inch cinnamon (dalchini)
- 4 cloves ( laung)
- ½ teaspoon shahi jeera (or cumin (jeera))
- 4 green cardamoms (elaichi)
- 1 star anise (chakri phool)
For garnish & serving
- 10 cashews for garnish (optional)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice (optional)
How to make the recipe
Preparation for veg biryani
- Soak rice for at least 20 minutes. Drain the water and set aside.
- Chop all the veggies, coriander and mint. Keep these aside as well.
- If using cauliflower keep them slightly larger.
How to make veg biryani
- Add oil to a pressure cooker or pot and heat it.
- Next add bay leaf, star anise, shahi jeera, cloves, cardamoms & cinnamon.
- Saute for 1 to 2 mins.
- Add chopped or sliced onions and green chilies.
- Fry them stirring often until the onions turn golden.
- Next add ginger garlic paste and saute until the raw smell has gone off.
- Add all the chopped vegetables and fry for about 2 minutes.
- Next add tomatoes, salt, curd, coriander leaves, mint leaves,red chilli powder and garam masala.
- Mix all of these and fry on a high flame for 2 to 3 mins.
- The tomatoes should break down completely and the raw smell disappear.
- Drain the water from the rice and spread it in a layer evenly over the veggies.
- Measure the water or coconut milk to a separate bowl.
- Add salt and lemon juice. Mix well and taste the water. It has to be slightly salty.
- If needed add more.
- Pour the salted water across the sides or edges of the pot.
- If you do not mix up everything then the veg biryani will cook in layers.
- (However you can also mix up everything and cook just like it is done normally.)
- Optional – Sprinkle 1 tsp ghee, 2 tbsps chopped pudina & few fried onions.
- For pressure cooking: Cover the cooker and pressure cook for 1 whistle on a medium high flame.Turn off the stove. For al dente non mushy veg biryani, I release the pressure after 1 to 2 mins using a wooden spatula. When the pressure goes down, open the lid and fluff up veg biryani with a fork.
- If cooking in a pot, cook covered on a low flame until the water is absorbed and the veg biryani is cooked fully. Turn off the stove. Serve veg biryani with raita or salan.
Instant pot vegetable biryani
- Press the saute button on your IP and pour oil to the steel insert.
- Add the whole spices and let them sizzle. Then add onions and green chilies. Fry them until golden.
- Then add the ginger garlic paste and saute until a nice smell comes out.
- If using tomato, saute it until slightly mushy.
- Stir in the garam masala, ⅛ tsp salt and red chilli powder.
- Add yogurt and deglaze by scraping the bottom of the pot with a spatula. This releases any bits of food stuck there.
- Press cancel button and then add veggies, mint & coriander leaves.
- Fry for 30 seconds & scrape the bottom of the pot once more with the spatula.
- Then layer the veggies. Next layer the drained rice and level it.
- In another bowl, stir in ¼ tsp salt & water and taste it. It has to be slightly salty.
- Pour the water starting from the sides and then in the center. Do not mix.
- Secure the lid of the IP with the vent in sealing position.
- Press pressure cook/ manual (set to high pressure) & set the timer for 5 mins. If you double or triple the recipe then set to low pressure with the same cook time. (Alternately you can pressure cook for 4 mins on high pressure setting and wait for 8 mins. Then release the rest manually.)
- When the IP finishes, for aldente cooked vegetable biryani quick release the pressure manually. For softer rice, wait for 5 to 7 mins (natural pressure release) and then release the rest manually with the help of a spoon.
NUTRITION (estimation only)
- To double the recipe, use 1 bay leaf, 1 star anise, 6 cardamoms, 6 cloves, 3 inch cinnamon & 3/4 tsp shahi jeera or cumin.
- You can pour 1 tbsp ghee, 1 pinch of saffron soaked in 2 tbsps milk and 2 tbsps of fried onions after pouring water to the cooker or pot.
- If rice is not cooked, just sprinkle some water and cover with a loose lid and cook for few more mins.
- If it becomes mushy, reduce the qty of water the next time you cook.
- You can use store bought biryani masala powder. Using too much of masala powder can make your veg biryani bitter. So adjust the powder according to your taste.
- You can also use frozen mixed veggies like carrots, beans, peas & corn. Or any of these. It is good to rinse them and then drain completely or let them come to room temperature before using. Using cold veggies directly may let out excess moisture and make the biryani mushy.
If you are a beginner or new to Indian cooking, I highly suggest you to check the supporting step by step photos for best results. Step by step photos with description available below after the recipe card.
How to make veg biryani
1. Wash rice until water runs clear. Soak it till you begin to cook.
2. Heat a pressure cooker with oil. Add spices – cinnamon, star anise, cardamom, cloves, mace, bay leaf and shahi jeera. Saute for one to two minutes until they begin to crackle. I also add little stone flower.
3. Add onions and green chilies. Fry stirring often until the onions turn golden.
4. Next add ginger garlic paste. Saute this until the raw smell goes off.
Frying veggies for veg biryani
5. Transfer the veggies. Saute on a medium to high flame for 2 to 3 minutes. I have used potato, peas, onions, carrots, cauliflower and french beans. You can also add soya chunks if you like.
To add soya chunks, soak them in hot water until soft. Squeeze up the water. Rinse a few times and squeeze them completely. Then add here.
6. Add mint leaves, coriander leaves, red chilli powder, biryani masala powder, 1 small finely chopped tomato and yogurt. I suggest using a good biriyani masala powder. You can also check this Biryani masala powder recipe.
7. Fry again for another 3 minutes on a slightly high flame until the tomatoes break down. The mixture turns aromatic.
Cooking vegetable biryani
8. Add the drained rice. Spread it evenly.
9. Pour water to a separate bowl and add salt. Mix and taste the water. It has to be slightly salty. If needed add more. Pour the salted water around the edges of the pot. Level the rice. This method gives you layered veg biryani.
OR you can also just pour the water and mix everything and cook.
Optional : You can also add a tbsp of ghee, sprinkle some fried onions and then 1 pinch of saffron soaked in 2 tbsps milk.
10. Cover the pressure cooker. Cook on a medium high flame for one whistle. I manually release the pressure with the help of a wooden spoon after 1 to 2 mins.
11. Open the lid. Lastly fluff up the veg biryani with a fork gently and add lemon juice if desired. Do not stir it vigorously otherwise biryani will turn mushy.
Serve veg biryani with raita.