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
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.
Sure, I looooove my Basmati rice. But, occasionally, I will sneak in this cauliflower rice into my meals.
So, how to rice cauliflower? Its really easy, I have discovered.
My local grocery store sells cauliflower crumbles which were great for my vegan alfredo sauce. However, I find that making fresh cauliflower rice is always the best way to go.
I took cauliflower crowns and used the grind option in my food processor. When it became very fine, I knew it was ready! It works great in a blender too. They have the consistency of couscous which works so well in a biryani recipe
Cauliflower rice cooks much faster, so, I spend less time in the kitchen. That’s always a plus!
Let’s talk about frozen cauliflower rice. I tried to make it from frozen cauliflower floret before and after thawing them. It was a soggy mess and it was the worst thing ever!
So, I think its better to make fresh cauliflower rice and then freeze it. It works better that way and when I use it in the future, its not a soggy mess. My one tip is to not thaw it when using it in a recipe. Instead, add it to your recipe frozen and let the heat from your stove do the work. It won’t be a soggy mess.
Incidentally, I found that I can make cauliflower rice without a blender or a food processor. All I need is a good, sharp knife. I cut into small pieces and then used the knife to finely chop the cauliflower. Its a little more work then what a blender or processor can do, but, it still works.
Vegetable biryani is very close to pulao or pilaf. The main differnce is that biryani has a tomato gravy base and yogurt in it. I made a tomato gravy, but, I used coconut milk instead of yogurt. I tried it with vegan yogurt and even vegan tzatziki. But, it didn’t turn out well. The vegan yogurt made all the ingredients clump together which is never good.
So, to keep this recipe vegan, I used coconut milk. Or, feel free to use regular or Greek yogurt instead. Either way, it will be delicious.
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 perfectly blended with vegetables and spices
- 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
- 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.