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Vegan Chickpea Biryani with Crispy Fried Onions

Vegan Chickpea Biryani on a large black plate with a dollop of coriander yoghurt and crispy fried onions on the side.
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One of the weeknight favourites, this Green Bean and Chickpea Biryani with Crispy Onions is simply delightful! Spiced with medium curry powder, this rice dish has a perfect amount of heat! Our favourite vegan biryani recipe has three distinct elements: a green bean and chickpea biryani itself, coriander yoghurt and perfectly crispy fried onions. All together, they create a real festival of flavours and textures!

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Cheats Biryani?

It feels a bit naughty calling this 20-minute dish a biryani. Traditional Indian biryanis are normally cooked for at least an hour, so our one-pot rice dish is certainly an easy version. However, with a dollop of yoghurt and a huge pile of crispy fried onions on the side, it certainly feels like a very special Indian feast!

A fork reaching for some vegan biryani with chickpeas.

How To Make Crispy Fried Onions For Biryani?

To get your onions perfectly crispy, here’s what you should do:

  • Use brown or white onions and slice them thinly. Pop them in a large bowl big enough to toss your onions in.
  • Don’t be stingy with the flour. Add all 3 tsp of flour and keep tossing so that all the onions are covered. You may want to break up the slices of onion with your fingers as well.
  • Don’t be stingy with the oil. The recipe calls for 200ml of vegetable oil, but you can use any other odourless oil you have, like rapeseed or sunflower. The amount of oil you use also depends on the size of your frying pan. Just make sure there’s enough to fully submerge the onions.
  • Overcrowding the pan is a big NO when you’re trying to get things crispy. I would suggest frying your onions in batches unless you have a very large pan.
  • Lastly, when they are crispy and browned, take them out of the frying pan with a slotted spoon and onto a paper towel to soak up any excess oil. toss them around on the paper and then transfer them onto a fresh dry sheet. If you leave the onions sitting, they will absorb too much oil, and be greasy and soggy.

How to Make Chickpea Biryani?

Start by preparing all your ingredients. Weigh everything out. Then finely chop a garlic clove and red onion. Drain your chickpeas in a colander and run some cold water through them to reduce starch and sodium.

Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a large pan with a matching lid. Add the garlic, chickpeas and curry powder and fry on medium heat stirring for 4 minutes. Remove the chickpeas from the pan into a small bowl and set aside for later.

Add another tbsp of oil to the pan. Tip in the chopped red onions, a tbsp of tomato paste and raisins/ sultanas and crumble in a stock cube. Then add a tbsp of water and scrape the bottom of the pan to release any curry powder that’d stuck. Fry stirring for a minute.

Add the rice to the pan and mix well to coat. I use basmati rice in this recipe, but any long-grain variety should work just fine. Then add 350ml of water and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat to low. Add the green beans on top of the rice, but don’t stir. Beans take less time to cook than rice so by keeping them on top, you will steam rather than boil them. Cover the pan with a lid and leave to cook on the lowest heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring once or twice throughout the cooking. If your pan gets too dry before the rice fully cooks, just add a splash of water.

When the rice is cooked, although slightly al-dente, take the pan off the heat and stir in the curried chickpeas.

How To Make Coriander Yoghurt?

For the coriander yoghurt, roughly chop the herbs, including stalks. Mix your unsweetened soya yoghurt with coriander and season with salt and pepper. Set aside for later.

Divide your Green Bean and Chickpea Biryani between two bowls, top with a dollop of coriander yoghurt and a handful of crispy onions! Yum!


Recipe FAQs

What Rice To Use For Biryani?

Any long-grain white rice will do, but for quicker cooking, choose easy-cook rice. Basmati rice is also an excellent choice for this vegan biryani.

How To Store Leftovers?

You can store your leftover chickpea biryani in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days. Alternatively, freeze vegan biryani in ziplock bags or Tupperware boxes, and defrost before reheating in a pan with a splash of water. You will, however, need to make crispy fried onions and coriander yoghurt on the day that you serve it!

Vegan Chickpea Biryani on a teal plate served with coriander yoghurt and crispy onions on the side.

What To Serve With Chickpea Biryani?

