Don't make cooking an exact science - that's just boring

Wholegrain Rice Roasted Veg Biriyani

Traditionally biriyani is a luxurious rice and meat dish. Fragranced with saffron and rose water, cooked with heaps of ghee (clarified butter) and given substance with lamb or chicken which is marinated generously in a spicy yogurt and cooked over a charcoal grill before being added to a simmering pot of rice, veg and spices.

This is my healthier, time efficient, but no less tasty take on the famous biriyani. It’ beautiful golden colour comes from paprika, turmeric and red chilli powder, which also gives the dish a gorgeous flavour. The broccoli and sweet potato are roasted with cumin and coriander powder, adding both texture and a deep savoury flavour. The use of sweet potato instead of regular potato is a lovely twist, and really adds good balance in terms of the flavours.

I love to add cashews or peanuts for some crunch and variance in texture. You can absolutely use white rice but I prefer to use wholegrain, richer in fibre and is in keeping with the light/ healthier eating I prefer.

For me the only way to eat biriyani is to finish it off in the oven, leaving you with slightly toasted rice and veg on the top and served with some yogurt (dairy free of course).   Simple, beautiful and nutritious!

Wholegrain Rice Roasted Veg Biriyani
Serves 6
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr
335 calories
52 g
0 g
11 g
9 g
1 g
261 g
753 g
7 g
0 g
9 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 335
Calories from Fat 92
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 11g
Saturated Fat 1g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 6g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 753mg
Total Carbohydrates 52g
Dietary Fiber 6g
Sugars 7g
Protein 9g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. • 1 large sweet potato, medium cubed
  2. • Florets of 1 broccoli
  3. • 1.5 tbsp ground cumin and coriander powder
  4. • Salt for seasoning the broccoli and coriander
  5. • 1 tbsp vegetable or sunflower oil and a little extra for lightly coating the broccoli and potato
  6. • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  7. • 2 white onions, small dice
  8. • 1.5 carrots, medium dice
  9. • 2 peppers (colours of your choice), medium dice
  10. • ½ cup frozen peas (I prefer to use petit pois)
  11. • ½ cup frozen sweetcorn
  12. • ½ cup peanuts or cashews
  13. • ½ tbsp turmeric
  14. • ½ tbsp paprika
  15. • ½ tbsp red chilli powder
  16. • ½ tbsp. salt
  17. • 1 ¼ cup wholegrain rice
  18. • Just enough water to cover the rice and veg
  1. Pre-heat oven at 200°.
  2. Lightly coat the sweet potato cubes with just enough oil to cover them. Season with salt and place in the oven for 10mins.
  3. Remove the sweet potato tray from the oven. Add the broccoli and 1 tbsp of ground cumin and coriander. Toss to ensure an even coating and if necessary add a little extra oil to coat the broccoli.
  4. Roast for a further 10mins or just until the sweet potato starts to turn golden around the edges and the broccoli slightly browns.
  5. Whilst the sweet potato and broccoli are roasting, pre-heat 1 tbsp of oil in a wide and deep pan on medium heat.
  6. Add the cumin seeds and wait for them to sizzle before adding the onions, carrots, peppers, peas, sweetcorn and cashews or peanuts. Let these gently cook for 4-5mins before adding the turmeric, paprika and red chilli powder. Mix well and let the mixture cook for a further 2-3minutes, allowing the rawness from the spices to cook a way.
  7. Next, add the rice, salt and just enough water to cover the rice and veg. Mix well and reduce the heat to medium low.
  8. Cover the rice so that it is almost fully covered, leaving a small gap. Leave for 20mins.
  9. After 20mins, stir gently and check the rice has cooked through and that it has fully absorbed the water. If necessary cook for a few more minutes/ add water as necessary.
  10. Once cooked, gently toss in the roasted sweet potato and broccoli.
  11. Eat as it is or serve with a simple daal or dairy free yogurt.
Sweet Chilli Kitchen
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