kerala biryani (with vegetables)

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Veg Kerala biryani recipe with step by step photos – another post of a biryani recipe. Full of flavors, aroma and delicately spiced veg Kerala biryani recipe.

veg kerala biryani, malabar biryani

At home we love rice based dishes like pulao and biryani. Of course biryanis always top the list. Being a one pot meal, I don’t have to cook anything else with biryani. Just a side vegetable raita will do.

I generally don’t experiment much with veg biryanis. usually I make this Hyderabadi veg dum biryani or my mom’s veg biryani recipe. One time I tried this Restaurant style veg dum biryani recipe which was more restaurant style. And I have making this version also a couple of times. Another biryani which I make at times is this Quick vegetable biryani in pressure cooker.

Last time I had experimented with Andhra biryani. I always thought that with all the spices, veggies, yogurt nothing can go wrong in a biryani. But I was wrong. The texture and flavor of the biryani was good. But something was just amiss in the taste. Will again try to develop this one.

Coming to this Kerala biryani recipe. I had bookmarked a recipe of Kerala vegetable biryani in a book from a long time. Just was not getting the time to make this biryani. Whilst the other biryanis have the predominant flavor of yogurt in them, the Kerala biryani has a predominant flavor of coconut milk. The veg gravy is cooked in coconut milk. overall the Kerala biryani is much milder and less in heat since it has less spices than the Tamil Nadu or Hyderabadi veg biryani.

Along with the spices, herbs, cashews and raisins the biryani is mild, delicately balanced in flavors and has a light sweet taste. Again one of the best biryanis. An elaborate process of making this biryani, but worth it. Trust me on that.

To make it easier, I have given step by step pics of the main steps. Some prep work need to be done with making the coconut milk. You can also use store brought coconut milk.

Please include all the ingredients mentioned in this Kerala biryani. Don’t skip. Thats what makes this Kerala biryani really good.

This Kerala biryani recipe is adapted from neeta dutta cook book “1000 great Indian recipes the ultimate book of Indian cuisine”. The book is without pics and just has straight forward recipes, both veg and non vegetarian. But a good book covering Indian cuisine vastly. I have tried some recipes from the book. Except for one veg jalfrezi recipe, all the others have turned out good. But the Kerala biryani rocked.

How to make Kerala biryani

1. First soak 2 cups rice in 4 cups water for 30 mins and then cook till its ¾th done. You can cook in a pan, pressure cooker, microwave or in a rice cooker.

rice for veg Kerala biryani recipe

2. Whilst the rice is cooking, you can prep the veggies and keep them aside. Then heat 4 to 5 tbsp oil and add ½ cup sliced onions. Fry till the onions become light brown.

onions for Kerala biryani recipe

3. Now add ¼ or ½ cup chopped cashews, ¼ cup raisins, 2 sprig curry leaves and fry till the whole mixture becomes golden brown. Make sure you don’t burn the mixture. Fry on a low flame. By the time onions turn golden browned, the cashews, raisins and curry leaves would have also turned browned. In case you can’t do this way, then fry all of them one by one.

add cashews to Kerala biryani recipe

4. Keep this fried mixture aside.

Kerala biryani fried mixture

Making vegetable gravy for Kerala biryani

5. Use the same oil in which we fried the onions etc. Take about 2 to 3 tbsp of this oil in a pan. Add the whole spices – 2 inch cinnamon stick, 7-8 cloves and 4-5 green cardamoms. Fry till the oil becomes fragrant.

spices for Kerala biryani recipe

6. Add the remaining sliced onions and fry till they are lightly golden.

onions for Kerala veg biryani recipe

7. Add 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste and 2 green chilies and fry for a minute.

ginger-garlic paste for Kerala biryani recipe

8. Add the dry spice powders: 1 tsp coriander powder, 1 tsp fennel powder, ½ tsp black pepper powder, ¼ or ½ tsp red chilli powder and ¼ or ½ tsp turmeric powder. Fry for some seconds.

dry spice powders for Kerala biryani recipe

9. Add 2 cups chopped vegetables and stir. Saute for a minute.

vegetables for Kerala biryani recipe

10. Now add 2 cups coconut milk.

coconut milk for vegetable Kerala biryani recipe

11. Stir and then add ½ cup water along with ½ or 1 tbsp lemon juice (or ¼ cup yogurt). If using yogurt, then add at this stage. stir well and add salt. Cover the pan and let the veggies cook. The curry would reduce a bit once the veggies are cooked.

water for vegetable biryani recipe

12. Add the fried onions, cashews, raisins and curry leaves to the cooked rice.

cooked rice for vegetable biryani recipe

13. Once the vegetables are cooked we can start layering the biryani. The curry has cooked now.

layering the Kerala veg biryani recipe

Layering and making Kerala biryani

14. Grease an oven proof pyrex bowl or pan with oil. Layer the vegetable gravy first. Then layer the rice.

making vegetable Kerala biryani recipe

15. Spread the chopped mint & coriander leaves on top. Sprinkle the saffron water. Dot with some oil or ghee.

garnishing Kerala veg biryani recipe

16. Spread another layer of the veg gravy. Now spread the fourth layer of rice. sprinkle the chopped mint & coriander leaves and saffron water. Dot with some oil again. Cover with an aluminium foil.

veg Kerala biryani recipe, Kerala biryani recipe

17. Bake the Kerala biryani in a preheated oven for 200 degrees C at 25-30 mins. The below pic shows biryani after the baking. I prefer to bake biryani rather than dum cook on stovetop as I don’t have to worry about the base layer getting burnt 🙂

vegetable Kerala biryani recipe

18. serve the Kerala biryani with raita. I served with veg raita made from soy yogurt.

