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.

Get new recipes by email. Sign up below.


  1. says

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

  2. says

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

  3. says

    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” ! :)

  4. says

    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 !

  5. says

    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.

  6. says

    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

  7. says

    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.

Leave a comment!