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Biryani-style cauliflower rice recipe

Biryani-style cauliflower rice recipe

  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Main course
  • Curry
  • Vegetarian curry

Cauliflower rice is seasoned with garam masala, turmeric, cumin and coriander in this Indian-inspired gluten free dish.

12 people made this

IngredientsServes: 4

  • 1 head cauliflower, broken into florets
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon minced fresh ginger, or to taste
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper, or more to taste
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped coriander, or to taste

MethodPrep:10min ›Cook:10min ›Ready in:20min

  1. Process cauliflower florets in a blender or food processor until broken into small pieces about the size of rice.
  2. Heat butter in a pan over medium-high heat; add cauliflower rice, garlic, cumin, ground coriander, garam masala, turmeric, ginger, cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until cauliflower is softened, about 10 minutes.
  3. Remove pan from heat and add lime wedges and freshly chopped coriander.

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Cauliflower Rice Chicken Biryani

Chicken Biryani is a classic Indian Dish that you can make with Cauliflower Rice for a grain-free variation! You’ll love the spices, texture, and flavor in this dish that can be made in less than 20 minutes. Paleo and Whole30 approved!

I love Indian food. Have we talked about this lately? If you would have asked me 10 years ago my favorite food, I would hands down always say Mexican. I’m older now and things have changed. Like my belly doesn’t love Mexican food as much as it used to, and Indian food has slowly crept it’s way to the number one spot (although on some occasions I would say that it shares that spot with my beloved Mexican). My favorite Indian dishes include Chicken Vindaloo and Chicken Tikka Masala, but Biryani is a favorite with my kiddos. I make Biryani ALOT. But I knew it was time for a Paleo/Whole30 variation.

Now combine this with my obsession with cauliflower rice.

So Chicken Biryani is a classic dish that needed a Paleo/Whole30 makeover. It’s generally made with Basmati rice. So all I did was make an easy swap and used riced cauliflower in place of the rice. That’s the great thing about Indian food, is that it can be made with the cleanest ingredients because it’s jazzed up with THE BESTspices. It just needs some vegetables and protein, and voila. It’s amazing. That’s my long winded way of saying, this dish still has the same unbelievable yummy taste!!

Last weekend, the Wholesomelicious family actually went to the mall. The hubs and I needed dragged the kids through Pottery Barn and Crate and Barrel and at least a few times back and forth. We were picking out a new couch for our den. The kids decided this was way too much adulting for them, and acted like caged monkeys who had been freed from the zoo. Jumping on furniture and making it obvious they don’t get out to malls and furniture stores very often. We needed a quick distraction and took the kids to one of our favorite Indian restaurants for lunch. They of course ordered the Biryani to share, and thought occurred to me that duh, why don’t I make this with cauliflower rice? We took our leftovers home, and within 2 days I whipped up this new version. One that they absolutely devoured!

And guess what? They didn’t even ask or mention the cauliflower rice. Perhaps they didn’t notice? Because really, the flavor in this dish is so delicious, that the rice is an afterthought.

Because I made this for my kids, I made it non spicy. It contains plenty of spices, but no peppers. You can certainly add in a jalapeño or pepper of choice to add some heat. As the case with most Indian dishes, the longer it sits the better! So although it can be made in less than 20 minutes, if the flavors meld for longer it tastes even better. And the leftovers taste are even more amazing!

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Easy peasy, nice and cheesy

This cauliflower rice mushroom risotto is a complete guilt free treat. It’s high in fat and full of creamy and cheese deliciousness. You can also add in anything you like. Veggies like broccoli or asparagus or if you want some meat to sink your teeth into then some chopped ham, bacon, shredded chicken, quite a few options at your disposal. Even when it comes to the cheese you can use anything from blue cheese to a mature cheddar. The cream I am using is a local 25% fat cream but if you live in American heavy cream will work, or if you live in the UK, double cream.

NB: Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower are known to give some people flatulence, though personally I haven’t experienced this on keto. Though full of nutrients, these vegetables’ sulfur compounds are what gives it its room clearing properties, but lots of people have reported significant decrease in flatulence after taking probiotics or probiotic-rich foods like kefir. Just putting it out there.

How to make biryani rice recipe (Step by Step Photos):

1) Wash the rice under running cold water till water runs clear. Soak into enough warm water for at least 20 minutes.

2) Drain water and keep into colander to dry out for about 15 minutes.

3) Heat the oil or ghee in a pan on medium heat. One hot add whole spices (cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns, bay leaf) and fry till you get nice aroma of them.

4) Then add cumin seeds and let them sizzle.

5) Add chopped onions, green chilies and salt.

6) Fry till onions get translucent.

7) Add soaked, drained rice and cook for a minute.

8) Add water and let it come to a boil.

9) Once starts boiling cover the pan and LOWER the heat to lowest possible. Cook for 17-18 minutes without opening the lid.

10) After 17 minutes turn the heat off, still do not open the lid. keep it covered and rest for at least 10 minutes. Let the rice grains firm up.

11) While rice is resting, heat the 2 teaspoons of oil in a small pan. First fry cashews and almonds till light brown, remove it to a bowl.

12) Then in the remaining oil fry sliced onions till it becomes brown.

13) Now open the cover, fluff up with fork.

14) Garnish with nuts and fried onions.

Serving suggestion:serve with any shorba gravy, salan recipes or dal like dal tadka, dal fry or dal makhani. It can be served with any gravy dish like paneer butter masala, palak paneer, mushroom masala.

Step by Step Photos Above Want to make it perfect first time? Don't forget to check out Step-by-Step photo instructions and helpful Tips & Tricks !!

