Meet Alex Caspero
Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, Plant-Based Chef and Yoga Instructor. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.
I’ve been wanting to make this dish for a while. Vegetable Biryani, BL’s favorite take-out, has been my unicorn recipe for the past few years. It’s the one meal he asks for over and over again and of the 15+ different versions I’ve tried, they all fall slightly short of what we get at our favorite restaurants.
It wasn’t until we ordered another version a few weeks ago that I figured out what I had been doing wrong. My biryani tended to clump together, mostly because I had cooked the vegetables first, then added in the rice and simmered until done. While the flavor was always delicious, it always looked homemade. I could never quite figure out why mine didn’t resemble what we order.
Here’s the trick: cook the rice and the vegetables separately, then add together at the end. While this may seem like a no-brainer, it was an ah-ha moment for me.
For perfectly fluffy rice with individual grains, make sure to rinse the rice a few times before adding to the pot. I usually do this in a fine mesh sieve for ease; the excess starches should rinse off fairly easily.
You might need to visit a well-stocked grocery store to grab some of the spices. I know it’s tempting to omit things if you don’t have them, but not for this recipe. I’m a huge fan on Penzey’s spices and they usually have online specials and deals if you don’t have one in your area.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned about cooking, it’s that your spices can make or break your dish. While I don’t follow a strict schedule for tossing spices, I do advocate for buying in small batches so they rotate in and our frequently. Quality also matters and I think it’s worth spending a little bit to ensure your spices are fragrant. No use in spending money on other ingredients if you use old spices.
The other bonus of buying spices? You’ll tend to use them more often! I hear this so often from clients; they don’t want to purchase spices just for this one recipe. And, while I completely understand that, once it’s in your spice closet, you are more likely to keep experimenting with it.
However, you can also buy spices in bulk, ensuring that you grab just the small amount that you need. Some Whole Foods have bulk spice bins and our local co-op grocery store does.
This biryani is such a show stopping dish. It’s gorgeous, studded with pistachios, golden raisins, mint and vegetables.
I don’t know what your plans are for Easter, but if you’re looking for a different type of main dish, I think this would be perfect. My in-laws are coming down this weekend and while I haven’t yet decided what I plan on making, I could see this making the final cut. It’s just so pretty.
If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag your Instagram photos with #delishknowledge . I absolutely love seeing your creations. Happy cooking!Print
Vegan Indian Biryani! If you love Indian food- you’ve gotta try this healthy recipe! Flavorful spiced rice with lots of vegetables. Super easy to make at home and SO good.