Pic of Roasted cauliflower biryani

Roasted cauliflower biryani

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Vegetarian mains

Roasted cauliflower biryani

Main Serves 4 1h 5 min
Although biryani is traditionally served as a side to curry, it's rich and interesting enough to enjoy in its own right as a vegetarian main. Roasted cauliflower is combined with delicately spiced rice and baked in the oven. You could use brown rice for this as well – just lengthen the cooking time accordingly.


  • 1 tsp saffron threads
  • 2 tbsp boiling water
  • 2 tbsp oil for frying, e.g. vegetable or sunflower
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 2 tbsp medium to hot curry powder
  • 200g tinned chopped tomatoes
  • 6 cardamom pods
  • 250g basmati rice
  • 400ml water
  • 1 cauliflower, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 200ml plain yoghurt
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • handful fresh coriander leaves
  • ½ tsp garam masala powder
  • 4 tbsp flaked almonds


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

    Preheat oven to 180°C/Gas 4.
  • Step 2

    Place the saffron threads in a small bowl and pour over a couple of tablespoons of boiling water, then leave to soak.
  • Step 3

    Heat a couple of tablespoons of oil in a pan, add the onions and gently fry for about 10 minutes to soften.
  • Step 4

    Add the curry powder, tinned tomatoes, cardamom, rice and water. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 25 minutes, or until the rice is tender.
  • Step 5

    While the rice is cooking, toss the cauliflower with the yoghurt, garlic and ginger, cumin seeds, coriander leaves and garam masala in a small baking dish.
  • Step 6

    Roast until the cauliflower is just tender but still with some bite. Remove from the oven and add the cooked rice, along with the flaked almonds.
  • Step 7

    Stir to combine, drizzle over the saffron water then cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Serve with some more plain yoghurt.

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