June 25, 2021

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Mushroom Biryani

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Mushroom Biryani Recipe » Spicy and Chettinad Style (2 Ways)

Mushroom biryani is the classic vegetarian version of biryani with meaty mushrooms, tender fluffy rice and flavorful spices. I share two delectable mushroom biryani recipes from the South Indian cuisine. These recipes requires only one pot and are made in less than forty five minutes! A spicy, tasty mushroom and rice recipe, these vegetarian mushroom biryanis are perfect for a delicious weeknight meal.

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About The Recipes

Mushrooms make a regular appearance in my family meals, as so many of my favorite recipes include these earthy ingredients. Below I share two recipes of Mushroom Biryani from the South Indian cuisine.

These biryanis have a complex taste, flavor and are spicy. Usually, the South Indian version of biryani are one pot recipes and not cooked in layers and dum cooked, like the traditional Veg Biryani.

My recipes will give you a really flavorsome biryani which you will keep asking for more. Mushroom biryani is also known as Kalan Biryani in Tamil Nadu as mushrooms are called ‘kalan’ in Tamil language.

Note that there are many variations of Mushroom Biryani and each recipe will have a unique taste and flavor depending on the ingredients used.

To make these recipes in the Instant Pot or in a stove-top pressure cooker, do read my FAQ section below or the notes section of the recipe card.

1. Spicy Mushroom Biryani

My first recipe is a super easy one pot South Indian mushroom biryani (or kalan biryani). This super delicious biryani has a tangy, bold and spicy flavor from the tomatoes, onions, herbs and spices. The recipe is vegan and gluten-free.

The recipe is inspired from the mushroom biryani we have had at the Pepper Vine Cafe at Isha Yoga Center of Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev near Coimbatore. This was decades ago and I still continue to make this winning dish every time – simply due to its ease of preparation with rich, spicy, umami flavors.

Here you need some spices and herbs that are easily available in the Indian kitchen. Mint leaves are an ingredient that may or may not be in your kitchen, so feel free to remove it completely from the recipe or swap with dried mint.

2. Chettinad Style Biryani

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The second recipe is inspired from the Chettinad region, which is located in Tamil Nadu. This version takes more time than the first recipe. To make this particular mushroom biryani recipe, you will need a few key ingredients, including Coconut Milk and Curd or yogurt.

You can make your coconut milk a day before or you can even use store bought coconut milk. You can also skip the curd if needed. However, I would recommend against skipping the coconut milk, as it is an essential ingredient in this recipe.

For vegetarians, there are so many unique ways to make a mushroom and rice combo. I have shared a few regional Indian recipes earlier:

  1. Ambur Biryani
  2. Dindigul Biryani
  3. Mushroom Fried Rice

Step-by-Step Guide

Spicy Mushroom Biryani Recipe

Prep Ingredients

1. First rinse and then soak 1 heaped cup basmati rice in enough water for 30 mins. You could make use of any non-sticky variety of rice to make this biryani.

Even seeraga samba (kaima rice) which is the South Indian variety of rice that is often added to a biryani can be used in this recipe.

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2. After 20 to 30 minutes drain all the water from the rice and set the rice grains aside.

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3. When the rice is soaking, prep the rest of the ingredients like chopping veggies, mushrooms, getting your spices and herbs ready etc.

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Fry Spices

4. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a deep pan or pot. Make sure that the bottom of the pan is thick, otherwise the rice can get browned or burn while cooking.

Use any neutral oil. If you prefer, you can include ghee (clarified butter) as well.

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5. When the oil becomes hot, lower the heat. Add all the whole spices – ½ teaspoon fennel seeds, ½ teaspoon cumin seeds, 2 to 3 cloves, 1 tej patta (Indian bay leaf), 1 inch cinnamon, 2 to 3 green cardamoms, 1 small star anise and 2 to 3 thin strands of mace.

I recommend to add all the spices, but due to non-availability consider skipping mace and star anise. Do try to include all the other spices.

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6. Fry the spices until fragrant for a few seconds.

