Biryani with Mixed Vegetables and Lentils and Tofu-Coriander Raita

I usually only have to say the word “biryani” to put the twinkle into Desi’s eyes, because it is one of his most favorite foods. And I can’t deny that it puts a song in my heart too. Especially when it’s as easy to make as this one is.

My mixed-vegetable biryani with lentils is very versatile, and you can try using all sorts of veggies in here. And so long as you have your spices right, it’s hard to mess this one up.

I served this biryani with a vegan coriander raita made with tofu that’s luscious and creamy and almost ridiculously good for you.

I want to put my feet up for the rest of my Sunday, so I’m going to make this a quick post. These have been unusually busy days for me which has meant less time for my blog, but rest assured I’ll be back to a more frequent schedule pretty soon.


Biryani With Lentils and Mixed Vegetables


2 cups vegetables, cut in a fairly small and uniform dice (I used carrots, red peppers, potatoes and green peas. You can also use zucchini, sweet potatoes or green beans)

1 cup rice

1/2 cup red lentils

1 tbsp canola or other vegetable oil

1 medium onion, finely diced

1 tbsp garlic, minced

1 tbsp ginger, grated

1 tbsp garam masala

1 tsp red chili powder

3/4 tsp turmeric

1/2 cup soy yogurt

Salt to taste.

Soak the rice and lentils together and set aside for half an hour.

Heat the oil in a skillet.

Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until they are golden brown.

Add the ginger and garlic and stir for a minute.

Add the vegetables except the green peas. Add garam masala, chilli powder and turmeric. Cook, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes until the vegetables begin to soften.

Add the green peas and the soy yogurt. Mix well and cook another 5 minutes.

Drain the soaked rice and lentils and add to the skillet. Mix with the vegetables.

Add salt to taste.

Add 2 1/4 cups of water and bring to a boil.

Cover with a lid, turn the heat to low, and cook 15 minutes.

Allow the biryani to stand for 10 minutes at least before removing the lid.

Garnish with coriander and fried onions, if desired.

Serve hot with Tofu-Coriander Raita (recipe follows).

Tofu-Coriander Raita


1 package firm tofu

1/4 cup soy milk

1 tbsp grated ginger

Juice of 1/2 large lemon

1 cup coriander leaves

Salt to taste.

Put all the ingredients into the bowl of a food processor and process until blended and smooth.

Serve cold or at room temperature.

(C) All recipes and photographs copyright of Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes.

31 thoughts on “Biryani with Mixed Vegetables and Lentils and Tofu-Coriander Raita

  1. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    March 16, 2009 at 12:14am

    What tofu raitha? Am I reading it right? I have to try this one Vaishali.

  2. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    March 16, 2009 at 12:56am

    Hey,briyani with lentils sounds new to me and good too…My son is a big fan of briyani and should try to add lentils like this!!

  3. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Gita's Kitchen

    March 16, 2009 at 1:23am

    This is my favorite Sunday lunch. The briyani looks so delicious along with the raita…It looks so good to be healthy ;)

  4. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    March 16, 2009 at 2:10am

    Loved the combination.thanx for ur visit to my blog.

  5. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    March 16, 2009 at 4:45am

    biryani looks gorgeous Vaishali! Tofu raita is new to me. Have to try!

  6. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    March 16, 2009 at 5:09am

    You said biryani with veggies and lentils??….hey hold on,just dont exhaust everything…i am joining u guys.just wait for me…..lolz

  7. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Happy cook

    March 16, 2009 at 7:39am

    Wow the biriyani looks delish. Tofu raita is really new to me.

  8. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    March 16, 2009 at 8:39am

    Wow wat a creative raitha Vaishali…looks too creamy..i got hooked with ur briyani, makes me hungry..

  9. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    March 16, 2009 at 12:47pm

    The biryani does look great Vaishali! and the raita sounds new. :-)

  10. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    March 16, 2009 at 2:59pm

    Those are two really great recipes. Thank you!

  11. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    DJ Karma

    March 16, 2009 at 3:57pm

    That raita does look ridiculously good for you, and delicious! I have to get off my ass and make my own spice mixtures! Thanks, Vaishali :)

  12. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    March 16, 2009 at 4:10pm

    Tofu raitha…sounds new to me….biryani is really tempting

  13. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    March 16, 2009 at 4:47pm

    The raita is calling my attention too, good one!

  14. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Mahimaa's kitchen

    March 16, 2009 at 5:50pm

    never added lentils to my biriyani. i love the color of your biriyani. looks bright and colorful.

  15. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    March 16, 2009 at 6:20pm

    Tofu raitha is a superb idea.. Will try soon … Biryani looks yummy too.. Thanks for sharing.. (and your comment earlier about the bread.)

  16. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    March 16, 2009 at 8:13pm

    the biryani with lentils looks fab and raita with tofu?!! well, thats what is called innovation in the kitchen!

  17. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    March 17, 2009 at 4:42am

    I don’t usually prefer lentils in my biryani since it reminds me too much of khichdi – which I love, but biryani is biryani :)

    Your version seems like you have managed to pull it off without turning it into, literally, a “khichdi” ! :)

  18. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    miss v

    March 17, 2009 at 4:50am

    i’m totally in love with any kind of lentils. this looks great!

  19. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    March 17, 2009 at 9:25am

    Biryani is something is a winner with almost anyone. And tofu raita? That is absolutely new to me, but it looks really nice.

  20. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    March 17, 2009 at 6:09pm

    Briyani with lentils sounds interesting ..It looks mouthwatering.Tofu-corinader raitha is very innovative :)

  21. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    March 17, 2009 at 7:34pm

    Biryani with lentils looks fantastic and is such a wonderfully balanced meal. Will be perfect for busy days when time is short ! Look forward to trying this !

  22. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Pavithra Kodical

    March 18, 2009 at 12:02am

    Adding lentils while making biryani is new to me but sounds great.And girl the tofu coriander raita is so inviting..Great one Vaishali :)

  23. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    May 4, 2009 at 10:06am

    Thanks for the Biryani with mixed vegetables and raita recipe. Last summer I ate them at a party and has been looking for an authentic recipe ever since. Now I will be able to make them for my family. Thanks again.

  24. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    April 8, 2010 at 1:27pm

    Hey this looks amazing! I became a vegan about a month ago and so far its going’s a bit hard finding some ingredients since Im currently living in Palestine..we have soy milks, coconut milks..but no soy yogurt..what can i substitute the soy yogurt with ? thank you

  25. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    April 8, 2010 at 8:25pm

    Mazozeh, I just use tofu with a squeeze of lemon and — if I am using it for raita– a dash of cumin. It makes a great soy yogurt substitute in almost any dish.

  26. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Antonio Sergio Sena

    January 15, 2011 at 2:41pm

    Oh la la… I tried this one out of the blue, and it is second to none!
    I improvised and add some chickpeas, and it turned out spectacular!

  27. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    January 25, 2011 at 7:53pm

    Antonio, the addition of chickpeas sounds wonderful. Glad you liked it!

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