Oil-free Mushroom Biryani Recipe | Whole Food Plant Based Recipes

Whole Food Plant Based Recipes

Deliciously satisfying biryani recipe that uses mushrooms for a super meaty sensation.

Whole Food Plant Based Mushroom Biryani Recipe

Course: Course 3: Grain Dishes for Lunch & Dinner Meals, Meat Replacement Dishes
Cuisine: North Indian Recipe
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 2 people


Mushroom Biryani Rice
  1. 3/4 cup Brown Basmati Rice
  2. 1 Bay Leaves
  3. 1 Star Anise
  4. 1 Green Cardamom / Elaichi
  5. 1/2 stick Cinnamon
  6. 2 Cloves
  7. 1 pinch Saffron
Mushroom Biryani Masala
  1. 1 small strand Mace
  2. 3 Cloves
  3. 2 Green Cardamom / Elaichi
  4. 1 cm piece Cinnamon
  5. 1 pinch Nutmeg powder
  6. 1/2 tsp Stone Flower / Dagad Phool / Kalpasi
  7. 1 tsp Turmeric Powder
  8. 2 tsp Black Pepper Powder
  9. Mushroom Biryani Gravy
  10. 1/2 tsp Cumin / Jeera
  11. 2 Onion Red
  12. 1 Green Chili
  13. 4 Tomatoes
  14. 1 Packet (200g) White Buttom Mushrooms
  15. 1 inch piece Ginger
  16. 5 cloves garlic
  17. 2 tbsp Fresh Coconut Ground to Paste
  18. 1/4 cup Pudina Leaves
  19. 2 tbsp Miso Paste (Healthy Salt Replacement, See Nutrition Science Highlights below)
  20. 1 Lemon Quartered & Peeled
  21. 2 tbsp Coriander Leaves


Mushroom Biryani Masala
  1. Grind all ingredients together to make Biryani masala
Mushroom Biryani
  1. Soak brown basmati rice overnight. Cook rice with whole spices - cardamom, cinnamon, bay leaves, cloves, and star anise - in sufficient water. The water should be just enough to cook rice completely, without making it sticky or undercooked. Keep the vessel closed while cooking, and check the rice from time to time. Avoid mixing rice too often or mashing it. Once cooked, mix in saffron strands, spread on a large plate to cool down, and keep aside.
  2. Wash and chop mushrooms into 4 pieces each. Peel and chop onions. Chop tomatoes into small pieces. Slit green chili along its length. Peel and grind ginger and garlic to a paste. Keep aside for ten minutes before using for next step.
  3. In a kadai / wok, dry roast jeera. Once jeera starts sputtering, add onions and chili, along with 1-2 tsp water. Once cooked, add tomato and mushrooms, and saute.
  4. Once ginger-garlic paste has been kept aside for ten minutes, add it to the mushroom gravy and continue cooking. When almost fully cooked, add biryani masala and saute until cooked. Once cooked, remove from stove.
  5. Grind coconut paste, mint / pudina leaves, miso paste, and lemon juice into a smooth paste. Mix into mushroom biryani gravy.
  6. Mix gravy with rice, taking care not to mash rice grains. Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve fresh with Capsicum Raisin Raitha!

Nutrition Science Highlights for Whole Food Plant Based Mushroom Biryani Recipe

  1. Why not meat? Meat and fish have been shown to cause heart disease, cancer, infertility, diabetes, hypertension, and endless other chronic lifestyle diseases. If you are a non-vegetarian, you can enjoy the texture and flavour of meat dishes by substituting meat with mock meats, or even better, using meaty whole plant foods, such as mushroom, raw jackfruit, yam, and legumes.
  2. Why whole grains? Whole grains are healthier than refined grains such as white rice, refined flours, maida, rava, etc., as the bran layer is intact, with all its vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. Whole grains have been found to be protective against a whole range of chronic diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, and lifestyle-related cancers.
  3. Why cool grains? When cooked grains are allowed to cool on the counter or in the fridge, its starch crystallises to form resistant starch. This can be eaten by our good gut bacteria and also reduces the glycemic index (the rate at which glucose is absorbed), making the whole grain even healthier. For the same reason, parboiled whole grains can be used as well.
  4. Why Miso Paste? Miso paste is fermented & salted soya bean paste. American Heart Association Maximum recommended maximum daily salt intake of 3.75 grams per person to minimise risk of high blood pressure, stomach cancer and chronic kidney disease. In addition to helping us restrict salt intake, replacing salt with miso paste also helps by neutralising the negative effects of salt by soya phytonutrients. You can easily make fresh miso paste at home by mixing 100 grams of cooked soya paste with 10 grams of salt, or 10 tablespoons of cooked soya paste with 1 tablespoon of salt. If making at home, ensure to use immediately, or freeze in batches to use later. Or, simply use 3.75 grams of salt or less per day per person and add 18 to 20 grams (dry weight) of soya beans in any dishes, spread through the day!
  5. Why oil-free tadka? Tadka, thaaLippu, oggaraNe. Tempering spices in oil is quintessential to Indian cuisine. This practice may have started as a compromise when whole nuts were unavailable, and indeed, is more common in inland, drier areas where nuts do not grow easily, all year round. You can enjoy the taste and fragrance, though, by just dry roasting the spices you require, without the oil, or even better, mixing spice powders directly into your dish!

Dr Achyuthan Eswar
Lifestyle Physician & Co-founder, NutritionScience.in, PHC Lifestyle Clinic & SampoornaAhara.com Plant-based Kitchen

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