Hyderabadi Biryani


Soya chunks/soya curls or cubed firm tofu- about 2 cups

(note: you can also use the vegan ‘chikn’ recipe that will follow!)

4 cups cooked basmati rice

½ packet of Biryani masala powder (preferably Hyderabadi style)

½ cup plant-based milk (oat is best, but almond or soya (unsweetened!) is ok, or even water)

2 onions, sliced

2 green chillies, halved lengthwise

1 tbsp garlic ginger paste

Large pinch of saffron threads soaked in water or plant-based milk (1 tsp) for 10 min

1 cup coriander leaves, chopped

1 cup mint leaves, chopped

2 tsp cumin seeds

2-3 baddi elaichi

2-3 star anise

8-10 green elaichi

½ cinnamon stick

10-12 black peppercorns [rml_read_more]

6-8 cloves

1-2 tsp of kewda water


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F/180C
  2. Add the biryani powder to the plant ‘milk’ , mix until well combined
  3. Coat the soya chunks in the above marinade and keep aside in a bowl to start absorbing flavour
  4. Sautee the onion slices in 1 tsp olive oil until golden brown– add to the marinade bowl
  5. Now, add the chopped cilantro and mint leaves, the saffron ‘milk’, the garlic-ginger paste, and the green mirchi to the bowl. Let sit and marinate while you prepare the rice
  6. Heat 1 tsp olive oil in a large tawa or wok. Add the whole spices and cook until they become fragrant
  7. Turn off the heat and add the rice, toss to coat the rice in the spices
  8. IF you have a dutch oven, great! Use this. Otherwise, use a deep/thick bottomed pot. Put a few drops of oil in the bottom of the pot to coat
  9. You’re now ready to layer! Add some rice, then add the soya chunk mixture, and layer- you should end up with about 4 layers. While layering, sprinkle some kewda water on the rice. The last layer should be rice. If you have vegan butter and want to make this extra sinful, you can put a few pieces of the vegan butter in the top layer of rice. You can also sprinkle some mint leaves on that top layer.
  10. Cover the dutch oven or pot and place in oven for 45 minutes to slow cook
  11. Serve hot with sliced raw onions! Enjoy!
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