Pic of Cauliflower biryani

Cauliflower biryani

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Vegetarian mains

Cauliflower biryani

Main Serves 4 1h 5 min
Biryani is a simple one-pot dish which draws out further spices and tastes as the cauliflower gently roasts. This recipe cooks the rice in spices and tomatoes to deeply infuse the flavours - enjoy with a sprinkling of flaked almonds. To make it a little more sinful, finely slice 1 large onion. Deep fry at 180°C (use a deep fat fryer for safety), for about 2-3 minutes, until golden, then scatter over the dish.

Cook's notes

To make this vegan-friendly omit the yogurt or use a dairy-free alternative.


  • oil for frying, e.g. rapeseed
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp medium hot curry powder (less if you prefer it milder)
  • 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
  • 10 cardamom pods
  • 200g brown basmati rice, rinsed well and drained
  • 1 large cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets
  • 200ml fat-free yoghurt, plus extra to serve
  • 2 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • 50g piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 50g fresh coriander
  • 4 tbsp flaked almonds, toasted in a dry frying pan until golden
  • fried onions to garnish (for sinners)
Image of Cauliflower biryani


Prep time: 15 min
Cooking time: 50 min
  • Step 1

    Preheat oven to 190°C/Gas 5. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large pan. Fry the onion on a low heat for about 10 minutes, until soft and translucent, without colouring.
  • Step 2

    Add the curry powder, tinned tomatoes, cardamom pods, rice and 600ml water. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 25 minutes, or until the rice is tender.
  • Step 3

    While the rice is cooking, toss the cauliflower with the yoghurt, garlic, ginger, cumin seeds, turmeric, garam masala and half the coriander leaves in a baking dish. Roast until the cauliflower is just tender but still with some bite, about 20-30 minutes, depending on how small you've cut the florets.
  • Step 4

    Remove from the oven and stir in the cooked rice and half the almonds. Cover with foil and bake for a further 15 minutes.
  • Step 5

    Serve sprinkled with the rest of the almonds, coriander leaves, crispy fried onions (if using) and a dollop of extra yogurt.

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