Quick Chickpea Biryani

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Serves 4 to 6 | 40 minutes

Biryani is a fragrant and flavorful rice dish hailing from India, and varies greatly from region to region. This version is vegan and features chickpeas as the protein, minimizing the cooking time significantly. As it simmers on the stove, delicious aromas waft through the house.


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, rough chopped
1 tablespoon ginger, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons cumin
1 tablespoon coriander
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon (or one cinnamon stick)
1/2 teaspoon cardamom (or 3 crushed cardamom pods)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 bay leaf
4 cups veggie stock or water
2 cups basmati rice
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 can chickpeas, drained, rinsed
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup cashews


In a medium or large Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté, stirring often, until tender and golden, 5 minutes. Turn heat to medium, add garlic and ginger, and cook 2 minutes.

Add spices and bay leaf, and stir one minute. Add stock, rice, and salt. Give a stir. Top with chickpeas, raisins, and cashews. Bring to a simmer over high heat, then lower heat to low. Cover the pot with a thin dish towel, place the lid over the top of the towel, and bring the four corners of the towel up and over the lid.  This will tighten the seal and keep the steam in, allowing the rice to cook more quickly and evenly. Simmer on low 18–20 minutes or until the rice has soaked up the liquid.

Turn heat off and let sit 5 minutes. Toss with a fork, taste, and adjust salt.

Cilantro Coconut Yogurt Sauce

1 cup yogurt (full fat)
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1–2 jalapenos
1 bunch cilantro
1 inch ginger, sliced thin
1/2 teaspoon salt


Blend all ingredients together in a blender.

Serve biryani with cilantro sprigs and a spoonful or two of yogurt sauce.

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