vegetable Kerala biryani recipe, vegetable Kerala biryani recipe
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kerala veg biryani

Kerala Biryani

This Malabar Biryani is a mild and delicately spiced vegetable biryani made in coconut milk.
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Cuisine Kerala, South Indian
Course Main Course
Diet Vegan
Difficulty Level Difficult
Servings 4


for the rice

  • 2 cup rice, soaked in 4 cups water
  • ¼ or ½ cup chopped cashewnuts
  • 2 sprig curry leaves
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • ½ cup thinly sliced onions
  • 4 to 5 tablespoon oil
  • a pinch of saffron dissolved in 1.5 tablespoon water or yellow edible color. A pinch of turmeric dissolved in water can also be used.
  • salt as required

for the vegetable gravy

  • 2 cup chopped vegetables - I used small eggplant (brinjal), potato, carrots and peas
  • 1.5 cup thinly sliced onions
  • 2 inch cinnamon stick
  • 7 to 8 cloves
  • 4 to 5 green cardamoms
  • 2 cups Coconut Milk
  • 1 tablespoon Ginger Garlic Paste
  • 2 green chilies, chopped
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder (ground coriander)
  • 1 teaspoon fennel powder (saunf powder)
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper powder
  • ¼ or ½ teaspoon red chilli powder
  • ¼ or ½ teaspoon turmeric powder (ground turmeric)
  • ½ or 1 tablespoon lemon juice or ¼ cup curd (yogurt)
  • ½ tablespoon chopped mint leaves and coriander leaves
  • salt as required



  • First, soak the rice for 30 minutes and then cook till its 3/4th done.
  • Heat oil and add half the sliced onions.
  • Fry till the onions become translucent.
  • Add the cashewnuts, raisins and curry leaves.
  • Fry till the mixture turns golden. Don't burn.
  • Remove and add the fried onions, cashewnuts, raisins and curry leaves to the cooked rice.

making vegetable gravy

  • In another pan, add this leftover oil. Add more oil if required. Heat it.
  • Add the whole spices - cinnamon, cloves and green cardamom.
  • Fry till the oil becomes fragrant.
  • Now, add the remaining onions and fry till light golden.
  • Add the ginger-garlic paste and green chilies. Fry for a minute.
  • Add the dry spice powders and fry for some seconds.
  • Add the mixed vegetables. Sauté for a minute.
  • Add the coconut milk. Stir and then add water along with lemon juice.
  • If using yogurt, then add at this stage. Stir well.
  • Add water. Cover the pan and let the vegetables cook. The gravy will reduce a bit.
  • Once the vegetables are cooked, we can start layering the biryani

layering and making kerala biryani

  • Grease an oven proof bowl or pan with oil.
  • Layer the vegetable gravy first. Then layer the rice.
  • Spread the chopped mint and coriander leaves on top.
  • Sprinkle the saffron water. Dot with some oil.
  • Spread another layer of the vegetable gravy.
  • Now spread the fourth layer of rice.
  • Sprinkle the chopped mint, coriander leaves and saffron water.
  • Dot with some oil again. Cover with an aluminium foil.
  • Bake Kerala Biryani in a preheated oven at 200 degrees C for 25 to 30 minutes.
  • You can also cook the layered biryani in a tightly covered pan on stove top for 25 to 30 minutes.
  • Serve Kerala Biryani hot or warm with raita or kachumber.

Nutrition Info (Approximate values)

Nutrition Facts
Kerala Biryani
Amount Per Serving
Calories 682 Calories from Fat 189
% Daily Value*
Fat 21g32%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 14g
Sodium 716mg31%
Potassium 594mg17%
Carbohydrates 112g37%
Fiber 10g42%
Sugar 14g16%
Protein 13g26%
Vitamin A 4825IU97%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 1mg67%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 1mg59%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 43mg215%
Vitamin B6 1mg50%
Vitamin B12 1µg17%
Vitamin C 92mg112%
Vitamin D 59µg393%
Vitamin E 6mg40%
Vitamin K 6µg6%
Calcium 165mg17%
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 477µg119%
Iron 3mg17%
Magnesium 110mg28%
Phosphorus 251mg25%
Zinc 3mg20%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

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  1. Hi,

    This was a very delicious recipe. Just a quick note. The step by step method with pictures shows the dry ingredients being added, but the printable version has left that out. I ended up dry roasting and adding the spices to the gravy while it was cooking. I was attempting it for the first time and tripling the recipe so did not think about it till it was too late. Will definitely try it again.

    1. thaks pearly. you have a sweet name 🙂 i have made the change in the printable version. thanks for letting me know. even if you dry roast the spice powders then too its fine. so what you did was right 🙂

  2. I need recipe of a rich type of baryani, if you can , I shall really shall appreciate you.
    sajjad basit.

    1. there are quite a number of biryanis posted and some of them are rich too. you can use the google search button on top and type the word ‘biryani’. you will get all the recipes.

  3. Hi Dassana, I made this biryani today. It was so yummy that I still can’t stop licking my fingers ! 🙂 Thanks for this wonderful recipe. Regarding baking this oven, do you generally keep both elements on when baking any dum style biryani or only one element?

    Once again, thanks for this biryani recipe. It is sooo good and I hope all your viewers make this biryani and experience the same happiness that I did ! 🙂5 stars

    1. welcome radhika. glad to read your positive comment. i keep both the heating elements on.

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