Photo of Late-summer biryani by WW

Late-summer biryani

Total Time
1 hr 10 min
40 min
20 min
Biryani is an Indian mixed rice dish full of vibrant aromas and flavors—it will make your kitchen smell heavenly. Jasmine rice, spices, squash, and chickpeas make it a hearty option for both vegetarians and meat eaters alike. The ingredient list for this recipe is long, but it is well worth the effort. Serve this entrée with lime wedges. A heatproof spatula does double-duty here. Use it to stir the vegetables while they cook, then to gently fold those veggies together with the rice. If you don’t have a heatproof spatula on hand, reach for a wooden flat-bottom spoon or standard wooden spoon instead.


Cardamom pods

6 item(s), optional

Cumin seeds

½ tsp

Coriander seeds

½ tsp

Uncooked jasmine rice


Extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp

Ground turmeric

½ tsp

Ground cinnamon

1 pinch(es)

Kosher salt

½ tsp


1 cup(s)

Sliced almonds

2 Tbsp

Extra virgin olive oil

2 tsp


½ cup(s), chopped, yellow variety, sliced


2 cup(s), coarsely chopped, packed

Canned drained chickpeas

15 oz, rinsed and drained


1 cup(s), chopped, small florets

Uncooked butternut squash

1 cup(s), cubed, 1/4-inch cubes


1 clove(s)

Fresh ginger

2 tsp, finely chopped

Kosher salt

½ tsp

Cayenne pepper

1 pinch(es), optional


¾ cup(s)


2 Tbsp, coarsely chopped (for garnish)

Golden seedless raisins

2 Tbsp, chopped

Plain fat free Greek yogurt

3 Tbsp


  1. Toast cardamom pods, cumin seeds, and coriander seeds in a small skillet over medium-low heat, shaking pan back and forth over heat occasionally, until fragrant, 1-2 minutes; transfer to a plate. Place 4 cardamom pods and half of cumin and coriander mixture in a small bowl; set aside for vegetables (the remaining 2 cardamom pods and seed are for rice).
  2. Rinse rice under cold running water until water runs clear.
  3. In a medium saucepan with tight fitting lid, heat 1 tsp oil over medium heat; add rice. Stir in turmeric, cinnamon, and toasted cardamom and seeds reserved for rice; stir in 1/2 tsp salt and 1 1/3 c water. Bring rice mixture to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, 15 minutes. Remove rice from heat (do not open lid); let stand, covered, 10 minutes.
  4. To make vegetables, while rice is cooking, heat almonds in a small skillet over medium-low heat, shaking pan back and forth over heat frequently, until lightly golden, 4-5 minutes; remove from heat and set aside to cool. Once almonds are cool, coarsely crumble; set aside.
  5. Heat 2 tsp oil over medium heat in a medium skillet with tight-fitting lid. Add onion; cook, stirring frequently until beginning to wilt, 2-3 minutes. Add kale, chickpeas, cauliflower, squash, garlic, ginger, 1/2 tsp salt, cayenne, and toasted cardamom and seeds reserved for vegetables; cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add 3/4 c water; increase heat to high and cook, covered, 5 minutes. Uncover and cook, stirring, until vegetables are tender and water is mostly evaporated, about 1 minute more.
  6. Fluff rice with a fork and then add to skillet with vegetables; gently fold to combine and adjust seasonings to taste. Sprinkle with raisins, cilantro and crumbled almonds; serve warm with a dollop of yogurt.
  7. Serving size: 1 1/2 c rice mixture and 1/2 Tbsp yogurt