Biryani is one of India's most popular and flavourful dish.
It's not hard to see why: it's a plate full of aromatic basmati rice, spices, and veggies.
People typically think vegans can't eat biryani, but it can be easily made vegan. Removing the meat or dairy from this dish does not remove the explosive flavour and distinct taste everyone craves. You can replace the chicken, but there's no replacing ingredients like basmati rice, onion, ginger, garlic, coriander, garam masala, cinnamon, cardamom, and red chili powder!
For the rice:
For the biryani gravy:
Rinse the basmati rice under cold water until the water runs clear. Soak the rice in water for 30 minutes, then drain and set aside.
In your pressure cooker, heat the vegetable oil or vegan butter over medium heat. Add cumin seeds and let them splutter.
Add the sliced onions and sauté until they turn golden brown.
Stir in the ginger-garlic paste and chopped green chili. Cook for a minute until the raw smell disappears.
Add the chopped vegetables and cook for a few minutes until they are slightly tender.
Mix in the chopped tomatoes, turmeric powder, red chili powder, ground coriander, ground cumin, and salt. Cook until the tomatoes become soft and the oil starts to separate.
Lower the heat and add the vegan curd, chopped mint leaves, and chopped coriander. Stir well to combine and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
Add the partially cooked basmati rice on top of the gravy in an even layer. Spread the rice evenly and press it down gently with the back of a spoon.
Pour 2 cups of water over the rice and gravy mixture.
Close the pressure cooker with its and cook until you hear it whistle once.
After the first whistle, reduce the heat to low and let the biryani cook for 5-7 minutes more.
Turn off the heat and allow the pressure to release naturally from the cooker.
Open the pressure cooker, gently fluff the biryani with a fork, and garnish with fried onions, chopped coriander, and mint leaves.