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Veg Kerala Biryani Recipe | Malabar Veg Biryani

Veg Kerala Biryani Recipe Step By Step Instructions
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Veg Kerala Biryani Recipe also called Veg Malabar Biryani is a special one pot rice and vegetable preparation popular in Malabar, a region in India’s southwest coast, lying between the Western Ghats range and the Arabian Sea.

Biryani is an exotic rice preparation which is believed to have been brought to India by Mughals. Over time, the dish evolved as it amalgamated with Indian style of cooking, traditions and culture. Compared to the other varieties of rice and vegetable preparations like Pulao (Pilaf), Biryani has a stronger taste of curried rice due to a liberal use of spices.

Kerala Biryani or Malabar Biryani, popular in this region is traditionally cooked with chicken, mutton or sea food, but a vegetable version of Malabar Biryani is equally delicious.

Traditionally in the Malabar region, a short and thin grain rice called Kaima or Jeerakashala  is used to make this Biryani. As Kaima rice may not be available at all places, you can use other varieties of rice like Basmati to prepare it as well.

Veg Biryani represents the ultimate of Indian Cuisine with its unique cooking style of rice, the delicious blend of flavours and spices, coupled with an irresistible aroma. This regional version of Veg Biryani is quite delicious and its rich and exotic looks make it perfect for special occasions.

Veg Kerala Biryani or Malabar Veg Biryani is best served steaming hot. It is usually paired with a Raita like Mint Raita, Onion Tomato Raita or Boondi Raita. Others sides include Pappadam or Papad, pickle, sliced onions or onion salad.

To make Veg Kerala Biryani at home follow the detailed step by step recipe with photos posted below.

Also see more Rice recipes like Hyderabadi Veg Dum Biryani, Veg Biryani in Pressure Cooker, Jodhpuri Kabuli (Rajasthani Style Biryani) and Veg Pulao.

Suggested Recipe Collections :

Servings: 6

CategoryMain Course

Cuisine: Indian

Total Time:

Prep Time:

Cook Time:

Nutrition (per serving)



Carbohydrates: 44g

Protein: 9g

Ingredients For Kerala Veg Biryani

For cooking rice

  • 1 Cup Rice
  • ~1 Inch Cinnamon Stick (Dalchini)
  • 2 Green Cardamoms (Hari Elaichi)
  • 1 Black Cardamom (Badi Elaichi)
  • 1 Bay Leaf (Tej Patta)
  • 2 Cloves (Laung)
  • 2 Mace Strands (Javitri)
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt, or to taste
  • 2 Teaspoon Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Coriander Leaves
  • 1/4 Cup Mint Leaves

For preparing the gravy

  • 1 Large Onion
  • 1/2 Cup Potatoes, diced
  • 1/2 Cup Carrots, diced
  • 1/4 Cup French Beans (Green Beans), chopped
  • 1/4 Cup Green Peas
  • 1/4 Cup Sweet Corn Kernels
  • 1/2 Green Capsicum
  • 1/2 Cup Paneer cubes (Indian Cottage Cheese)
  • 2 Large Tomatoes
  • ~2 one Inch Piece of Ginger
  • 4 Garlic Cloves
  • 2 Green Chillies
  • 1 Teaspoon Cumin Seeds (Jeera)
  • 1 Bay Leaf (Tej Patta)
  • 3 Green Cardamoms (Choti Elaichi)
  • 1 Black Cardamom (Badi Elaichi)
  • 3 Cloves (Laung)
  • ~1 Inch Cinnamon Stick (Dalchini)
  • 1 Teaspoon Red Chilli Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Coriander Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cumin Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Fennel Powder (Saunf Powder)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Dry Fenugreek Leaves (Kasuri Methi)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Garam Masala
  • 2 Teaspoons Salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 Cup Coconut Milk
  • 3 Tablespoons Curd (Yogurt)
  • 2 Tablespoon Ghee or Cooking oil

