Quick & Easy Vegan Biryani with Aubergine

Author: Liz Sinner

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Quick & Easy Vegan Biryani with Aubergine

If you’ve been wondering how to make vegan biryani with all the complex flavours of this classic dish, look no further.

Packed full of warming spices and ready to eat in just 30 minutes, this easy vegan biryani recipe is a great one-pot dinner for midweek meals.

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Biryani is an Indian mixed rice dish that’s typically made with rice, Indian spices like cumin and coriander, and usually some sort of meat.

Every Indian household has its own way of preparing this classic dish using its preferred ingredients and flavourings.

To make this vegan biryani recipe, we’ve swapped the meat for aubergine (a trick that works in many vegan aubergine recipes), and carrot to make a healthy vegan dinner the whole family will enjoy.

Plus, unlike a traditional biryani which can take hours to cook if meat is added, this quick vegan biryani is ready to eat in just 30 minutes.

To start, soak the rice in cold water for 25 minutes to allow the grains to cook more evenly. While the rice soaks, you’ll fry the onions and herbs along with the tomato, aubergine, carrot, and peas.

After a few minutes, season the vegetables with spices and salt before layering the vegetable mix with rice and covering it with stock. It’s important to make sure the stock covers the rice to make sure it stays soft and tender when cooked.

In 15 minutes time, you’ll have a deliciously flavoursome vegan biryani ready to enjoy with a little mango chutney and vegan raita.

Total Time: 30 minutes

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Servings: 2


Total Time: 30 minutes

Servings: 2




(Servings: 2)

  • 90 90 g Basmati rice
  • 0.5 0.5 onion
  • 0.5 0.5 garlic clove
  • 1.5 1.5 cm fresh ginger
  • 1 1 carrots
  • 0.5 0.5 small aubergine
  • 37.5 37.5 g peas
  • 0.5 0.5 tomato
  • 50 50 g soy yoghurt
  • 187.5 187.5 ml vegetable stock
  • 1 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1.5 1.5 cardamom pods
  • 1 1 cloves
  • 1 1 bay leaves
  • 2 2 stalks of fresh mint
  • 1 1 stalks of fresh coriander
  • 0.25 0.25 tsp chilli powder
  • 0.125 0.125 tsp ground turmeric
  • 0.125 0.125 tsp ground cumin
  • 0.125 0.125 tsp ground coriander
  • 0.125 0.125 tsp cinnamon
  • 0.5 0.5 tsp garam masala
  • 1.5 1.5 saffron threads
  • 0.5 0.5 Tbsp tomato paste
  • Salt, to taste


  1. Soak the rice in cold water for about 25-30 minutes. Drain and set aside for later.
  2. Finely chop the onion and the fresh mint and coriander. Finely grate the garlic clove and ginger. Cut the aubergine, tomato, and carrots into bite-sized cubes, and set everything aside for later.
  3. Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan that can be covered with a lid. Fry the cardamom pods, cloves and bay leaves for 2 minutes. Add the onion and fry for another 3-5 minutes until it is translucent. 
  4. Add the ginger, garlic, aubergine, carrot and peas to the onion, and fry for about 2 minutes. Add the tomato cubes, tomato paste, fresh herbs, spices and soy yoghurt, and fry for another 2 minutes. Season to perfection with salt.
  5. Spread the vegetables to a layer and layer the drained rice on top. Pour in the vegetable stock, starting on the side and then in the centre. Make sure that the rice is completely covered. (Do not mix!)
  6. Cover the pan and let simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes. Uncover and simmer for another 5 minutes. (This can change depending on the type of rice you are using, so make sure that the rice is cooked through. Add more vegetable stock if needed).
  7. Garnish with fresh coriander and mint. Serve with mango chutney or vegan raita. Enjoy!

Rice is a staple ingredient for many, but it can be tricky to cook.

Check out our top tips and learn how to cook rice.

Written by

Liz Sinner

Since completing her undergraduate BSc(Hons) in Health, Nutrition and Exercise Science, Liz has been sharing her vegan recipes to show people that you don’t need to compromise on taste when cooking plant-based meals.

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