Vegetable Biryani with Cauliflower Rice [Paleo, Gluten free, Grains free, Vegan]


Biryani or Breyani, as South African’s prefer is a must have traditional meal.  Indian weddings and traditional functions almost always serve this as a one-pot wonder in an economical, yet filling and tasty meal.  Vegetable biryani without a doubt is a feature in many Hindu homes during days, where abstinence of meat proteins for religious reasons, is avoided.

This method and choice of ingredients came to me on a cold, rainy Spring day at my mom’s home this week, and based on what vegetable was available in her supply, I created this nourishing meal using riced cauliflower to replace rice grains.  Different from my Paleo Chicken Biryani , in that there is no marinating involved, this was literally a 30 minute make.  I used whole baby button mushrooms to replace traditional potato.  Roasted sweet potato may be used, if preferred to give this amazing dish a well rounded Biryani look and taste.

The biryani may be tempered up or down with spices and seasonings, as well as the choice of vegetables included, and the use of saffron strands adds to the dynamic flavours and hue of the fresh vegetables, cooked in a combination of extra virgin olive oil and ghee (clarified butter).  I used a cup of each vegetable and 3 cups of riced cauliflower.  The use of two cruciferous vegetables together may not appeal to the masses (baby cabbage and cauliflower), so replacing the cabbage with a lower carbohydrate vegetable will work well too.  Peppers, green red and yellow add to the rich colour of this biryani.




3 cups riced cauliflower

1 cup each (about 150g each) fresh vegetables

1 tblsp extra virgin olive oil

½ tblsp ghee (clarified butter) OR unsalted grassfed butter

2 cardamom pods

1 stick cinnamon stick (broken into pieces)

2-3 whole cloves

2 bay leaves

1 tsp fennel seeds

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tblsp garlic and ginger paste

1 small onion, thinly sliced

2 green chilli’s slivered (you may omit)

1-2 tblsp mixed masala (sugar free, wheat free)

1 tsp garam masala and / or 1 tsp cumin and coriander powder)

Himalayan or Sea Salt to taste

Saffron strands (Optional)

Fresh coriander leaves for garnish


Here’s How

  • Heat the oils in a flat bottomed non-stick pot on medium stove top heat.  Add in the seeds and bay leaves, allowing them to sizzle and become aromatic, for about 3 minutes.


  •  Add in the onions and green chilli.  Saute until the onions are soft and translucent, then add in the garlic and ginger and mix well.  Spoon in the masala and spice powders and mix well to combine these ingredients with the onion.


  • Now mix in the veggies – opted to go with the carrots and green beans first, then after a few minutes added in the cabbage and mushrooms.  Spoon them together well to combine the masala and onion mix.



  • Allow the veggies to infuse in the curry mixture for about 3-4 minutes, then add in the riced cauliflower and the saffron strands, which are steeped in a tablespoon of boiling water.


  • Mix the riced cauliflower well, salt to taste, and, allow the biryani to cook for 10-15 minutes, until the veggies are well cooked.
  • Serve with a crisp, fresh salad or with a raita.

Enjoy! :)



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Prava Singh

A Mom, daughter, wife, sister, aunt and friend experiencing life through an evolutionary body with a revolutionary mind... A recent past former Type 2 insulin dependent and hypertensive walking time-bomb for 13.5 years, I have made positive lifestyle changes that has aided and abetted my health status for my overall betterment. Passionate about all things food, with a proud Indian heritage, I regularly blog my culinary attempts that have worked for me in my endeavours to break the shackles of food addictions and food slavery. Passionate about people too, my decision to share these endeavours is driven by informing others that a lifestyle change through food is indeed possible. I have indeed survived high school and survived life too in the most interesting and thought-provoking ways. Having lost over 50kgs of excess weight in just under a year, I have reclaimed my life and am thoroughly enjoying the journey.

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