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Mushroom biryani in a small dish, there's mushrooms on top of the rice and peppers and chillies are visible. There's a small pot of star anise to the left and other condiments around the bowl, such as sauce, coconut shavings and chutney

Simple Mushroom Biryani In 40 Minutes

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.
Course Dinner
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 411kcal
Author Jess & Dan


  • 7.25 cups water
  • 1.5 cups 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 powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 500 g 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


  • Preheat the oven to 190°C/Gas Mark 5.
  • 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.
    7.25 cups water, 1.5 cups brown basmati rice, 2 bay leaves, 4 cloves, 1 star anise, 1 cinnamon stick, 4 cardamom pods
  • 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 whole spices once done. 
  • While the rice cooks, grab a sauté pan and fry the onions for 15 minutes. Keep them moving, they should become translucent and slightly brown.
    2 onions
  • Add the ginger, garlic, powdered spices (turmeric and garam masala) and fresh chillies to the onions and mix well.
    4 cloves of garlic, 1 tbsp ginger, 1 tsp turmeric powder, 1 tsp garam masala, 2 green chillies
  • Pop in the mushrooms and cook for a further 5 minutes. 
    500 g mushrooms
  • Chuck the part-cooked rice into the pan and give it all a good stir so it’s all well combined.
    1.5 cups brown basmati rice
  • Grease the stock pot or casserole dish with the vegan butter.
    2 tbsp vegan butter
  • 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.
    2 tbsp vegan butter
  • 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. 
  • 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.
    1 cup peas, 2 peppers
  • Season to taste, and serve with toasted almonds or peanuts, desiccated coconut, fresh coriander and biryani gravy.
    Fresh coriander, Desiccated coconut, Toasted almonds, Peanuts


  • 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.


Calories: 411kcal | Carbohydrates: 78g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 159mg | Potassium: 816mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 773IU | Vitamin C: 73mg | Calcium: 90mg | Iron: 3mg