Cauliflower tikka biriyani

Cauliflower tikka biriyani

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
marination 15 mins
Total Time 2 hrs
Course Lunch, Main Course, Main Dish
Cuisine Indian
Servings 5 people


  • pressure pan
  • stove Grill or oven or frying pan


To Marinate

  • 1 large floret cauliflower
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tsp curd
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2-3 tsp red food coloring mixed in water

For biriyani

  • 5 tbsp Oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 1/2 medium Onion
  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 2 green chillies
  • 2 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 4 tsp curd
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 tbsp red chilli powder adjust to spice level
  • 1/2 tbsp garam masala
  • Mint leaves a hand full
  • Coriander leaves a handful
  • 1 inch Cinnamon stick
  • 2-3 pods Cardamom
  • 3-4 cloves
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp Food color mixed in water
  • 2 tbsp ghee

To cook rice

  • 2 cups Basmati rice
  • 4-5 cups Water
  • 6-7 whole Black Peppercons
  • 3-4 Cloves
  • 1 inch Cinnamon stick
  • 2-3 pods Cardamom
  • 1 tbsp Ghee
  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds
  • Salt (to taste)


To Make Cauliflower Tikka

  • Wash the cauliflower head well and chop the florets into small size. Bring a pot of water to boil with salt and blanch the florets and transfer to a bowl.
  • To the blanched cauliflower add red chilli powder, salt, garam masala, cooking oil, curd, ginger garlic paste, orange or red food coloring and mix well. (Refer to quantities mentioned under “to marinate”)
  • Marinate for 15 minutes. Roast the marinated cauliflower in a grill pan or in an oven or in a skillet.

To cook basmati rice

  • Now measure and gently wash the basmati rice by swirling it until the water runs clear. Soak it for 15 minutes.
  • Bring a 4-5 cups of water , add bay leaf, black pepper cons, ghee, cinnamon stick, cumin seeds, cloves and bring it to a boil, add the soaked basmati rice and Salt. (Refer quantities mentioned under “to cook rice”)
  • Cook the basmati rice until 90 % done. Drain and keep aside. (You can remove the whole spices if you wish to)
  • To make fried onions
  • If you wish to add fried onions you can make it by deep frying 1/2 an onion in oil until nice and roasted. Keep it aside for later.

To make biriyani

  • Take a wide pressure cooker or a deep and heavy bottom pot, heat it to medium flame.
  • Add cinnamon stick, cloves, cardamom pods (Refer to quantities mentioned under “for biriyani”.
  • Next add sliced onions, add a little salt and green chillies and cook until the onions turn soft.
  • Add Ginger garlic paste and chopped tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes have gone soft.
  • Next add the spice powders, red chilli powder, garam masala, curd, fresh mint leaves, turmeric powder, any left over cauliflower marinade liquid.
  • Cook until a nice biriyani masala base is ready. Don’t dry it too much we need to it be saucy.
  • Add the grilled cauliflower tikka and mix it in gently and allow it to coat well in the biriyani masala.
  • After a few minutes, remove half of the biriyani base into a bowl.

To layer the biriyani

  • Next we will layer the biriyani, add half of the cooked basmati rice, a few fresh mint leaves, some fresh coriander leaves, fried onions, a drizzle of red food coloring, 1 tbsp ghee (Not captured in images) . This is one layer.
  • Now make the next layer of the biriyani by adding the remaining cauliflower biriyani masala , followed by rice, and a layer of fried onions, mint and coriander leaves, some food coloring. A drizzle of ghee.
  • Lock the cooker and the whistle and let it steam in low to medium flame for 45 minutes.
  • After 45 minutes, turn off the flame and let it sit for 15 minutes.
  • Before serving, remove the lid and gently fluff the biriyani from the bottom. To mix the rice and the layers.
  • Serve it hot with Raita.


  1. Dum biriyani tastes better as it soaks in the gravy, This is not the authentic way but I find using the pressure cooker like this to finally add dum is the closest I can get to the flavours.
  2. Tikka usually is smoked with a charcoal to infuse the kebabish fragrance to it. You can add liquid smoke to the cauliflower marinade if you prefer or use a hot coal and leave it inside the bowl while it marinates to infuse the flavour.
  3. How to save time. You can prepare the biriyani base and the tikka ahead and just do the dum part before the occasion.
  4. I usually pressure cook my biriyani as it is faster but keep dum style for special occasions when I have guests over.
  5. Adding fried onions seems like an extra step, but it adds a nice flavour and sweetness to the biriyani. Go for it 🙂
  6. If you don’t want to use food coloring, you can also use saffron strand if you wish to.
  7. Blanching the cauliflower he’s it keeping it soft in the biriyani. Else it tends to get dry after grilling. So I recommend you don’t skip that step too.
Keyword biriyani, Cauliflower Recipes, chicken dum biriyani, Gobi recipe, Tikka Biriyani