August 4, 2021

Biryani in a Hurry

When we’re really in the depths of winter, I crave lots of warm spices, especially those found in Indian cooking. Turmeric, ginger, cardamom, coriander - I’ll take as much as I can get! I find the warm spice combinations very satisfying when the weather is cold. Pair them with rice and veggies, and I’ve got comfort in a bowl - especially with this Indian-inspired Biryani in a Hurry.

Biryani is a rice dish that originated in the Indian subcontinent, but also has variations throughout Southeast Asia. There are, if not hundreds or thousands, of varieties of biryani dishes. Most biryani share a few key elements: spices, rice, vegetables, and a protein. Biryani is often a main dish, with grains, vegetables, and protein all in one serving. The elements are typically cooked separately, as I’ve done here: the rice is cooked alone, then added to the spiced, cooked vegetables. Some biryani have fruits or nuts, and since I love the sweet bite from raisins and the crunch of cashews, I’ve added those here. For my protein, I’ve used chickpeas.

This is a quick and easy weeknight meal, coming together in less than 30 minutes. You can either make your rice while preparing the rest of the dish, or use leftover rice (which would cut down on the cooking time even more!). While the rice is cooking, you build the rest of the dish, then stir it all together, and you’re done. This is the kind of meal that I end up going back for seconds and eating straight out of the pot by the spoonful.

Ingredients assembled for Biryani in a Hurry
Assemble your ingredients.

Stages of making biryani, as outlined in instructions
Saute onions and carrots in coconut oil or ghee. Add minced garlic and ginger. Add spices, then water. Add frozen green peas, chickpeas, and raisins, and cook through. Add in cooked rice, and stir to coat with the spiced vegetable mixture.

Finished Biryani in a Hurry in a large Dutch oven with a wooden spoon
Finish the biryani with the juice of half a lemon and toasted cashews.

Biryani in a Hurry served in a grey floral bowl and garnished with cilantro
Serve your biryani garnished with cilantro!

Original publication date: February 22, 2021

Biryani in a Hurry

I find warm spice combinations very satisfying when the weather is cold. Pair them with rice and veggies, and I’ve got comfort in a bowl - especially with this Indian-inspired Biryani in a Hurry.


Kira Freed - The Joyful Plateful











2 Tbsp. coconut oil or ghee

1/2 yellow onion, diced

2 whole carrots, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 inch fresh ginger root, minced

1 tsp. kosher salt

2 tsp. ground turmeric

1 tsp. ground coriander

1/2 tsp. ground cardamom

1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

1 cup water

8 oz. frozen peas

15-oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

2/3 cup raisins (dark or golden)

4 cups cooked long-grain white rice (such as basmati or jasmine)

2/3 cup toasted cashews

Juice of 1/2 lemon

Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish (optional)


  1. Cook your white rice according package directions (this is usually around 20 minutes; 2 cups uncooked rice should yield 4 cups cooked rice). Or, use leftover cooked white rice.
  2. While rice is cooking, heat coconut oil (or ghee) in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add diced onion and carrots, saute until tender, about 7 minutes.
  3. Add minced garlic and ginger, and saute another minute.
  4. Add spices (salt, turmeric, coriander, cardamom, and black pepper) and saute about 30 seconds, until fragrant.
  5. Add 1 cup water to the pot, and gently scrape any bits of sautéed vegetables and spices off the bottom.
  6. Add peas, chickpeas, and raisins to the pot, bring to a simmer, and simmer about 5 minutes, until peas are heated through and raisins begin to plump.
  7. Add in cooked rice, and stir to coat in vegetable and spice mixture, breaking up any clumps of rice as you go.
  8. Add juice of half a lemon and the toasted cashews, and stir to combine.
  9. Serve, garnished with cilantro (optional).
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May 24, 2022
I don't normally comment on recipes but this has got to be the best thing I've ever made. It came together pretty easy and made five meals - perfect for meal prep for the week. I already can't wait to make it again.
January 22, 2022
Sherry Ruiter
I love this section!!!!!