For layering

  • 8-10 Saffron Strands (Kesar)
  • 1/4 Cup Warm Milk or Water
  • 1/4 Cup Roasted Cashews
  • 1 Small Onion
  • Oil for frying
  • 2 Teaspoon Rose Water (Kewra), optional
  • 1 Teaspoon Garam Masla
  • 3 Tablespoon Butter or Ghee
  • 1/3 Cup Mint Leaves
  • 1/3 Cup Coriander Leaves

Step By Step Instructions With Photos for Veg Kerala Biryani Recipe

  • Wash and rinse 1 cup of rice in water 3-4 times. Add the rice to a pot along with 2 cups of water. Also add some Salt and oil as well as whole spices like Cinnamon (Dalchini), Green Cardamom (Hari Elaichi), Black Cardamom (Badi Elaichi), Bayleaf (Tej Patta), Cloves (Long) and Mace (Javitri).

  • Cover the pot and cook the rice on medium flame till it is about 75% cooked. Do not overcook the rice as it will be cooked again later during the final phase of making Biryani. Add some chopped Coriander and Mint leaves.

  • Drain any excess water from the rice if needed. Then spread it on a plate and lightly fluff it with a fork. Set the rice aside.

  • To make the gravy, heat ghee or oil in a pan or kadai. Add Cumin Seeds (Jeera), Bay Leaf (Tej Patta), Green Cardamom (Choti Elaichi), Black Cardamom (Badi Elaichi), Cloves (Laung) and Cinnamon (Dalchini).

  • Add thinly sliced Onions and saute for a minute.

  • Then add Ginger, Garlic and Green Chilli paste. Cook for 5 minutes till the onions turn golden brown in color.

  • Add Salt, Turmeric Powder (Haldi), Coriander Powder (Dhania Powder), Fennel Powder (Saunf Powder), Dry Fenugreek Leaves (Kasuri Methi), Cumin Powder (Jeera), Red Chilli Powder and Garam Masala. Saute for 2-3 minutes.

  • Add finely chopped tomatoes and cook them till the gravy starts to leave oil on the sides.

  • When the gravy is ready, add diced potatoes and carrots and saute till they are half cooked and just starting to crisp on the edges. These vegetables take the longest time to cook so they are added first.

  • Next add Green Peas, Sweet Corn and chopped Green Beans and cook them for 2-3 minutes.

  • Then add diced cubes of Paneer (Indian Cottage Cheese) and chopped Green Capsicum.

  • Add Coconut Milk and bring it to a gentle boil. Add some beaten curd to the pan. Cover the pan and cook the vegetables for around 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  • In the meantime, we can prepare other ingredients for layering the Biryani. Take some warm milk in a bowl and add few strands of saffron in it. Keep it aside.

  • In a pan heat some oil on medium-high flame and add thinly sliced onions to the pan.

  • Fry the onions till they change color to golden brown. Remove them from the oil and set them aside on an absorbent paper. I had some pre roasted cashews available, but if you don’t, you can roast the raw cashew nuts along with the onions at this stage.

  • Now to layer the Biryani, divide the vegetable gravy prepared earlier in two parts. Add the first layer of vegetable gravy at the bottom of a pressure cooker or a deep pot.

  • Then add a layer of half of the rice. Add half of the roasted Cashew Nuts, Saffron (Kesar) Milk and fried onions. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon Rose Water and a dash of Garam Masala.

  • Now proceed in the same manner to make third and fourth layers of vegetables gravy and rice respectively. I have made 4 layers but you can make anywhere between 2 to 6 layers depending on the width of your pot and the quantity of vegetables and Rice. Finish with finely chopped mint & coriander leaves.

  • Now spread some thin slices of butter or Desi Ghee (Indian clarified butter) on top.

  • Seal the vessel tightly with aluminum foil and then cover it with a lid. Place it on a Tawa or flat pan and cook on low heat for 15-20 minutes.

  • Remove the vessel from heat and after a gap of about 15 minutes, take off the lid of the pan.

  • The delicious Veg Kerala Biryani is ready to eat. While serving the biryani make sure to scoop it vertically so that all the layers are included. This Biryani is enjoyable on its own but better if accompanied by Raita of any type like Mint RaitaOnion Tomato Raita or Boondi Raita. Pappadam or Papad, pickle or onion salad also are nice accompaniments to this dish.

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