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Roasted Root Vegetables Biryani

  • Author: Vasanti
  • Yield: 6-8 Servings 1x



For the Rice Layer

  • 2 cups (400 g) uncooked extra long grain basmati rice (see Notes)
  • 34 black peppercorns
  • 12 cinnamon barks
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 12 cloves
  • 1 green cardamom
  • 1 tsp neutral oil
  • salt, to taste
  • 4 cups (960 ml) of water, divided

For the Roasted Root Vegetables Layer (see Notes and Variations)

  • 3 mini carrots, preferably different colors about 44.5 inches long, peeled and cut into 2 x 0.5 inch long sticks
  • 1 sweet potato, about 2 inch diameter and 4-4.5 inches long, peeled and cut into 2 x 0.5 inch long sticks
  • 1 parsnip, about 2 inch diameter and 4-4.5 inches long, peeled and cut into 2 x 0.5 inch long sticks
  • 2 small Yukon gold potatoes, cut into 2 inch long wedges
  • 1 small red beet, cut into 2 inch long wedges

For the Marinade

  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) of Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) neutral oil
  • 2 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 2 tsp Flavz Spices biryani masala or any other brand of your choice (see Notes)
  • salt, as needed

For the Base Masala Sauce

  • 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp neutral oil
  • salt, to taste
  • 2 medium tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 2 tsp Flavz Spices biryani masala or any other brand of your choice (see Notes)
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) of water
  • 1012 springs of cilantro/ coriander, chopped


Cooking the Rice

  • Start by cooking the rice first. Extra long grain basmati rice is recommended for biryani.
  • Rinse the rice in a fine mesh sieve under cold tap water until the water runs clear.
  • Transfer to a stainless steel pot-in-pot container, if you have one. If not, you can directly cook it in the inner pot of the Instant Pot.
  • Add 2 cups of water, the whole spices, salt and oil to the rice. It is not necessary to stir.
  • Add the remaining 2 cups of water to the inner pot of the Instant Pot and place the trivet. Place the container with the rice and water over the trivet.
  • Close the lid with the vent in the sealing position. Cook on “Rice” mode for the default 12 minutes.
  • When the cooking is complete, allow the pressure to release naturally—which will take 10 to 12 minutes—and then open the lid. Let the rice cool naturally while the other components get ready.
  • Alternatively, you can also cook the rice along with the whole spices, salt and oil mixed with 4 cups of water in a pot over the stove by bringing it to a boil and then simmering covered for 15-20 mins till the rice is cooked completely.

Roasting the Root Vegetables

  • While the rice cooks, roast the root vegetables. Preheat the oven to 400 °F (200 °C)
  • In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients for the Marinade well.
  • Toss the prepared root vegetable sticks, making sure they are all evenly coated.
  • Transfer the prepared vegetables to a nonstick aluminum foil lined baking sheet.
  • Roast in the oven for 25-30 mins, tossing them half way through.

Making the Base Masala Sauce

  • While the vegetables roast in the oven, make the base masala sauce.
  • Heat 2 tbsp (30 ml) of oil in a heavy bottomed, oven friendly pot or a Dutch oven.
  • Transfer the sliced yellow onions to the hot oil. Sprinkle some salt to help the onions soften quickly.
  • Sauté the onion for 10-12 mins, stirring frequently, until it is golden brown.
  • Reserve about 1/3 cup of the fried onions for garnishing
  • Add the sliced tomatoes to the pot with the remaining fried onions along with the ginger-garlic paste.
  • Stir the ingredients to combine well. Deglaze the bottom of the pot by scraping it with the wooden spoon and continue sautéing for 4-5 mins.
  • Sprinkle the biryani masala, season with salt and add 1/4 cup (60 ml) of water.
  • Mix well and simmer covered for 8-10 mins.

Assembling the Biryani

  • While the sauce simmers, take the roasted veggies out of the oven.
  • Turn the oven temperature down to 250 °F (120 °C).
  • Turn the heat under the pot with the base masala sauce off.
  • Transfer the roasted veggies along with 1/2 of the chopped cilantro.
  • Toss to combine well with the base masala sauce.
  • Pick the whole spices that have risen to the top of the cooked rice.
  • You can either reserve them for garnishing over the layered dish or discard them.
  • Gently fluff the rice and layer it in the pot over the roasted vegetables tossed in the base masala sauce.
  • Garnish with the reserved fried onions and whole spices, if reserved.
  • Cover the pot with the lid and transfer it to the oven with temperature reduced to 250 °F (120 °C).
  • Bake in the oven for 1 hour or until ready to serve.
  • To serve, transfer the rice layer onto one side of a serving platter and the vegetables layer onto the other side of the platter. Garnish with the remaining chopped cilantro/coriander. Serve warm along with a raita.