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Pumpkin Biryani topped with candied cranberries and pumpkin seeds. A vegan and gluten-free recipe.
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5 from 2 votes

Pumpkin Biryani

A delicious, seasonal and gorgeously orange pumpkin biryani garnished with pumpkin seeds and tart-sweet cranberries. A vegan, gluten-free, and soy-free recipe.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Side
Cuisine: Indian
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword: Pumpkin Biryani
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 184kcal


  • 1 ½ cups basmati rice (soaked in water for 30 minutes)
  • 1 ½ cups pumpkin puree
  • ¼ cup cashews (soaked in ½ cup water and blitzed into a smooth paste)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 medium bell pepper (finely chopped)
  • 2 tablespoon mint (finely chopped)
  • 2 tablespoon cilantro (finely chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon shahjeera caraway seeds
  • 4 green cardamom pods
  • 2 dry bay leaves
  • 2 serrano peppers or jalapeno peppers, finely diced (remove the seeds if you're very sensitive to heat)
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon biryani masala
  • ½ cup non-dairy milk
  • A generous pinch saffron threads
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt to taste

For garnish

  • 3 spring onions green and white parts finely chopped
  • 1 cup candied cranberries or ½ cup dry cranberries
  • ¼ cup raw pumpkin seeds roasted or sauteed in a smidgen of oil until they start to turn golden

For candied cranberries

  • ½ cup cranberries
  • 2 tablespoon sugar


  • In a pan, bring 1 ½ cups of water to a boil. Add the drained, soaked rice to it along with the bay leaves and enough salt to flavor the rice.
  • Bring the mixture back to a boil, cover with a tight lid, and let the rice steam on the lowest heat setting for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the rice stand.
  • Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pan. Add the shahjeera or caraway seeds, cardamom pods, and cloves. When they begin to turn color, add the onions and bell peppers.
  • Saute the onions and the peppers until the onions start to brown.
  • Add the ginger and garlic paste along with the green chilies, mint and coriander leaves. Saute for 30 seconds.
  • Add the pumpkin puree and mix well. Cook the pumpkin puree, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the cashew paste and lemon juice and mix thoroughly. Cook for another two to three minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Fluff the cooked rice with a fork and add i to the pumpkin mixture in the large pan.
  • Carefully, taking care not to break the grains of rice, stir them with the pumpkin mixture to coat evenly.
  • Sprinkle on the non-dairy milk mixed with saffron threads.
  • Cover the pot with a very tight lid and let the biryani steam on a very low heat setting for 15 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat and let it stand for another 10 minutes before opening.
  • Sprinkle on some candied or dry cranberries and sauteed pumpkin seeds, as well as the spring onions.
  • Serve hot.

Make candied cranberries

  • In a small baking pan, place the cranberries and sprinkle sugar over them.
  • Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake in a 350-degree oven for 1 hour. Stir the cranberries occasionally.
  • Let them cool and preferably chill before using.


Calories: 184kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Potassium: 236mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 6249IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 2mg