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Sauté Onions, Herbs, Tomatoes

7. Add ½ cup chopped onions and sauté until translucent.

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8. Next add 2 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste, 1 teaspoon chopped green chilies, 2 tablespoons of chopped mint, 2 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves, ½ cup tightly packed finely chopped tomatoes and 8 to 10 curry leaves.

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9. Mix well.

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10. Sauté this mixture stirring often until the tomatoes soften.

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11. Add 1.5 teaspoon coriander powder (ground coriander), ½ teaspoon turmeric powder (ground turmeric), ½ teaspoon garam masala powder, ½ teaspoon red chili powder or cayenne pepper and ¼ teaspoon black pepper powder.

If you do not have garam masala powder, either skip it or swap with ½ teaspoon curry powder.

Note that if you add curry powder, add ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder and not ½ teaspoon as curry powder has some turmeric in it.

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12. Mix again very well so that the masala or dry spice powders get mixed evenly with the rest of the mixture. Sauté for a minute.

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Sauté Mushrooms

13. Add chopped or sliced button mushrooms.

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14. Mix again.

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15. Sauté mushrooms on a low to medium heat for 6 to 8 minutes. Keep on stirring at intervals.

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Simmer

16. Add water.

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17. Bring this mixture to a simmer on medium-low to medium heat.

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Add Rice

18. Add the soaked rice grains.

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19. Add 2 tablespoons each of chopped mint and coriander leaves.

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20. Mix gently taking care not to break the rice grains.

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21. Season with salt. Check the taste of the stock and it should taste a bit salty like water from the ocean.

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Cook Mushroom Biryani

22. Cover the pan with a lid. On a low heat cook the biryani until the rice grains are tender, fluffy with all the water absorbed. If the rice grains are under cooked and the water has evaporated, add about ¼ to ½ cup hot water or more as needed.

Remember to check the rice a few times while cooking, to see if the water dries up or not. Depending on the size and quality of the pan and the kind of rice grains, you may need to add more water.

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23. When the rice grains are cooked perfectly, let the biryani rest for 5 minutes before serving. Open the lid and gently fluff the rice.

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Serve mushroom biryani hot or warm.

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Step-by-Step Guide

Chettinad Mushroom Biryani

Soak and Prep Rice

1. First rinse the rice well in water. Then soak the rice in water for 20 to 30 minutes. You can use any kind of non-sticky white rice. I have included basmati rice but the South Indian variety of seeraga samba rice also works well.

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2. After 20 to 30 minutes, drain the rice of all the water. Add 1 teaspoon of ghee to the soaked rice grains.

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3. Next coat the rice with ghee, then allow the rice to marinate for 10 to 15 minutes.

NOTE: Instead of marinating the rice, you can also sauté the rice in ghee lightly.

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Prep the Veggies

4. While the rice soaks in water, prep your other ingredients. First rinse or wipe dry your button mushrooms. Then quarter them and place in a mixing bowl.

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5. Next thinly slice 2 medium onions. After that, chop 1 medium to large tomato. At this point, you can also go ahead and chop 3 to 4 green chilies, 3 to 4 medium garlic cloves and 1 inch of ginger. Additionally, you can chop mint leaves and coriander or cilantro leaves, as well.

NOTE: If you are worried about the spice level, you can add fewer green chilies to your mushroom biryani recipe.

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Make the Ground Paste

6. Now, in a small grinder or chutney grinder, combine ¼ cup of chopped mint leaves, ¼ cup of chopped coriander leaves, about 2 to 3 teaspoons chopped green chilies, 1 teaspoon chopped garlic and 1 teaspoon chopped ginger.

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7. Then add ½ to 1 tablespoon of water and grind to a smooth paste.

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Marinate the Mushrooms

8. Next add the ground paste along with 3 tablespoons of curd (or yogurt) to the chopped mushrooms.

NOTE: Curd can be skipped in the recipe. Just marinate the mushrooms with the rest of the ingredients.

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9. After that add ¼ to ⅓ teaspoon turmeric powder, ½ teaspoon of red chili powder or cayenne, ½ teaspoon of garam masala powder and 1 teaspoon of coriander powder (ground coriander).

