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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 1 vote

Pumpkin Biryani

A delicately spiced, deeply satisfying Pumpkin Biryani with candied cranberries and pumpkin seeds for garnish.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Side
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 169kcal


  • 1 ½ cups long-grain rice like basmati, 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 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 cup medium onion chopped, about 1
  • 1 medium bell pepper finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped mint
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 2 tsp garlic crushed or finely minced
  • 1 tsp shahjeera caraway seeds
  • 4 green cardamoms
  • 2 leaves dry bay
  • 2 green chilies like serrano finely diced (remove the seeds if you're very sensitive to heat)
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp biryani masala
  • ½ cup non-dairy milk plus a generous pinch of 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 tbsp 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 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.
  • Serve the biryani with some of this creamy Kofta Curry or Tofu Makhani.


Calories: 169kcal | Protein: 3.3g | Fiber: 2.6g