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

peach caprese with pomegranate molasses

peach caprese with pomegranate molasses

As you might expect of a cat-obsessed lady in her thirties with lots of friends in their thirties, my instagram feed is pretty much a running stream of babies and cats, but now that it’s the heart of summertime, it’s become just a nonstop reel of babies, cats, and peaches. Sometimes babies eating peaches, sometimes cats looking at babies (still haven’t seen any cats playing with peaches yet, but we’ve still got a lot of summer left–will report back and let you guys know how things play out in August).

So many friends and food bloggers have been posting some really delicious peachy salads, usually featuring mozzarella or burrata. So I just had to get in on the action and put together a salad of my own to share with you guys. This one is primarily inspired by my food blogger friends Mai and Omayah and their lovely burrata-peach-mint salads, as well as this wonderful peach caprese by Molly Krebs, featuring peaches, mint, mozzarella, and roasted pistachios, a few of my favorite things. Here, I’ve added tomatoes, used pomegranate molasses for a little tang, and went with green raw pistachios for an extra bright summery vibe.

This salad also works wonderfully with basil instead of mint. And if you plan on making a more classic caprese at any point this summer, I highly recommend subbing pomegranate molasses for balsamic reduction if you want to mix things up a little. It’s a game changer! If you’re looking for more fun ideas, these ingredients also work really fabulously with burrata. But that particular cheese is a little hard to find in my neighborhood, so I’ve been appreciating good old fresh mozzarella lately. My friend Julie was out to dinner with some coworkers recently, one of whom tried burrata for the first time, and reported back “I don’t really get the hype… it’s just wet cheese!” which really speaks to me for some reason. So whether you’re opting for wet or dry cheese, hope you’re having a wonderful summer full of lots of bright and sunny eats.

peach caprese with pomegranate molasses
peach caprese with pomegranate molasses
peach caprese with pomegranate molasses
peach caprese with pomegranate molasses

peach caprese with pomegranate molasses

serves: 6
total time: 15 minutes
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PDF to print

  • 2 120g balls of mozzarella (240g/8.5oz total)

  • 3 peaches

  • 2 medium tomatoes

  • Salt, to taste

  • A few sprigs of mint

  • Pomegranate molasses

  • Ground pistachios

  1. Slice the mozzarella, peaches, and tomatoes, and arrange on a plate. Season to taste.

  2. Sprinkle with the mint leaves and any small tender attached stems (discard any large woody stems).

  3. Season with a pinch of salt. Drizzle with pomegranate molasses, and top with ground pistachios.

To make ahead: You can slice everything and arrange the mozzarella, peaches, and tomatoes on a plate ahead of time, but hold off on the salt, mint, pomegranate molasses, and pistachios until the last minute. An undressed plate can keep like this for up to 6 hours to serve to guests, but even the dressed leftovers will keep super well for a couple days (just maybe not for guests).

peach caprese with pomegranate molasses