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10. After that, gently mix all the ingredients with the mushrooms. Cover and set aside to marinate for 20 to 30 minutes.

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11. Now take all the whole spices and set aside.

NOTE: Below the spices are photographed in clockwise order:

  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 2 green cardamoms
  • 2 kapok buds (marathi moggu) – optional
  • 1 medium to large tejpatta (Indian bay leaf)
  • 6 to 7 black peppers
  • 1-inch cinnamon
  • 3 to 4 cloves
  • 1 small piece of stone flower – optional
  • 2 single strands of mace – optional
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Fry Whole Spices

12. Then heat 2 to 2½ tablespoons of oil in a thick-bottomed pot or pan. Lower the heat. Next add the whole spices and sauté them until they are fragrant. Use any neutral oil. You can also make the biryani with coconut oil.

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Sauté Onions

13. Now add the sliced onions – about ¾ to 1 cup thinly sliced onions.

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14. Then stir well and sauté the mixture on low to medium heat. Add a pinch of salt for quick cooking of the onions.

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15. While you cook, stir often. Continue to sauté until the onions become golden.

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Sauté Tomatoes

16. Then add ½ cup of chopped tomatoes.

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17. Now stir and sauté the tomatoes for about 2 minutes on a medium-low to medium heat.

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Sauté Mushrooms

18. Next add the marinated mushrooms.

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19. Then stir well again, and sauté the mushrooms for 6 to 7 minutes.

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20. Now, in the bowl, with a little bit of the marinade left, add 1 cup of water. Then mix the marinade with the water.

NOTE: Add water as required depending on the quality of rice. You can add from ½ to 1 cup of water. For example, I used organic basmati rice, so I added 1 cup of water.

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21. Keep an eye on the mushrooms! When they have shrunk and you can see oil specks on top of the mixture, it is time to add the water and marinade mixture to the mushrooms.

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Pour Coconut Milk

22. Then add 1 cup of thick coconut milk.

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23. Now mix and stir well.

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24. Then season with salt.

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25. Continue to stir.

NOTE: At this point, check the taste of the stock. It should taste a bit salty.

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26. Then on medium heat, bring the mixture to a boil.

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27. Next add the ghee-coated rice and mix gently.

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Cook Rice

28. After that, cover the pot or pan with a lid.

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29. Then allow the biryani to simmer on low heat until the rice grains are finished. Make sure you check once or twice while rice is cooking. Once the rice grains are cooked, cover and allow to stand for 5 minutes before serving the chettinad mushroom biryani.

Cook Times May Vary: It took me 12 minutes for the rice to cook. Depending on the thickness and depth of the pan, quality of rice and heat level, it can take 10 to 12 minutes.

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Serving Suggestions

Like most other biryanis, these mushroom biryanis are best paired with a cooling raita. Opt to make any of your favorite raita. While I always go for Cucumber Raita or the classic Onion Tomato Raita, you can choose raita like Boondi Raita or Mint Raita. Simple plain curd (yogurt) also tastes good.

You can garnish any of the biryanis with mint or coriander leaves. If you are not a fan of raita or yogurt, pair with a few lemon wedges and a fresh Vegetable Salad and a roasted or fried papadums.

Both the biryanis have a lot of spices and are really flavorful, so I would recommend serving them without any curry or gravy. You can also enjoy the biryani as it without any sides.

Storage and Leftovers

Any leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for 1 day. Keep the biryani in a covered container. While reheating, either sauté until warm or hot in a skillet or steam for 5 minutes in a pot or an Instant Pot.

