May 22, 2022

VEGAN RECIPE REVIEW: Vegetable Biryani

When I chose a vegan recipe to try this week, I came across this dish called biryani on Pinterest. I'd never heard of it, but when I looked at the ingredients, it sounded like something I'd love. The recipe is from Dinner Then Dessert (I'll link to it again at the end of this post) and this is how the site describes the Vegetable Biryani:

"Vegetable Biryani is a bold and flavorful Indian rice dish with bell peppers, peas, carrots and potatoes in a spiced rice dish made with turmeric, garam masala and other warm spices."

I love anything with rice--especially basmati rice--but it was the bell peppers, peas, potatoes, and cauliflower in this dish that called to me. The ingredients list: olive oil, onion, garlic, ginger, tomato, peas, carrot, potatoes, bell pepper, celery, cauliflower, cayenne pepper, garam masala, coriander, turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, vegetable broth, and basmati rice. Quite a long list! But considering a lot of it was the spices, it wasn't bad. Prepping the vegetables is the time-consuming part.

Oh! And this is hilarious--embarrassing at my expense, but funny enough to share. One of the ingredients was listed, "2 stalks celery thinly sliced". I have no idea where my brain was, but clearly it wasn't in my head at that moment. Instead of slicing the celery crosswise, I sliced it lengthwise. I remember thinking how odd it was that I was supposed to slice the celery like that. Then after I took the picture below, it hit me. Duh! So I just pulled them out and sliced them crosswise.

The best part about this Vegetable Biryani dish? It's all done in one pot--including the rice! I love one-pot meals. Not because using several pots means more cleaning (although that's great too!), but because it's so nice to just let something cook and when it's done, it's done. You don't have to time the different foods to be done cooking at the same time.

For the Vegetable Biryani, first you cook down the onions, garlic, ginger, and tomatoes in water until the water has evaporated. Apparently, my brain was still on the celery because I added that in by accident. (I'm sure it didn't make much difference.)

Then you basically just add everything except for the rice: 

Bring it all to a boil, then add the (rinsed) basmati rice. Then I just had to cover and reduce the heat to low and let it cook until the rice was done (about 20 minutes). The house smelled great while it was cooking!

When I opened the pot, I loved that it was done and I didn't have to do anything else except eat.

Unfortunately, nobody was home to taste this! This recipe made six servings, and I was the only one to eat it. Jerry was away for a guys' trip and my kids were with friends.

I really liked it, but not as much as I thought I would. There was something about it--I think maybe it needed more heat?--that would have made it better. I like all of the components of the dish, so it must have been the ratio of spices that I wasn't totally crazy about. Or maybe it was the celery! Hahaha.

I would make this again; I would just change up the ratio of spices. I would add a LOT more peas and cauliflower, too! It would be a super easy dish to make a few changes--staying with the one-pot meal, you can just change up whatever spices and/or veggies you want and have something totally different.

Wait a second...

It just occurred to me at this moment that I made this when I had COVID. Maybe that's why the flavors didn't knock my socks off? So basically, you can completely forget my opinion of it. I didn't lose my sense of taste and smell entirely, but due to being congested, everything was a little bland while I was sick.

In conclusion, this was probably spicy and delicious. You can find the full recipe on Dinner Then Dessert.  ;)


  1. So glad you're feeling better! And this dish does look good.

  2. You know Covid fog is really a thing?! I think for a month I had Covid brain (or at least it was a good excuse ;-))

  3. I would also check this because you didn['t really add any acid to this dish, like lime juice or lemon juice. Usually when a dish is missing ' something' its a bit of acid and it all balances out!


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