Easy Instant Pot Veggie Biryani


Make this easy, vegan, gluten-free Veggie Biryani recipe in 35 minutes, thanks to the power of vegetables, chickpeas, rice, coconut milk, and spices. Biryani is the beloved mixed rice dish which harks back to the classic food traditions of India. The recipe changes from family to family, but the basics are pretty much the same: a rich blend of rice, spices, proteins, and vegetables, served in a layered, colorful, spiced, aromatic one-dish meal. Turning to an Instant Pot can get this recipe done quickly. In my completely plant-based version, I swap out animal protein for chickpeas, push up the veggies, and trade the dairy products with coconut milk. Plus it is filled with the classic spices in Biryani—turmeric, garam masala, garlic, ginger, and pepper.

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All you have to do is soak your brown rice in water while you are getting all of your ingredients together. Then sauté onions and carrots in your Instant Pot, add the rice, spices, and coconut milk, and pressure cook for 12 minutes. Open the lid, top with your veggies and use your sauté setting to make those veggies just tender enough! Garnish with a bit of cashews, raisins, and fresh herbs, and you have a delicious one-dish, plant-based meal on the table in about 35 minutes.

While I am not an expert in Indian food traditions, I do love the flavors and aromas of this beautiful plant-based cuisine. Please check out the work of my friend and colleague Madhu Gadia, who is a renowned expert on Indian cuisine and has a lovely vegan cookbook. 

 

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Description

Make this easy, vegan, gluten-free vegetable chickpea biryani recipe in about 35 minutes, thanks to your trusty Instant Pot.


Biryani:

Garnish:

  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup toasted cashews
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint, parsley and/or cilantro


  1. Place basmati rice in a small bowl and cover with 2 cups water. Set aside and soak for 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare all ingredients.
  3. Place vegetable oil in the container of the Instant Pot and place on the “sauté” setting.
  4. Add onion, ginger, garlic, chili pepper, and carrots, and sauté for 9 minutes, stirring frequently.
  5. Add garam masala, turmeric, and black pepper and stir well.
  6. Add rice with water and the coconut milk and stir well.
  7. Cover Instant Pot with the lid, and press the “pressure” setting using the “manual” button (“pressure cook” for newer models) and set cooking time to 12 minutes (using the + sign to increase time). Refer to manufacturer’s directions for more information on settings.
  8. When cooking cycle is done, release the steam and open the lid.
  9. Stir well, and add peas, chickpeas, and cauliflower. Press the “sauté” button and sauté, stirring frequently, for about 5-10 minutes, just until vegetables are at desired tenderness. If the mixture gets too dry, may add 1-2 tablespoons of water, if needed.
  10. Season with salt, if desired.
  11. Remove from Instant Pot, and transfer to a dish or platter. Top with raisins, cashews, and mint/parsley/and or cilantro and serve.
  12. Makes 8 servings (1 cup each).
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 31 minutes
  • Category: Entree
  • Cuisine: Indian

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 serving
  • Calories: 308
  • Sugar: 9 g
  • Sodium: 321 mg
  • Fat: 8 g
  • Saturated Fat: 3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 52 g
  • Fiber: 7 g
  • Protein: 10 g

Keywords: vegan indian recipe, best vegan indian food, vegan instant pot recipe, Veggie Biryani, Biryani recipe

Instant Pot

I love to use my Instant Pot in cooking recipes like this. Grab your own here!

For other traditional plant-based recipes, check out: 

Chana Masala with Brown Rice
Vegetable Tofu Pho
Gado-Gado

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