Cauliflower takes the place of the usual rice in Monica’s vegetarian biryani recipe, for a lighter, vegetable-centric spin on the traditional Indian biryani dish. 


  • 1 cauliflower 
  • 2 tbsp of vegetable oil
  • 10 cashew nuts, raw
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cinnamon sticks
  • 5 cardamon pods
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 50g of green beans, trimmed
  • 50g of carrots , cut into small or long
  • 1/2 red pepper, deseeded and cut into strips
  • 30g of peas, fresh or frozen
  • 1 tsp chilli powder, or more to taste
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 slice of ginger, 1cm thick, finely sliced
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 40g of tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 handful of coriander leaves, chopped
  • 1 handful of mint leaves, chopped


Greek yogurt ( optional)

  • cashew nuts, toasted, optional


1. To begin, cut the cauliflower up into individual florets, then place the florets in a blender. Blitz until broken down into small, rice-sized pieces

2. Add the oil to a large pan and place over a medium heat. Once hot, add the cashew nuts, cardamom pods, cinnamon stick and bay leaves. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring until aromatic

3. Stir in the onions and cook for 10 minutes until nicely golden brown. Add the beans, carrots, pepper, peas, chilli, garlic, ginger, turmeric and salt, then place a lid on the pan and continue to cook for 20 minutes on a very gentle heat, stirring from time to time to prevent burning

4. After 20 minutes, stir in the cauliflower rice and tomatoes and cook for a further 5 minutes

5. Stir in the fresh herbs, stir well and remove the cinnamon stick and bay leaves. Taste the biryani, adjusting the seasoning and adding more herbs if needed, then place in a large serving dish. Serve with a dollop of Greek yoghurt and some toasted cashews