This cauliflower rice biryani is a healthier take on the traditional vegetable rice biryani. Instead of using the traditional basmati rice, I put fresh homemade cauliflower rice. Its now one of my favorite Indian recipes ever
Being a Basmati rice fanatic, using cauliflower rice was a huge mind shift change.
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.
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.
– Mustard Seeds
– Cumin Seeds
– Curry Leaves
– Red chili powder
– Garam masala
– Coriander-cumin powder
– Coconut flakes
– Cauliflower rice
– Small red potatoes
– Bell peppers
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 recipe?
Parting thoughts on this cauliflower rice biryani
P/S I hid kale in this recipe again, just like I did with my spicy kale hummus! Shhh! Don’t tell anyone.
The garnish in this recipe is the real star. I used sweet coconut shavings, almonds, cashews, red onions and raisins. It really makes a difference in this rice. So, unlike my other recipes, I am insisting that the garnish is not optional! Do not skimp on the garnish.
Don’t be surprised if you see more recipes using cauliflower rice show up on this blog in the future. I really liked how this vegan biryani turned out. It was smooth in texture and was really fun to eat.
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.
That’s a lot of spices!
But, they all work so well together!
So, what’s your favorite way to use cauliflower rice?
Cauliflower Rice Biryani Recipe
Cauliflower Rice Biryani Recipe
- 2 Tbsp Canola Oil
- 1 tsp Black Mustard seeds
- 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
- 2 Curry Leaves Optional
- 1 Tbsp Turmeric
- 1 Tbsp Vegan Cane Sugar
- 1.5 tsp Red Chili Powder
- 1/4 Red Onion Julienne
- 2 Thai Chili Pepper Optional, cut into small pieces
- 1.5 Tbsp Garlic crushed or shredded
- 1 Tbsp Ginger crushed or shredded
- 1 tsp Cardamom Seeds
- 3 Mini Sweet Peppers Julienned, I used 2 orange and 1 red colored
- 2 tsp Salt
- 1 Cup Baby Potatoes See Notes
- 1/2 Cup Kale finely chopped
- 1 Cup Baby Sweet Peas Add frozen, do not thaw
- 8 Oz Tomato Sauce 1 small can, Unsalted
- 3 Tbsp Water
- 1 Tbsp Coriander-Cumin Powder
- 1.5 tsp Garam Masala
- 5 Cups Cauliflower Rice About 3/4 of a small cauliflower head
- 1/4 Cup Coconut Milk
- 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