< 30 Minute



Vegan Dum Biryani – Spicy & Aromatic.

Vegan Dum Biryani – Spicy & Aromatic.

I have just three words to describe this vegetable dum biryani – flavourful, aromatic, and delicious. This is the creation of love, time, and a lot of patience. Isn’t it similar to marriage? Well, good things happen when these three things combine.

Story Time

Jatin loves dum biryani. It is one of his favorite recipes. He is not a big fan of rice but he can have dum biryani every week. There are a few things that are so close to his heart that he tries to replicate the same restaurant-style taste at home. One of those recipes is this vegetable dum biryani. Other recipes are – ghewar, masala dosa, and Pindi chole.

He tried to make vegetable dum biryani at home but sometimes the spices were not balanced, and sometimes the rice didn’t have that nice flavor. After a few attempts, he lost the battle. Then, entered his wife – Me 🙂 I tried to replicate the taste which he likes – Reddy’s Dum Biryani. He enjoyed the biryani which I made for him. No complaints. But it was not like Reddy’s Dum Biryani. I tried more. And one day, he loved it so much and in the end, he said – It is like Reddy’s Biryani. Ahhhhhh…MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

It makes me wonder, do I live to impress him with food? Hmmmm…

Anyway, this time I thought to make the vegan version of his favorite Sabz Dum Biryani. I know it will create a lot of controversies but I think my vegan friends deserve this deliciously made biryani recipe. You are going to love it a lot. It is my guarantee.

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Tips to Make it Right

1 – Marination

Marination is not just coating the vegetables with some spices and curd mixture and using it in the recipe. It needs time to develop more flavors. Resting time is important. We add some acidic ingredients to the marination (like curd) because it helps the flavors to seep into the cut vegetables. And this process takes some time. That is why, whenever you marinate, be it vegetables in dum biryani or paneer in paneer tikka masala, always let it rest for at least 30 minutes. No Shortcut!

2 – Rice

Cooking the right perfectly is as important as choosing the right kind of rice for dum biryani. If you can manage to get long grain biryani rice, use that. Otherwise, you can use any long grain rice for this recipe. But while cooking, make sure they don’t break or become mushy. DO NOT stir continuously. Wash the rice gently. Otherwise, the grains will break. Do not overcook them.

How to make flavourful rice for biryani?

You need to partially cook the rice, till they are 80% cooked. Rest cooking happens in dum. But the excitement of eating biryani vanishes if the rice is not flavourful enough. For that, make sure the water in which you are boiling the rice is salted enough. It should taste like seawater. Otherwise, the rice grains in biryani feel bland in taste. Also, add some whole spices to the boiling water. That way, the rice grains get all the flavors and aroma which makes the biryani even more delicious.

How do we make sure that rice is non-sticky when cooked?

There are two things that you need to do. First, while adding rice to the boiling water, add some lemon juice too. Lemon juice prevents the rice grains from sticking to each other. Also, once they are 80% cooked, drain off the water and transfer the rice to a large plate, and spread evenly. This cools down the rice fast resulting in non-sticky rice grains.

3 – Slow Cooking

I say this a lot and I am saying it again – PATIENCE is the key. Yes. To get the most flavourful biryani, you need to let it slow cook for a long time. There is no room for hurriedness. Otherwise, you will end up with a spicy vegetable pulao and not a delicious dum biryani.

Other recipes that need slow cooking are – Dhaba style dal makhani, Pindi Chole. Patience is the key to getting the most out of these recipes. So, take a deep breath and then start cooking.

4 – Fragrance

We had the best biryani of our life in a hotel. I don’t remember the name of the hotel but they had some Afghani festival going on and they were serving some delicious Afghani food at that time. We ordered vegetable biryani there and when the waiter got our order, the aroma was something which we still remember. The fragrance of rose water was so good and distinct. I tried to replicate the same aroma at home using pure rose water or by adding a lot of rose water to the biryani. It doesn’t work.

What worked is this trick – add rose water once the biryani is done. Yes. You read it right. There is no point in adding rose water while biryani is cooking. When you cook the biryani for such a long time, the aroma of rose water just fades away. The fragrance of all the spices becomes more dominant. That is why always finish off the cooked biryani with some rose water. It leaves a nice, distinct aroma in your home-cooked biryani.

How to cook Dum Biryani at home?

There are various methods of cooking dum biryani at home.

  1. Cooking Stove – If you are making biryani on a gas stove or induction stove, use a heavy bottom, deep-pan, or cooker. Follow the recipe as given and after layering the biryani, cover the pan and seal it completely. There should not be any hole or any space from where the steam can escape. If you are using a pressure cooker, cover it using a heavy plate and not the pressure cooker lid. Seal the edges using the dough. Then, I prefer to put the pan on a heavy bottom flat pan or tawa and slow cook for 1 to 2 hours. This ensures slow cooking without burning the bottom.
  2. Instant Pot – I make biryani in Instant Pot. After layering, I simply choose the slow cook mode and cook it for 1.5 hours. This is easy and since it is so perfectly locked and no steam escapes, it retains the flavor and aroma well.
  3. Oven – You can also make biryani in the oven too. Just cook everything on the stove and then layer in an oven-safe dish. Cover with the aluminum foil and then cook at a low temperature. I never tried it so I can not give the exact details. But, this is totally doable.

veg dum biryani

How to serve Dum Biryani?