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Expert Tips

  • Rice: This kalan biryani tastes great with both Basmati Rice and seeraga samba rice. If you do not have either of these rice varieties, then make mushroom biryani with any non-sticky variety of short-grained or medium-sized rice.
  • Spices: For the best flavor and taste, I would suggest to use all of the spices listed in the recipes. However, if you have trouble finding some of the ingredients, you can skip kapok buds, stone flower, star anise and mace.
  • Herbs: Both recipes have mint and coriander leaves (cilantro). If you do not have fresh mint leaves, use dried mint instead. For 1 tablespoon of chopped mint, use 1 teaspoon dried mint. Omit coriander leaves if you do not have these or swap with fresh parsley. Omit curry leaves if you do not have them. In all these cases the flavor will be different.
  • Vegan options: For the Chettinad biryani, use vegan yogurt in place of dairy yogurt or skip the curd (yogurt) altogether. If skipping yogurt, then add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice to the rice after adding water. Additionally, use a neutral oil in place of ghee.
  • Mushrooms: Cremini mushrooms and shiitake mushrooms both taste great in this recipe. You also can include a combination of various varieties of edible fresh mushrooms.

FAQs

Can you cook mushroom biryani in the Instant Pot?

Yes, you can cook these mushroom biryanis in an Instant Pot. For Instant pot, follow the sautéing instructions in the steel insert using the sauté function. Then add the liquids. For the spicy biryani version, add 1.5 cups water.

For Chettinad biryani, add 1 cup coconut milk and ½ cup water. Season with salt and combine well. Then seal tightly with the Instant Pot lid and position the valve to sealing position.

After that, pressure cook on high for 5 minutes. When you hear the beep sound after the pressure cooking is complete, wait for 8 to 10 minutes and then do a quick pressure release.

How do you make mushroom biryani in a stove-top pressure cooker?

Follow the sautéing instructions in a 2-liter pressure cooker. For spicy mushroom biryani, add 1.5 to 1.75 cups water.

For the Chettinad style biryani, add 1 cup coconut milk and ½ to ¾ cup water. Season with salt.

Pressure cook on medium to medium-high heat for 2 to 3 whistles or 8 to 9 minutes. When the pressure falls naturally in the cooker, open the lid. Fluff and serve.

How much water should be used for this recipe?

Depending on the quality, age of rice and the water content in coconut milk, the amount of water will vary. Usually for 1 cup of basmati rice, 2 cups of liquids work well when cooking in a pan or pot.

Do you have to rinse the rice first?

Do rinse the rice grains well so that the water is clear of starch. This will help in making the cooked rice grains non-sticky and fluffy.

Is mushroom biryani spicy?

Chettinad biryani is known for being spicy, but if you cannot tolerate the heat, then you can always cut down on the number of green chilies.

More Delicious Rice Recipes to Try!

If you made this recipe, please be sure to rate it in the recipe card below. Sign Up for my email newsletter or you can follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, Pinterest or Twitter for more vegetarian inspirations.

Mushroom biryani is the classic vegetarian version of biryani with meaty mushrooms, tender fluffy rice and flavorful spices. I share two delectable mushroom biryani recipes from the South Indian cuisine. These recipes requires only one pot and are made in less than forty five minutes!

Prep Time 20 mins

Cook Time 25 mins

Total Time 45 mins



Servings 3

Units

For Spicy Mushroom Biryani

Main Ingredients

Whole Spices

For Chettinad Mushroom Biryani

Marinating rice

Green masala paste

Marinating mushrooms

Other ingredients

Making Spicy Mushroom Biryani

Preparation

  • Rinse rice grains a few time until the water is clear of starch. Soak rice in enough water for 20 to 30 mins. 

  • Later drain all the water from the rice and set aside. When the rice is soaking, prep up the rest of the ingredients like chopping veggies, herbs and getting the spices ready.

Cooking Biryani

  • Heat oil in a deep pan or pot. Make sure that the bottom of the pan is thick, otherwise the rice can get browned or burned.

  • When the oil becomes hot, add all the whole spices – fennel, cumin, cloves, tej patta, cinnamon, green cardamoms, star anise and mace.

  • Fry the spices till fragrant for a few seconds.

  • Then add chopped onions and saute till translucent. Next add ginger-garlic paste, green chilies, half a portion each of the mint and coriander leaves, tomatoes & curry leaves.

  • Mix very well. Sauté this mixture on a low to medium-low heat until the tomatoes soften.

  • Then add coriander powder, turmeric powder, garam masala powder, red chili powder and black pepper powder.

