Vegan Kurdish Biryani

Seiran Sinjari (Legally Plant Based): recipe developer and Best of Vegan contributor

Biryani is a festive and colorful dish. Some key ingredients for a typical vegan Kurdish Biryani are aromatic Basmati rice, fried nuts, dried fruits such as raisins, fried potatoes, and toasted vermicelli noodles. There’s a lot of frying when making this Biryani but to reduce the use of oil a little, we’re air-frying our potatoes instead of deep-frying.


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Vegan Kurdish Biryani

Vegan Kurdish Biryani


  • 500 g Basmati rice, soaked for at least 30 minutes then rinsed and drained
  • 1 white or yellow onion, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • around 700 ml vegetable stock (you can top with more water if it’s not enough)
  • 400 g baby potatoes, diced
  • 200 g frozen green peas, thawed
  • 12 carrots, diced
  • 100 g toasted vermicelli (can be found in Middle Eastern grocery stores)
  • 100 g blanched almonds
  • 30 g yellow raisins
  • 30 g dried cranberries
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • + oil for cooking

Spice mix:

  • 12 small cinnamon sticks or ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 ½ tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp whole allspice
  • 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
  • ½ tsp cardamom seeds
  • 1 tsp flaky salt
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • 1 ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp yellow curry powder (medium heat)


  1. Grind all whole spices in a spice grinder, then mix with the remaining spices. Heat a large pot with 2 tbsp oil, add the onion and turmeric. Fry over medium heat until the onions turn translucent. Add 2 tbsp of the spice blend, salt to taste and the rice, gently stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add vegetable stock until it covers the rice by 0.5-1 cm depending on how long you soaked your rice and rice brand. Bring to a boil, mix, turn down heat to low, and cover. Let cook until rice is cooked through, check after 15 minutes. Add more water if needed.
  2. Mix potatoes with 2-3 tsp of the spice blend, 1 tbsp oil, and salt to taste. Air-fry at 180 C for 20 minutes shaking the basket halfway. You can also deep-fry them or roast them in the oven.
  3. Add toasted vermicelli to a heated pan with 1 tbsp oil (if your vermicelli is not already toasted you can toast them until brown now before adding water). Add water so it just covers the noodles. Let cook on low heat until all water is absorbed then set to the side. They should be al dente but if too hard add more water and let cook longer.
  4. Add carrots and green peas to a heated pan with ½ tbsp oil, add salt and pepper to taste. Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes then set to the side.
  5. Add 1 tsp oil to a pan, add almonds and stir-fry over low heat until they turn slightly golden brown. Add raisins and dried cranberries and stir-fry for another 20 seconds. Remove from pan.
  6. Gently fluff up the rice with a fork, place the rice on a big serving plate or tray, top with vermicelli, potatoes, carrots, and green peas, almonds, and dried fruits. Top with some finely chopped parsley before serving.


Find more of Seiran’s recipes at @legallyplantbased.


Vegan Kurdish Biryani

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