Packed full of veggies and flavour, this Instant Pot vegetable biryani is a simple yet delicious meal that's just perfect for a busy weeknight. The fragrant spices blend well with the rice and vegetables to create a blast of exciting flavour.
Biryani is a traditional Indian dish that's super aromatic and always a crowd-pleaser.
It boasts vibrant colours and amazing flavours, and this Instant Pot vegetable biryani retains all the appeal of authentic biryani.
This Instant Pot veg biryani speeds up the process of making this rice-based dish.
Thanks to the magic of pressure cooking, you can have a delicious bowl of vegan biryani in your hands in just 30 minutes!
Why you'll love this Instant Pot vegetable biryani
- You can very easily make this vegan biryani your own by using whatever veggies you've got in your fridge.
- You can make it as spicy as you like.
- It's a super flavourful yet simple meal that's ready in just 30 minutes.
Ingredients and substitutions
Oil — Use any kind of vegetable oil here, like grapeseed, canola, or avocado oil. This is not a recipe where you can skip the oil because you need to fry the cumin seeds in it.
Onion — I used red onion in this vegan biryani, but white or yellow onions are also fine here.
Garlic and ginger — Freshly chopped garlic and ginger are always best in recipes like this. However, if a paste is all you have, you can use that instead.
Red chilli pepper — Deseed the red chilli pepper if you don't want your veg biryani to be too spicy.
Fresh tomatoes — If you don't have any fresh tomatoes, you can substitute them with half a can of diced tomatoes.
Vegetables — I made this biryani with a mix of bell pepper, cauliflower, green beans and potatoes, but this is the kind of recipe where you can use any vegetables you have on hand.
Ideas include jackfruit, aubergines, corn, mushrooms, peas, broad beans and broccoli.
Rice — Basmati rice is perfect for this biryani. You don't have to soak it before adding it to the Instant Pot, but make sure you rinse and drain it.
How to make vegan biryani in the Instant Pot
Set the Instant Pot to "Saute" and wait until you see "Hot" on the display, then add the canola oil. Once the oil is hot, add the cumin seeds, cardamom pods and bay leaves and cook until the cumin seeds start to sizzle.
Next, stir in the red onion and cook for 1-2 minutes.
Add the garlic, ginger and red chilli pepper and continue to cook for another minute.
Stir in all the spices and salt and cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Turn off the "sauté" function.
Add the tomatoes, bell pepper, green beans, cauliflower and potatoes and stir to combine.
Next, stir in the rice and water.
Set the Instant Pot to High Pressure for 5 minutes. When the timer goes off, allow the pressure to release naturally for 5 minutes, then release the rest of the pressure manually.
Open the lid carefully and fluff the rice with a fork. Serve immediately, topped with fresh coriander if you like.
Recipe notes and tips
- Before serving, you can sprinkle the biryani with raisins, toasted cashews, and freshly chopped coriander.
- Stir in some coconut cream right at the end to make this biryani creamier.
- This veg biryani is best served immediately. leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to three days and can be reheated in the microwave.
If you liked this Instant Pot vegetable biryani, you might also like some of my other vegan Indian recipes:
- Vegan Chickpea and Lentil Curry
- Easy Vegan Butter Chicken
- Creamy Chana Masala
- Vegan Butter Chickpeas
- Easy Jeera Rice (Cumin Rice)