Vegan Indian Biryani

  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hours 5 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1 x
  • Category: dinner
  • Cuisine: Indian, Vegan, GlutenFree, Vegetarian


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.

How to make biryani rice

1. Wash and soak rice for about 20 to 30 mins. Meanwhile prepare the onions and tomatoes. After 30 mins drain the rice completely to a colander. Set this aside.

2. Heat oil in a pot or pressure cooker. Add bay leaf, star anise, cardamoms, cloves, cinnamon, shahi jeera and mace. Saute until the shahi jeera splutters.

3. Add sliced 3/4 cup onions and fry until golden.

4. Add 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste and fry until it smells good.

5. Make sure the raw smell of garlic goes away.

6. Add tomatoes and yogurt. Stir to prevent burning.

7. Add 1/2 to 3/4 tsp red chili powder, little turmeric, handful of mint, coriander, salt and 1 tsp biryani masala powder (optional). For the kuska rice, most ppl do not use biryani masala powder.

8. Cook until the tomatoes turn mushy and oil begins to separate.

9. Add 3 1/2 cups water. Bring it to a boil.

10. Add drained rice. Mix well.

11. Cook on a medium flame until very little water is left. Refer the picture. Lower the flame completely. Cover the pot or pressure cooker with a lid and cook for exactly 5 to 6 mins. I used a pressure cooker.

12. When the rice is done, open the lid and fluff up.

Serve with raita or with any of the biryani gravy. This rice goes very well with any veg or non veg gravy. Some serving suggestions for vegetarians are
soya chunks kurma
bagara baingan
mirch ka salan
Non-vegetarians can serve this with
chicken curry
egg curry

Recipe Summary

  • 1 medium head cauliflower (about 2 lb.), cored
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, crushed
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger*
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 12 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into bite-size strips
  • 1 medium onion, cut into thin wedges
  • 1 cup packaged shredded carrots
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • ½ cup crunchy falafel-flavor chickpeas or chopped peanuts
  • Snipped fresh cilantro

Break cauliflower into florets (about 8 cups). Place cauliflower in batches in a food processor. Cover and pulse each batch until crumbly and mixture resembles the texture of rice (about 6 cups).

In an extra-large wok or skillet heat 1 Tbsp. of the oil over medium-high heat. Add cumin seeds cook and stir 10 seconds. Add the next six ingredients (through cayenne) cook and stir 10 seconds. Add chicken. Cook and stir 3 to 4 minutes or until no longer pink (adding additional oil if necessary). Remove chicken from wok.

Add remaining 1 Tbsp. oil to wok. Add onion, carrots, and peas cook and stir 2 minutes. Add cauliflower cook and stir 4 minutes more or until cauliflower is tender. Return chicken to wok heat through. Top each serving with chickpeas and cilantro.

If desired, substitute 1 tsp. purchased ginger paste for grated fresh ginger.

My Biryani Spice Mix

Rather than including the ingredients of my Biryani spice mix in the text of each individual recipe, I thought that it would be more productive to simply include it here, at the top of the page, before we proceed to look at specific Biryani recipes.

As each recipe on this page will be in the quantities designed to feed two people, for every recipe you will require the following mix of spices:

1/2 tsp cumin seeds (toasted and crushed)

1/4 tsp ground coriander seed

Preparation Method

The cumin seeds should be added to a dry frying pan and toasted until they begin to darken in colour and give off an enticing aroma. They should then be removed from the pan, crushed in a pestle and mortar in to a fine powder and mixed with the remainder of the ingredients. Although it is entirely possible to use pre-ground cumin seeds, it is my belief that this method adds a little extra something in terms of flavour to the finished dish.

NB - I will also add cinnamon to each recipe at different stages and in different forms, depending upon my chosen cooking method. I will cover this aspect in each individual recipe.

Lamb over biryani style cauliflower rice w white and hot sauce

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1 lb lamb shoulder blade in lemon juice, salt, pepper, garlic, oregano for 1-4 hrs Cook on stove top, high heat, 4mins/side. When slightly cooled, chop into bits.

“Rice”: Grind head of cauliflower in food processor shredder blade. In a microwave safe bowl combine 2tbsp butter, 1tsp cumin seed, 1 cinnamon stick, 1 bay leaf, 4 cardamom pods, 1tsp turmeric. Microwave on high 2 mins. Add rice, salt to taste, pepper, and microwave again for 4 mins. Stir before serving.

White sauce: 1 cup greek yogurt, 2tbsp mayo, splash of olive oil, 2tbsp lemon juice, 1/2 tsp salt, lots of fresh pepper

Hot sauce: Combine 2 parts red pepper flakes, to 1 part vinegar, add generous amount of salt and dash of olive oil. Blend (i used a magic bullet) until smooth.

Salad: “Traditional” (by nyc food cart standards) iceberg lettuce, tomato, cucumber, red onion, lemon

Biryani-style baked chicken and rice

Serves 4
2 tbsp coconut oil
8 bone-in chicken thighs, with skin
2 large onions, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, sliced
2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ground ginger
1 green chilli, finely sliced
300g brown basmati rice
650ml chicken stock, hot (increase to insure brown rice swimming in rice)
200g frozen mixed green vegs (or frozen peas + cauliflower florets on top to steam)
1 red pepper, thinly sliced (place on top to steam)
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander

  • Preheat the oven to 190°C/fan170°C/Gas 5. Heat the oil in a large roasting tin on the hob. Add the chicken and fry over a high heat until golden brown all over. Remove and set aside.
  • Add the onion and cook gently for 6-8 minutes. Stir in the garlic, garam masala, ginger and chilli. Stir in the rice and cook for 1 minute. Top with the chicken and pour over the stock.
  • Cover with foil and bake for