Vegetable Biryani

Vegetable Biryani

It’s always great to surprise people by inviting them over for a BBQ and then serving them a full curry. I did this to two American friends and their wives, who I think were dreading a Brit serving them burgers and sausages. Little did they know.

This biryani is veggie, but there’s nothing to stop you from making it with some chicken or lamb. We have it instead of a normal rice dish, but not necessarily as a main. The flavours are amazing and it looks fabulous.

This recipe looks complicated but it isn’t too hard.

Cooking surfaces

Cast Iron Grid

then add

Plate setter icon

BBQ Temperature



For the rice

  • 1 cup basmati rice 200 grams, soaked in 3 cups (24 oz) water for 30 minutes
  • 3 whole green cardamom
  • 2 cloves
  • 3/4 tsp salt

For the onions, cashews and vegetables

  • 1.5 tbsp ghee or melted butter
  • 2 medium red onion thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons broken cashews
  • 1 small potato cubed
  • 1/2 cup cauliflower florets medium-sized florets
  • 1 medium carrot, sliced
  • 5-6 green beans, cut into thirds of the length
  • 1-inch ginger crushed
  • 4-5 large garlic cloves crushed
  • 2 green chillies crushed
  • 1.5 tablespoons oil 22 ml
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1-inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 whole black peppercorns
  • 3 whole green cardamom
  • 2 cloves
  • 1/3 cup plain yoghurt whisked and at room temperature, can add 1/4 teaspoon cornstarch and whisk to prevent curdling
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder or use regular chilli powder for heat
  • 60ml water

For the saffron milk

  • 2 tablespoons milk 30 ml
  • Saffron strands generous pinch

For the biryani

  • 1 tbsp melted butter
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander
  • 2 tablespoons chopped mint
  • 1.5 teaspoon rose water or kewra water (optional)


Pre-cook the rice

You can cook your rice indoors on the hob or in the Egg.

  1. Soak your rice in 750ml water for 30 minutes before draining.
  2. Bring 2 litres of water to a boil and add the cardamom, cloves and salt.
  3. Add your rice and boil or 3/4 of the recommended time, probably around 7-8 minutes.
  4. Drain your rice and add a teaspoon of melted butter. Set aside.

Prep the vegetables

  1. Setup your Egg for a direct cook at 180°C with just the stainless grid.
  2. In a cast-iron skillet fry off your onions in your melted butter until they are golden brown, 8 to 9 minutes then remove to a plate. Keep half for topping off your rice and half as a filling.
  3. In the same pan roast your cashews until they are golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove to the plate.
  4. Now cook your potato for 2 minutes to get a little colour. Remove to the plate.
  5. In the same pan fry your green beans, carrots and cauliflower for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove to the plate.
  6. Add 1.5 oil to your pan and add the cumin seeds, cinnamon stick, bay leaf, peppercorns, cardamom and cloves. Let them sizzle for 20-30 seconds before adding the onion and 1/4 tsp salt.
  7. Add the garlic, chilli and ginger and cook for 2 minutes.
  8. Remove the pan from the heat, allow to cool a little and then stir in the yoghurt until it is absorbed.
  9. Add the remaining vegetables, chilli powder and garam masala. Stir to coat.
  10. Add the water and cook for 6 to 7 minutes.
  11. Remove from the heat.

Prep the saffron milk

  1. Warm 2 tbsp milk and add the saffron.
  2. Set aside.

Layering the biryani

  1. Setup your Egg for an indirect cook by adding the ConvEGGtor. 
  2. Into your dutch oven, add a little melted butter to coat the bottom.
  3. Add 1/2 the rice.
  4. Add the vegetables.
  5. Add the remaining rice to cover the veg.
  6. Top with the onion, cashews, chopped mint and chopped coriander.
  7. Drizzle over the saffron milk.
  8. Sprinkle over some garam masala.
  9. Seal your dutch oven with foil and then the lid, you’re trying to keep in as much moisture as possible. 
  10. Put into the Egg and cook for 25-30 minutes. 

Serve your biryani making sure you get veg and rice in every serving. 


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