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Close up of mushroom biryani on a white oval plate that's being held up by Dan who is wearing a leopard print t-shirt and holding a blue tea towel

Simple Mushroom Biryani In 40 Minutes

  • Author: Jess Saunders
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 40
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


This mushroom biryani is a vegan take on the Indian classic that only takes 40 minutes to cook! It's a quicker version in comparison to traditional methods, but it's still packed full with flavour.


  • 7.25 cups of water.
  • 1.5 cups of brown basmati rice
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 cardamom pods - crushed using the end of a knife, so that they just pop open.
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 star anise
  • 2 onions - peeled and thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves of garlic - peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp ginger - peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 green chillies - chopped finely
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • Cinnamon stick
  • 500g mushrooms - quartered
  • 2 peppers - one orange and one green – chopped into very small cubes
  • 1 cup peas
  • 2 tbsp vegan butter (like Vitalite or Earth Balance) (optional) and vegan butter for greasing


  • Fresh coriander
  • Desiccated coconut
  • Toasted almonds
  • Peanuts


  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/Gas Mark 5.
  2. Start by adding the rice, water and whole spices (bay leaves, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon stick and star anise) to a large casserole pot and bringing it up to a gentle simmer on the stove.
  3. Cook for 15 minutes, or 6 minutes if using white basmati rice (which cooks quicker than brown basmati rice). The rice will be al dente by the time the 15 minutes (or 6 minutes) is up. Drain and remove the spices once done. 
  4. While the rice cooks, grab a saute pan and fry the onions for 15 minutes. Keep them moving, they should become translucent and slightly brown.
  5. Add the ginger, garlic and powdered spices (chilli, turmeric and garam masala) to the onions and mix well.
  6. Pop in the mushrooms and cook for a further 5 minutes. 
  7. Chuck the part-cooked rice into the pan and give it all a good stir so it’s all well combined.
  8. Grease the stock pot or casserole dish with the vegan butter.
  9. Fill the dish with all of the Biryani mixture, and pour over ¼ of a cup of water and an optional 2 tbsp of melted vegan butter.
  10. Pop the dish into the oven with the lid on for 10 minutes. This allows the rice to steam and cook fully, and take on more flavour. 
  11. Take the dish from the oven and add the peas and peppers. Stir it all gently, then put the lid back on but leave the dish out of the oven. Leave it to stand, lid on, for 10 minutes so the vegetables can steam from the remaining heat in the dish.
  12. Season to taste, and serve with toasted almonds or peanuts, desiccated coconut, fresh coriander and biryani gravy.


You can use biryani masala if you have it, but this can be difficult to get hold of! 

7 cups seems like a lot of water, but it’s to allow the rice to infuse with the flavours of the whole spices.

Mushrooms - don’t wash them with water before cooking. Instead wipe them with a kitchen towel. Mushrooms are very porous so washing with water will mean that they’ll take on extra water. We want them to remain firm once cooked, and water doesn’t help this!

This recipe is mild, but you can use one less chilli to make it milder. You can also remove the seeds and membranes from the chilli to remove the heat from them.

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

Keywords: mushroom biryani, mushroom biryani recipe

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