Biryani tastes amazing with some thinly sliced onions on the side and some cucumbers too. Although, cucumber makes the flavor a little less spicy. I like it but Jatin prefers just some onions with biryani. We also enjoy this vegan dum biryani with some boondi raita or curd which I make using plant-based curd. It tastes so amazing. I am drooling. I am going to make it tomorrow.

Easy Swaps

  1. Vegetables: Use any vegetable of your choice. Just make sure to cut them into bigger pieces else they may become mushy after cooking.
  2. Rice: I used basmati rice for the recipe but you can use any long grain rice. You can even substitute the white rice with brown rice or barley.
  3. Soy Curd: Use any plant-based curd of your choice. If you are not vegan, use any dairy curd.
  4. Vegan Butter: Use any vegan butter of your choice. Or you can even use vegan ghee. If you are not vegan, use ghee instead.
  5. Oat Milk: Use any plant-based milk of your choice. If you are not vegan, use cow milk of your choice.

Is this recipe vegan?

Yes. This recipe is vegan and made with plant-based ingredients. But if you are not vegan and looking for a vegetarian Dum Biryani, you can check out this recipe – Sabz Dum Biryani.

More Indian Recipes to try

  1. Punjabi Rajma Masala
  2. Dum Aloo
  3. Hara Bhara Kebab

Now you are all ready to make this delicious vegetable dum biryani (vegan) at home. It is perfect for lunch or brunch over the weekend. So, grab all the ingredients because you are ready to make a happy meal for yourself.

If you like the recipe, please share the photo on Instagram and tag us too @marriedfriends. We love to see your recreation of our recipes.

Happy Cooking 🙂

Love from us

Richa & Jatin

Vegan Dum Biryani – Spicy & Aromatic.

Delicious. Aromatic. Flavourful.

Biryani is the result of a lot of love and patience. Only then does it tastes good. And what better way of making it than by showing some love for plant-based products. This vegan dum biryani is absolutely delicious, flavorful, and extremely aromatic. You will love it. 



15 min

Prep Time

2 hr

Cook Time

2 hr 15 min

Total Time




Boiled Rice




  1. Cut all the vegetables into bigger pieces otherwise, they will become mushy on cooking.
  2. Put them in a bowl along with mint leaves. Add biryani masala, salt and soy curd.
  3. Mix and coat all the veggies well with the marination.
  4. Cover and let them rest for at least 30 minutes. The resting time develops more flavor. 
Saffron Milk
  1. In a bowl, add saffron strands and 1/4 Cup Oat Milk. Mix and let it rest till saffron releases its color. 
Boiled Rice
  1. Take some water in a pan. Add salt to it. Add a lot of salt so that the water tastes like seawater. 
  2. Add whole spices - bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon, star anise, black cardamom, black pepper, green cardamom, and cumin seeds. Let the water boil.
  3. Once the water starts boiling, add pre-soaked rice and lemon juice. Cook till the rice is 80 percent done/cooked. It takes a few minutes. 
  4. Lemon juice prevents the rice from sticking.
  5. Drain off the water. 
  6. Transfer the rice to a large plate so that it cools down quickly. Remove the whole spices if they bother you while eating. 
  7. Rice is done. Keep it aside.
  1. Blend onion, garlic, and ginger until you get a smooth paste. Add water if needed. Keep it aside.
  2. Make a paste of tomatoes. Keep it aside.
  3. Heat some oil in a pan. (I am cooking biryani in my Instant Pot). 
  4. Add cumin seeds and let them sizzle for a few seconds.
  5. Add onion paste and mix well. Cook until the moisture is evaporated and onions are slightly brown and well cooked. It takes around 5 to 7 minutes.
  6. Add tomato puree, red chili powder, and turmeric powder. Mix well. Cook till all the moisture is evaporated and it starts to release oil. 
  7. Once the tomato is well cooked, add the marinated veggies. Mix well and cook until veggies are soft enough and 80 percent cooked. Keep stirring in between.
  8. Once veggies are done, take out half of the veggies in a bowl and now we will layer the biryani. 
  1. Spread the veggies in the pan. Top it up with half of the cooked rice. Then add a layer of chopped coriander and mint leaves. On top of that goes some fried onions and melted vegan butter.
  2. Repeat the same for one more layer. 
  3. Finish it off with 3/4 cup oat milk and saffron milk. 
  4. Close the lid and slow cook for 1.5 hours. Do not open the lid in between.
  5. After 1.5 hrs, open the lid and finish it off with some rose water. Your biryani is ready to be served. Enjoy it with some thinly sliced onions and curd. 

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