Cauliflower 'rice' biryani

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Cauliflower takes the place of the usual rice in Monica's vegetarian biryani recipe, for a lighter, vegetable-centric spin on the traditional Indian biryani dish. For more recipes, check out our list of the 10 best cauliflower recipes.

Cauliflower is one of my favourite vegetables, right up there with kale and broccoli (yes, I’m a glutton for brassicas!). The whole cauliflower 'rice' concept has been making the rounds for a while now. Chinese-style cauliflower fried 'rice' is its most usual application, but I decided to branch out from East Asia and head south to India for this riff on biryani.

Biryani is traditionally a rice dish made with spices, meat and vegetables. Here, I replace rice with cauliflower 'rice', and in case you haven’t picked up on his trend, here’s how it works: Take some cauliflower, break it up into florets, put it in a food processor, and process until the cauliflower is broken up into tiny rice-like bits. There you have it - cauliflower 'rice'! (Or cauliflower 'bulgur wheat' if you’re making tabbouleh.)

Biryani is the perfect dish for cauliflower 'rice' because cauliflower goes so well with the spices involved: ginger, garlic, cinnamon, cardamom and chilli. Served with a big spoonful of Greek yoghurt (if not catering for vegans) and a handful of toasted cashews and it makes a meal in itself.




Cauliflower 'rice' biryani

To serve


To begin, cut the cauliflower up into individual florets, then place the florets in a blender. Blitz until broken down into small, rice-sized pieces
Add the oil to a large pan and place over a medium heat. Once hot, add the cashew nuts, cardamom pods, cinnamon stick and bay leaves. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring until aromatic
Stir in the onions and cook for 10 minutes until nicely golden brown. Add the beans, carrots, pepper, peas, chilli, garlic, ginger, turmeric and salt, then place a lid on the pan and continue to cook for 20 minutes on a very gentle heat, stirring from time to time to prevent burning
After 20 minutes, stir in the cauliflower rice and tomatoes and cook for a further 5 minutes
Stir in the fresh herbs, stir well and remove the cinnamon stick and bay leaves. Taste the biryani, adjusting the seasoning and adding more herbs if needed, then place in a large serving dish. Serve with a dollop of Greek yoghurt and some toasted cashews

Monica Shaw's mission is to enable people to feel awesome, through food, life, work and play.

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