Indian-Persian Fusion – Vegetable Biryani

An Indian-Persian fusion Vegetable Biryani at the request of my Indian-Persian fusion family-in-law. 🙂 It makes us so excited when people have tried our plant-based food and loved it as much as we do!

Biryani is a mixed rice dish from India (not a Persian dish), but my mom lived in India for nine (9) years and has some wonderful Indian recipes she makes, infused with some Persian spices and techniques of course. 🙂 Stay tuned for more Indian-Persian fusion recipes coming soon.

To reduce the heat on this spicy rice dish, we make a traditional Salad Shirazi (chopped tomatoes, red onion, and cucumber) but without the added lemon juice or olive oil. Rather, we add Kite Hill plain yogurt and a dash of salt and pepper to make our own version of Indian “raita” (a traditional Indian condiment made of yogurt and vegetables).


  • “Curry”
    • 1 small onion chopped
    • 1 cup of russet potatoes thinly sliced
    • 1 cup of carrots thinly sliced
    • 1 cup of frozen green beans
    • 1 cup of frozen green peas
    • 4 ripe tomatoes chopped
    • 1 tsp. cumin (seeds or ground)
    • 1/4 tsp. ground saffron
    • 1 tsp. cinnamon
    • 1 tsp. ground cardamom
    • 1 tsp. turmeric
    • 2 tsp. salt
  • Cooking oil
  • 4 cups of long-grain Basmati Rice
  • “Chutney” (see directions below)
    • 4 garlic heads
    • 5 Serrano chili
    • 2 gingers
    • 1 bunch cilantro
    • 3/4 cup shredded coconut


  1. Prepare “Chutney”
    • Peel ginger and garlic heads
    • Wash and dry cilantro and Serrano Chili
    • Add all “Chutney” ingredients together in a food processor and blend well.
  2. Prepare “Curry”
    • In a large sauté pan on medium heat, add 3 Tbsp. cooking oil.
    • Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes until golden.
    • Add the cumin and stir.
    • Add 3-5 Tbsp. of “Chutney” depending on preferred level of spice. Stir and sauté for another 1-2 minutes.
    • Add the potatoes, stir and sauté for 2-3 minutes.
    • Add the carrots, green beans, and green peas and the remaining spices. Stir and sauté for 3 minutes.
    • Add the chopped tomatoes. Stir and cook until the tomatoes are very tender (approximately 15-20 minutes)
  3. Prepare Basmati Rice
    • Wash and pick over the rice to remove small particles. To wash the rice, place the rice in a large bowl and cover with water. Move the rice with your hand to loosen particles. Pour off the water. Repeat the process 3-4 times until the rice is clean.
    • Fill a large pot with water (3/4 full), add 1 Tbsp. salt, cover and bring to a boil.
    • Add rice to boiling water, and cook on medium heat, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
    • Drain the rice.
  4. Layer “Curry” and Basmati Rice
    • Add 2 Tbsp. cooking oil and 1/4 tsp. turmeric at the bottom of a large non-stick pot or Persian rice cooker.
    • Add 1/2 of the Basmati rice to the pot/rice cooker.
    • Add “Curry” as the second layer.
    • Top off with the remaining 1/2 of the Basmati rice.
  5. Cover and cook 50 minutes in the rice cooker. (If cooking in a non-stick pot, cook for 50 minutes on medium/low heat).
  6. Before serving, mix the rice and curry in the pot until well blended.
  7. Noosh-e-jan! Enjoy!

Serves 4-5 people

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