vegan biryani

vegan biryani

The other day, I realized that I hadn’t shared a vegan recipe here since May! I haven’t routinely kept a vegetarian diet in quite a while, but skipping meat has always been kind of my default, so I can’t believe it’s been so long since I shared one of my favorite vegan recipes with you guys.

So whether you’re strictly vegan or just looking for some “meatless Monday” inspiration, I hope you enjoy this vegan biryani. It’s inspired by my cousin Maryam’s chicken biryani, but I use a sheet pan roasting method, which turns it into way more of a weeknight staple than a special occasion showstopper. Some of you might notice how different this is from classic South Asian versions of biryani, and while the answer as to “why” is a bit complicated, the main difference is in the technique, with Iraqi/Assyrian/Armenian/Persian biryanis tending to have more roasted/fried flavors, rather than more melded, blended flavors. In either case, the idea of layering is key (whether layering flavors or layering ingredients).

To veganize it, I use chickpeas instead of chicken, a simple substitution that’s as easy as swapping out a few letters. Since it’s a bit on the carby side, it goes particularly great with a big heap of garlicky sautéed greens.

vegan biryani
vegan biryani
vegan biryani
vegan biryani
vegan biryani
vegan biryani
vegan biryani
vegan biryani

vegan biryani

serves 5 or 6 as a main, or more as a side
total time: 40 minutes
active time: 25 minutes
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for the rice

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil (20g)

  • 2 teaspoons of spice mix (below)

  • 1 1/4 cups basmati rice (215g), rinsed until the water runs clear

  • 1 2/3 cups water (390g)

  • 3/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste) 

for the roasted veggies

  • 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons spice mix (below)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (25g)

  • Salt, to taste

  • 2 medium gold potatoes, cut into 1/4-inch  wedges (400g)

  • 1/2 medium onion, sliced (115g)

  • 1 14-oz can chickpeas (400g), rinsed and strained

  • 1 cup frozen peas (120g)

  • 1/4 cup raisins (either black raisins or sultanas) (40g)

  • 1/4 cup pine nuts or almonds (30g)

  1. Preheat the oven to 475°F convection (245°C).

  2. Once you have all the above ingredients prepped, start the rice. Place the 1 1/2 tablespoons oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Once it’s heated for a couple minutes, add the 2 teaspoons of spice mix, and stir together for 1 minute to temper.

  3. Add the rice and stir to evenly coat it in the oil/spices. Add the water and salt, give it another stir, and increase heat to high. Once it comes to a boil, cover, and immediately reduce to low. Set a timer for 14 minutes, and leave it covered on low heat while it cooks (no peeking, and definitely no stirring). Once 14 minutes have passed, remove from heat and leave the lid on. Let it rest covered for at least 15 minutes (up to 30). Once it’s ready, fluff it before plating.

  4. While the rice is cooking, get the veggies going: combine the 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons of spice mix with the 2 tablespoons olive oil, and about 3/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste). Place the potatoes, onions, chickpeas, and peas on a sheet pan, and pour the spice mix over them. Use your hands to evenly coat everything in the spice mix.

  5. Roast for about 20 minutes total, until the potatoes are done and everything is golden brown. About 2 minutes before the veggies are ready to come out of the oven, coat the raisins and pine nuts in a tiny bit of oil, and sprinkle them on the veggies to let them roast for just a couple minutes.

  6. Fluff the rice, place on a serving plate, and top with the roasted veggies.

biryani spice blend

  • 1 tablespoon paprika (7g)

  • 1 tablespoon yellow curry powder (7g)

  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper (2g, or less if you don’t like spice)

  1. Combine, then divide into 2 teaspoons (4g) for the rice and 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons (12g) for the veggies.

vegan biryani

lebanese-style elotes preparados

Lebanese elotes

I’ve been super excited to share this one with you all because even though we’re only at the tail end of May, Lebanese-style elote has already become one of my favorite summer dishes. But when I first came up with the idea, I didn’t realize that it also had numerological significance. So here it is: my 200th recipe!

I think the most annoying thing you get asked as a recipe developer is the dreaded “Don’t you ever worry that you’re going to run out of ideas?” I remember the first time someone asked me when I had only been blogging for about a month, and my answer was “Well… thanks, now I do!”

But now that I’m 200 recipes in, I finally have a little more faith that ideas will come. Part of it is being surrounded by other bloggers who inspire me daily, like Chicano Eats, whose drool-worthy photo of elotes preparados made me think “ooh, I wonder if I could spread toum and feta on that,” because that’s what was in my fridge at the time, and these ingredients have more in common than you might think. It turns out that toum and feta make for another very tasty version. If you want to live your best summer life, I highly recommend making the classic version and this one on repeat all summer long (or at least, that’s where you’ll find me).

Lebanese elotes
Lebanese elotes

Oh but also, let’s not forget the real heroes… the 4 or 500 ideas I had in the last couple years that either didn’t make it into the kitchen (thank goodness…), or (unfortunately for my tastebuds) made it to the kitchen, and then into the sad time-out corner of the refrigerator, where they languished until we were hungry enough to eat humble pie (sometimes, literally). These disappointments and disasters don’t get me down in the same way that they used to, because I know another idea will be right around the corner.

I’ll keep those little failures to myself, and will continue to only share the best stuff on here to spare you the same experience. Thanks so much for reading, cooking, and baking with me, and I hope we’ll be on this journey together for at least another 200!

Lebanese elotes
Lebanese elotes

lebanese-style elotes preparados

serves 5
total time: 15 minutes
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  • 5 ears of corn (1.5kg shucked, from about 2kg in-husk)

  • 1 teaspoon oil

  • 2-3 tablespoons toum (30-45g)

  • 3 tablespoons crumbled feta (35g)*

  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder (1g)

  • 1 pinch dried mint (optional)

  • 1 tablespoon parsley, chiffonade (2g)

  • lime wedges (from about 1 lime)

  1. Preheat your grill or broiler. Very lightly coat the corn with oil. Grill it (using your broiler, a grill, or a gas flame) until it is golden brown and charred in spots (you’ll get fewer charred spots if you’re using an electric oven broiler, or if your broiler/grill isn’t super strong). Remove to a serving plate and pat the corn with paper towels to make sure there’s no excess oil.

  2. Spread some toum over the ears. Top with feta, followed by the chili powder, mint, and parsley, and serve with lime wedges on the side.

* To make this vegan or dairy free, simply omit the feta, or replace it with a crumbled vegan cheese.

Lebanese elotes

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