I took inspiration from traditional biryani to make this lighter cauliflower rice biryani. Curried cauliflower rice, veggies, and Indian flavors make this nutritious and flavorful recipe a winner!
Normally, vegetable biryani is a richly spiced layered dish of rice, spices, veggies, and a creamy element like yogurt. Often it is baked as a casserole.
My love for cauliflower rice runs deep, and plus it’s been a few weeks since my last cauliflower recipe! So I thought with the summer months coming up I’d make a lighter and faster twist on biryani. I substituted finely chopped cauliflower for the rice and converted it into a stovetop dish. Ready in around 30 minutes and made with what will be pantry ingredients for many of you.
This Indian cauliflower rice biryani would be perfect served with a nice bowl of coconut chickpea curry or another vegetarian entree or side.
For a paleo cauliflower biryani, all you need to do is omit the green peas and choose paleo-friendly veggies. I would recommend adding some roasted cashews or something else for a little more heft to replace the peas. Otherwise, this biryani without rice is already grain-free, gluten-free, free of added sugar, and soy-free.
I hope you enjoy this spiced cauliflower “rice” dish, and if you share it on Instagram, please tag me with @yupitsvegan so that I can see!
Cauliflower Rice Biryani
Cauliflower rice biryani is a fresh and summery twist on vegan vegetable biryani, made with seasonal veggies, spices, green peas, and tons of flavor. Naturally gluten-free, grain-free, soy-free, nut-free, and paleo.
- 1 head cauliflower roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp neutral oil
- 1 red onion thinly sliced
- 1 hot green chile finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 inch ginger minced or grated
- 1/2 cup green peas (fresh or frozen & thawed) (omit if paleo)
- 1 cup chopped mixed vegetables (I used green beans and red bell peppers)
- 2 tbsp raisins (regular or golden)
- 2 tbsp dried currants (or use more raisins)
- 1/3 cup plain, unsweetened non-dairy yogurt
- fresh cilantro (optional, for serving)
Add the cauliflower to a food processor. Pulse the food processor several times, stopping to stir the cauliflower as needed, until the cauliflower is chopped into small pieces about the size of grains of rice. Set aside.
Mix together all of your spices so that they're ready to go. Warm the olive oil over medium-low heat in a large, wide skillet. Add the onion, chile, garlic and ginger. Stir and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is starting to brown, 4-6 minutes.
Add the spices and cook for about 60 seconds until fragrant. Stir in the green peas, mixed vegetables, and "riced" cauliflower. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for about 7-9 more minutes or until the cauliflower is cooked through and the other veggies are cooked to your liking.
Reduce the heat to low and fish out the bay leaf from the dish. Stir in the non-dairy yogurt, currants and raisins. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste (I add a good deal more salt at this stage), and additional yogurt if desired. Continue to cook until warmed throughout, and then serve hot.
YOGURT: If you can't access unsweetened dairy-free yogurt, you can also use 1/4 cup plain non-dairy milk with a few teaspoons of lemon juice added; or use 1/2 cup cashew cream with lemon.