And if you’re looking for something to add to your Indian feast, here are some flatbread recipes that go exceptionally well with this vegan biryani:

Other Indian-Cuisine Inspired Recipes

If you enjoyed our Green Bean and Chickpea Biryani with Crispy Fried Onions and would like to cook more Indian-inspired meals, have a look at our other recipes, including:

Recipe Card

Vegan Chickpea Biryani on a large black plate with a dollop of coriander yoghurt and crispy fried onions on the side.

Vegan Chickpea Biryani with Crispy Fried Onions

One of the weeknight favourites, this Green Bean and Chickpea Biryani with Crispy Fried Onions is simply delightful! Spiced with medium curry powder, this rice dish has a perfect amount of heat! Our favourite vegetable biryani recipe has three distinct elements: a vegan biryani itself, coriander yoghurt and perfectly crispy onions. All together, they create a real festival of flavours and textures!
5 from 7 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 2 people
Calories 649 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

  • 1 small clove of garlic finely chopped
  • 1 tin of chickpeas (400g) drained and rinsed
  • 1 tbsp curry powder we used medium
  • 1 red onion finely chopped
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 30 g sultanas or raisins
  • 130 g basmati or jasmine rice
  • 80 g fine green beans trimmed and cut in half
  • 5 g coriander roughly chopped
  • 100 ml unsweetened soya yogurt
  • 1 large brown onion thinly sliced
  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • 200 ml vegetable oil

Instructions
 

  • Start by preparing all your ingredients. Mix your dairy-free yoghurt with coriander and season with salt and pepper.
  • Place sliced onions in a large bowl and break them up with your fingers. Add 3 tbsp of flour and toss to coat well. Set aside for later.
  • Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a large pan with a matching lid. Add the garlic, chickpeas and curry powder and fry on medium heat stirring for 4 minutes. Remove the chickpeas from the pan and set aside for later.
  • Add another tbsp of oil to the pan. Add the chopped red onions, a tbsp of tomato paste and raisins/ sultanas and crumble in a stock cube. Then add a tbsp of water and scrape the bottom of the pan to release any curry powder that'd stuck. Fry stirring for a minute.
  • Add the rice to the pan and mix well to coat. Then add 350ml of water and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat to low. Add the green beans on top of the rice, but don't stir. Cover the pan with a lid and leave to cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring once or twice throughout the cooking. If your pan gets too dry before the rice fully cooks, just add a splash of water.
  • Whilst the rice is cooking, heat 200ml of oil in another frying pan. Once hot, add the first batch of flour-coated onions (don't overcrowd the pan) and fry for 1-2 minutes depending on the thickness of your onions. Your onion should be crispy and browned.
  • Lift the onions out of the pan with a slotted spoon and place on some paper towel to absorb the oil. Then transfer onto another piece of paper towel to make sure no excess oil is absorbed back into the onions. Repeat with any remaining onions.
  • When the rice is cooked (we like it slightly al-dente), take it off the heat and stir in the curried chickpeas.
  • Divide between 2 bowls, top with a dollop of coriander yoghurt and a handful of crispy onions! Yum!

Nutrition

Calories: 649kcalCarbohydrates: 92gProtein: 11gFat: 28gSaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 443mgPotassium: 637mgFiber: 6gSugar: 19gVitamin A: 646IUVitamin C: 16mgCalcium: 141mgIron: 3mg
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10 Replies to “Vegan Chickpea Biryani with Crispy Fried Onions”

  1. 5 stars
    We found this recipe in search of vegan recipes for our first Veganuary.I’ll admit,I was sceptical-how can rice,chickpeas and union make a great meal?I was proved wrong!You were right,it’s all about those crispy onions.Will definitely be cooking again!

    1. Amazing! We love crispy onions and crispy leeks!

  2. 5 stars
    I appreciate this “easy” version so much! I make it when I need my Indian takeout fix!!!!

    1. Yes! We make this when we’re craving some Indian flavours too! Just as quick as ordering take away!

  3. 5 stars
    Love that this was so quick and easy to make and loved the fried onions!

    1. Absolutely! Fried onions are what makes this dish so special 🙂

  4. 5 stars
    Ok the crispy fried onions take this to the next level! So yummy, thank you for the recipe!

    1. Thanks, Liz! 🙂

  5. 5 stars
    Loved your biryani and how quickly and easily it is to prepare. All the tastes mixed together are simply divine, thanks!

    1. So glad you enjoyed the recipe, Natalie!

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