How to make Cauliflower rice biryani? This vegan biryani version is made using cauliflower rice and its a healthier. Perfect for dinner

Being a Basmati rice fanatic, using cauliflower rice was a huge mind shift.

This is my first time using cauliflower rice.

Now, I am kicking myself for not using it sooner!

Its so easy to make and its definitely the healthier option over regular rice.

Overhead view of a steel bowl filled with cauliflower rice biryani with Indian scarves next to it

Tips for making this biryani

  • Hide kale or other greens in this biryani.
  • Don’t skip on the garnish. I used sweet coconut shavings, almonds, cashews, red onions and raisins. 
  • I only used about 3/4 of a cauliflower.  The rest of it went into my favorite pickled vegetables recipe.
  • The word Biryani means “spicy rice”.   There is no shortage of spice in this recipe.  I used cardamom, cumin powder, coriander powder, turmeric, ginger, garam masala and red chili powder. Don’t skimp on it.

How to make cauliflower rice

– Choose a small or medium sized cauliflower head

– Remove all the green leaves and cut of the stem.  Cut it to the very top of the stem

– The stem is very useful in broth recipes.  Just be sure to peel the outer thick skin

– Cut it into individual florets and place in a bowl

– Place the florets in a colander and wash it under tap water

– Drain all the water and place the floret on a tea towel

– Use a second tea towel and dry the florets.  Make sure there is no moisture or water on the florets

– For best results, use a 10 cup food processor

– Set the shredding disc in place and feed the cauliflower florets through the chute

– Set it to process and let it shred the floret

– The cauliflower rice will accumulate in bowl.  It should look like really large grains of salt (or couscous)

Tips for making cauliflower rice

If you don’t have a 10 cup food processor, use the mini processor.  You can make it in batches and get the same results

– You can make small batches at a time and keep the rest of the cauliflower for other recipes

– If you don’t have a food processor, use you knife and continue cutting it until its finely diced

– Alternatively, shred the whole cauliflower and then store it in small portions inside a zip lock bag.  Mark the dates on the zip lock bags and freeze.

– To thaw, place the zip lock bag in vegetable section overnight.  In the morning, dry it on a tea towel before using.

– If you are going to use the cauliflower rice within a week, don’t freeze the zip lock bags.  Just place them in the vegetable section of your fridge.

–  Some grocery stores sell cauliflower crumbles, but, the might be a little big.  I just process them in the food processor once to make them smaller.

– Cauliflower rice cooks much faster, so, always use medium temperatures when cooking it.

Front view of a steel bowl filled with cauliflower rice biryani with Indian scarves next to it

Biryani seasonings

– Mustard Seeds

– Cumin Seeds

– Curry Leaves

– Turmeric

– Red chili powder

– Garam masala

– Coriander-cumin powder

– Coconut flakes

Vegetables in Biryani

– Cauliflower rice

– Small red potatoes

– Peas

– Bell peppers

– Onions

– Kale

What is the difference between biryani and pilaf

Pilaf is a drier rice recipe

– Biryani uses a tomato gravy base with yogurt. I subbed coconut milk for yogurt

– Biryani is typically made in a large pan (or Kadai) and can be served in the same pan

– Biryani tends to be on the spicier side where there are lots of green and red chili.  Pilafs tend to have less spices in them

Have you tried my barley pilaf and my brussels sprouts pilaf recipes?

Want even more recipes using cauliflower rice? How about my vegan sushi bowl or a cauliflower rice and sausage recipe?

So, what’s your favorite way to use cauliflower rice?

Overhead view of a steel bowl filled with cauliflower rice biryani with Indian scarves next to it

Cauliflower Rice Biryani Recipe

Cauliflower rice perfectly blended with vegetables and spices
Go Ahead, Rate it now!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4 people
Calories 435 kcal


For the Garnish (Do not omit!)

  • ½ Cup Sweet Coconut Flakes
  • ¼ Cup Cashew Halves Unsalted
  • ¼ Cup Almond Halves Unsalted
  • ¼ Cup Red Onions Finely Chopped
  • 1 tsp Cilantro Finely Chopped
  • 2 Tbsp Lime Zest
  • tsp Salt Optional
  • 2 Tbsp Golden Brown Raisins
  • 1 tsp Agave


  • In a food process or blender, add the cauliflower florets from about 3/4 of a small head of cauliflower
  • Grind it finely.  Should be consistency of couscous.
  • Heat a large pan with a wide base on medium heat
  • Add the oil and heat for 30 seconds
  • Add the mustard seeds and wait for them to pop
  • Add the cumin seeds, curry leaves, sugar, turmeric and red chili powder
  • Add the onions and caramelize them for about 2 minutes
  • Add the Ginger, Garlic and Cardamom Seeds.  Saute for 30 seconds
  • Add the mini sweet peppers and cook them for about 1 minute
  • Add the potatoes and cook for about 6 minutes or until the potatoes are tender
  • Add the Kale, peas, tomato sauce and water
  • Add the coriander-cumin powder and garam masala
  • Add the cauliflower rice and coconut milk
  • Mix well and adjust for your taste, if needed
  • Close the lid to the pan and let it cook on medium heat for about 15 minutes or until the cauliflower rice has been cooked
  • Stir it occasionally in those 15 minutes
  • While the cauliflower rice is cooking, mix all the Ingredients of the garnish and set it aside. 
  • Turn off the heat and garnish it. Serve Immediately


– I used baby honey gold potatoes.  I cut them into small cubes so that they cook just as quickly as the cauliflower rice.  Also, I kept the skin on.


Calories: 435kcalCarbohydrates: 52gProtein: 13gFat: 22gSaturated Fat: 7gSodium: 1655mgPotassium: 1473mgFiber: 12gSugar: 23gVitamin A: 2380IUVitamin C: 178.3mgCalcium: 133mgIron: 5.7mg
Keyword biryani recipes, how to make biryani?, what to make with cauliflower rice?
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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    1. Yes, you can absolutely make this in the Dutch Oven. Your cook time might be a little less than what I mention in the recipe. I think you might have it ready in just 30 minutes, depending on your Dutch oven. Try it and let me know how long it took you to make it. Thank you, Sara

  1. I love this. I have made cauliflower pizza crust and mashed potatoes but haven’t tried rice. Will have to do this.