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A small white bowl on a chopping board full with orange biryani gravy, there's also spoons, desiccated coconut and herbs on small dishes

Perfect Biryani Gravy in 7 Easy Steps

  • Author: Jess Saunders
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 35
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


Serve this biryani gravy with your favourite biryani for a fragrant and sumptuous sauce that will really bring the meal together! Ready in just 35 minutes and 7 easy to follow steps.


  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 white onion - peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes - roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic - peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 green chillies - leave them whole, but prick them with a fork or a sharp knife a few times so that more flavour is released.
  • ¼ cup desiccated coconut.
  • 2 tbsp peanuts (unsalted).
  • 1 tsp garam masala - if you can find any, biryani masala works really well but it can be a bit tough to get hold of!
  • 1 tsp cumin.
  • ½ tsp turmeric.
  • 2 bay leaves.
  • 2 star anise.
  • 4 cardamom pods.
  • 2 cups of veg stock - vegan chicken stock works well too.
  • 2 tbsp of plain vegan yoghurt (plain coconut yoghurt is best)


  1. Pop the oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Fry the chopped onion gently for 15 minutes. Keep them moving in order to prevent burning.
  2. Once 15 minutes has passed, add the garlic, desiccated coconut, peanuts, chillies and tomato to the pan. Cook until the coconut and peanuts are toasted. Careful not to burn them, so keep them moving in the pan.
  3. Remove everything from the pan and pour into a blender with ¼ of a cup of water. Blend until smooth. Optionally add one or two of the chillies to the blender, or omit them completely depending on your taste.
  4. Take the saute pan again and add a splash of oil, and fry all of the spices (garam masala, cumin, turmeric, star anise, and cardamom) until fragrant. Now put the blended mix back into the pan with the powdered spices. Stir well and cook for another minute.
  5. Pour in the stock and pop the bay leaves in too.
  6. Turn the heat up and simmer gently for 20 minutes, keeping the lid off. The sauce will thicken slightly.
  7. Remove from the heat, and stir in the plant-based yoghurt.


Pricking the chillies with a fork allows them to release flavour without adding too much spice to the mix.

When it comes to blending the mixture, you can choose to add one or two of the green chillies, or omit them if you don’t want them added. The sauce is quite mild as the chillies used are not particularly hot. It’s up to you whether you want them blended too. We think it’s better with them blended.

If you can get biryani masala, you can use that instead of the garam masala as it’s traditional.

Vegan chicken stock is great in this gravy, instead of the veg stock.

If you can’t find all of the whole spices, use their powdered equivalents. This recipe works best with the whole spices so try to stick to the suggested items.

  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stove-top
  • Cuisine: Indian

Keywords: biryani gravy, biryani gravy recipe, biryani sauce

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