  • Mix again very well so that the ground spice powders gets mixed evenly with the rest of the mixture. Sauté for a minute.

  • Add sliced mushrooms. Stir again. Sauté on a low to medium heat for 6 to 8 minutes. Keep on stirring at intervals.

  • Then add water. Bring the mixture to a simmer.

  • Add the rice. Add rest of the chopped mint and coriander leaves. Mix again.

  • Season with salt. Check the taste of the stock and it should taste a bit salty.

  • Cover the pan with a lid. On a low heat cook the biryani until the rice grains are tender, fluffy and all the water has been absorbed. 

  • If the rice grains are undercooked and the water has dried up, add about ¼ to ½ cup hot water of more as needed.

  • You have to keep on checking the rice a couple of times to see if the water dries up or not. 

  • Once done, allow the biryani to rest for 5 minutes. Then open the lid and gently fluff the rice before serving.

Making Chettinad Biryani

Prepping rice

  • First rinse rice very well in water for a couple of times. Then soak the rice in water for 20 to 30 minutes.

  • After 20 to 30 minutes, drain the water from the rice grains. Add 1 teaspoon ghee to the soaked rice.

  • Mix and coat the rice with ghee very well and allow to marinate for 10 to 15 minutes. Instead of marinating, you can also sauté the rice in ghee lightly in a pan on low heat.

Preparing veggies and mushrooms

  • When you keep the rice for soaking, prep the remaining ingredients. First rinse or wipe dry and then quarter or slice the mushrooms. Take the mushroom in a mixing bowl and set aside.

  • Slice thinly the onions. Chop the tomato. Also chop the green chilies, garlic cloves and ginger. Chop mint and coriander leaves as well.

Making green paste

  • In a small grinder or chutney grinder, take the chopped mint leaves, coriander leaves, green chilies, garlic and ginger. 

  • Add ½ to 1 tablespoon water or as required. Blend to a smooth paste.

Marinating mushrooms

  • Add this ground green paste with the curd to the chopped mushrooms.

  • Sprinkle turmeric powder, red chilli powder, garam masala powder and coriander powder.

  • Gently mix all the ingredients with the mushrooms. Cover and set aside to marinate for 20 to 30 minutes.

Sautéing spices, onions, tomatoes

  • Heat 2 to 2.5 tbsp oil in a thick bottomed pot or pan. Add the whole spices and fry them for a few seconds or until they are fragrant.

  • Then add the sliced onions. Mix very well and sauté them on a low to medium heat. Add a pinch of salt for quick cooking of the onions.

  • Stir often and sauté until the onions become golden.

  • Add tomatoes. Stir and sauté the tomatoes for about 2 minutes.

Cooking mushrooms

  • Add the marinated mushrooms. Mix very well and sauté the mushrooms for 6 to 7 minutes or until they shrink and you see oil specks on top.

  • In the bowl where the mushrooms were marinated, there will be some marinade left. Add 1 cup water and mix the marinade with the water. 

  • Add water as required depending on quality of rice. You can add from ½ to 1 cup water. I used organic basmati rice, so I added 1 cup of water.

  • Add this water to the mushrooms. Also add 1 cup coconut milk. Mix very well.

  • Season with salt and stir. On a medium heat bring the mixture to a boil.

Cooking rice

  • Then add the ghee coated rice. Mix again gently.

  • Cover the pot or pan with a lid. Check once or twice when rice is cooking.

  • On a low heat cook until the rice grains are tender and soft. 

  • It took me 12 minutes for the rice to cook. Depending on the thickness and depth of pan, quality of rice and flame intensity, it can take about 10 to 12 minutes to cook rice.

  • Once the rice grains are tender, cover and allow to stand for 5 minutes before serving mushroom biryani. Then gently fluff the rice with a fork.

  • Garnish with mint or coriander leaves and serve Chettinad mushroom biryani with a side salad or raita.

