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vegetable biryani made in the Instant pot and served in a blue cast iron enameled dutch oven
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5 from 2 votes

Vegetable Biryani

The classic Biryani in a vegetarian avatar. This medley of rice and veggies with whole spices is just what you need for a party or on a weekend.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time13 mins
Course: Main Course, Mains
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 4 persons
Calories: 398kcal


  • Instant Pot
  • Blender
  • Spatula


For the spice paste

  • ½ cup finely chopped cilantro leaves
  • 15 mint leaves
  • 3 green chilis Serrano peppers work well here.
  • 4 cloves garlic peeled and chopped
  • ½ inch ginger peeled and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 2 tablespoon water

For soaking the rice

  • 1 cup Basmati rice
  • 2 cups water

For the Biryani

  • 1.5 tablespoon oil or ghee
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cloves
  • 3 whole green cardamoms
  • ½ inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 mace
  • 1 cup finely chopped onions
  • 2 cups mixed vegetables I used carrots, peas, baby corns, beans and cauliflower
  • 2 tablespoon thick fresh yogurt
  • 1.5 teaspoon Kosher salt or to taste
  • 1.25 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon screw pine extract or 1 teaspoon edible rose water

For garnishing

  • 1 tablespoon oil or ghee
  • 2 tablespoon broken cashews
  • 1.5 tablespoon raisins or sultanas


Soak the rice

  • Wash the Basmati rice in a colander under running water once.
  • Transfer the washed rice to a mixing bowl and add 2 cups water.
  • Allow this to soak for 10 minutes. Start a kitchen timer to keep an eye on the soaking time.

Chop the veggies

  • Wash and prep the baby corn, cauliflower, beans and carrots.
  • Set aside.
  • Chop the onions towards the end.

Make the paste

  • Grind together mint, cilantro, green chilis, fennel seeds, garlic cloves and ginger with 3 tablespoon water to a smooth paste. Set aside.
  • Drain the soaked rice
  • Once the ten minutes are up, drain the soaked rice in a colander completely.
  • Please do not let the rice soak longer than mentioned here.

Instant Pot Vegetable Biryani

  • Insert the inner pot into the Instant Pot.
  • Plug in the Instant Pot and press SAUTE MODE on NORMAL.
  • Set the timer to 8 minutes.
  • When the display reads HOT, add the oil or ghee.
  • Tip in the green cardamoms, bay leaf, cloves, cinnamon stick and mace.
  • Saute for 20 seconds. Now, add the onions and mix well.
  • Add salt and cook the onions till they become pink and soft.
  • At this stage, add the ground paste and mix well.
  • Now, add 2 tablespoon thick yogurt.
  • Stir well to combine and cook this paste for 3 minutes till the mixture is a bit dry.
  • Now, add the chopped veggies and combine well.
  • Tip in the soaked rice and 1 cup water.
  • Add the screw pine extract and rose water along with the ground turmeric. Stir well to combine.

Cooking time and mode

  • Switch off the Instant Pot.
  • Ensure that the sealing ring has been fitted properly into the lid.
  • Close the Instant Pot and turn the VALVE to SEALING.
  • Switch on the Instant Pot again.
  • Press PRESSURE COOK mode on LOW PRESSURE for 5 minutes.
  • Allow the cooking cycle to complete.
  • When done, immediately do a quick pressure release.
  • After releasing the pressure, open the lid and fluff the biryani with a fork.


  • Heat a small pan with 1 tablespoon oil or ghee.
  • Add the cashews and fry on medium heat till it begins to brown.
  • Immediately, tip in the raisins and wait for them to puff up.
  • Transfer the fried nuts and raisins to the biryani.
  • Mix well and serve hot.

Pressure cooker veg biryani

  • Heat a 4 liter deep pressure pan with oil.
  • Add the whole spices and saute for 1 minute on medium flame.
  • Now, add the chopped onions and salt.
  • Mix and allow the onions to become soft and pink.
  • Add the ground spice paste and the yogurt next.
  • Stir to combine and cook till the mixture becomes almost dry.
  • Add the veggies now and mix well.
  • Cook for 2 minutes on medium flame.
  • Once done, add the soaked and drained rice.
  • Add 1.5 cups water and ground turmeric and mix well.
  • Stir in the rose water or screw pine extract.
  • Close the lid. Put the weight on and cook on medium heat for 1 whistle.
  • Once you hear the whistle, switch off the flame.
  • Wait for 2 minutes and then manually release the pressure by lifting the weight with the help of a ladle or a long handled spoon.
  • Fluff the rice with a fork. 
  • Heat a small pan with ghee or oil.
  • Add the broken cashews and wait for them to begin to brown.
  • At this stage, add the raisins and allow them to just puff up and become plump.
  • Immediately add this to the biryani and mix gently.Garnishing


  1. Follow the measurements for water to the T at every step in this recipe for the best Instant Pot biryani you can make.
  2. Adding screw pine water ( Pandan extract) or rose water enhances the flavors. Make sure you use food grade rose water or screw pine water.
  3. Instant Pot timings may vary based on geographic locations.
  4. Nutrition values provided here are a rough guide and given as a courtesy. Please consult a certified nutrition expert for more details.


Calories: 398kcal | Carbohydrates: 65g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 1052mg | Potassium: 488mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 4931IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 99mg | Iron: 3mg
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