Serving Suggestions

  • Both the mushroom biryanis are best served with a side of raita. Choose to make any of your favorite raita. Cucumber RaitaOnion Tomato RaitaBoondi Raita or Mint Raita are some of the options. Simple plain curd (yogurt) also tastes good with the biryani.
  • You can garnish any of the biryanis with mint or coriander leaves. If you do not like raita or yogurt, pair with a few lemon wedges and a fresh Vegetable Salad and a roasted or fried papadums.
  • Both the biryanis have a lot of spices and are really flavorful, so I would recommend serving them without any curry or gravy. You can also enjoy the biryani as it without any sides.

Storage and Leftovers

  • Any leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for 1 day. Keep the biryani in a covered container.

  • While reheating, either sauté until warm or hot in a skillet or steam for 5 minutes in a pot or an Instant Pot.

Ingredient Notes

  • Rice: This biryani tastes good with both basmati rice and seeraga samba rice. If you do not have either of these rice varieties, then make mushroom biryani with any non-sticky variety of short-grained or medium-sized rice.
  • Spices: For the best flavor and taste, I would suggest to use all spices. But due to non availability, skip kapok buds, star anise, stone flower and mace. 
  • Vegan options: Use vegan yogurt in place of dairy yogurt or skip the curd (yogurt) altogether. If skipping yogurt, then add 1 teaspoon lemon juice to the rice after adding water. Use a neutral oil in place of ghee. 
  • Mushrooms: Cremini mushrooms and shiitake mushrooms also taste great in this recipe. You can include a combination of various varieties of edible fresh mushrooms. 
  • Herbs: Both recipes have mint and coriander leaves (cilantro). If you do not have fresh mint leaves, use dried mint instead. For 1 tablespoon of chopped mint, use 1 teaspoon dried mint. Omit coriander leaves if you do not have these or swap with fresh parsley. Skip curry leaves if you do not have them. In all these cases the flavor will be different.
  • Note that the approximate nutrition info is for the spicy mushroom biryani. 

Cooking notes

  • Water quantity: Depending on the quality, age of rice and the water content in coconut milk, the amount of water will vary. Usually for 1 cup of basmati rice, 2 cups of liquids work well when cooking in a pan or pot.
  • Rinsing rice: Do rinse the rice grains well so that the water is clear of starch. This will help in making the cooked rice grains non-sticky. 
Alternative Cooking methods
You can easily make this dish in a stove-top pressure cooker or in the Instant Pot. Vary the quantity of water and time as required with the kind of rice you are using.
  1. Instant Pot Method: For Instant pot, follow the sautéing instructions in the steel insert of your IP using the sauté function. Add 1 cup of coconut milk and ½ cup of water. Season with salt. Combine well. Seal tightly with the IP lid and position the valve to sealing position. Pressure cook on high pressure for 5 minutes. When you hear the beep sound after the pressure cooking is complete, wait for 8 to 10 minutes and then do a quick pressure release. 
  2. Cooking in Stove-top Pressure Cooker: Follow the sautéing instructions in a 2 litre pressure cooker. Add 1 cup coconut milk, ½ to ¾ cup water and season with salt. Pressure cook on medium to medium-high heat for 2 to 3 whistles or 8 to 9 minutes. When the pressure falls naturally in the cooker, open the lid. Fluff and serve. 

Nutrition Facts

Mushroom Biryani (2 Ways)

Amount Per Serving

Calories 407 Calories from Fat 144

% Daily Value*

Fat 16g25%

Saturated Fat 2g13%

Sodium 427mg19%

Potassium 486mg14%

Carbohydrates 59g20%

Fiber 4g17%

Sugar 3g3%

Protein 8g16%

Vitamin A 683IU14%

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 1mg67%

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 1mg59%

Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 35mg175%

Vitamin B6 1mg50%

Vitamin B12 1µg17%

Vitamin C 63mg76%

Vitamin D 1µg7%

Vitamin E 6mg40%

Vitamin K 9µg9%

Calcium 89mg9%

Vitamin B9 (Folate) 345µg86%

Iron 3mg17%

Magnesium 46mg12%

Phosphorus 162mg16%

Zinc 1mg7%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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This mushroom biryani recipe post from the archives (July 2015) has been republished and updated on 16 May 2021.

Welcome to Dassana’s Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

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