Mushroom Biryani | Mushrooms and spices cooked with rice

Mushroom Biryani | Rice & Mushrooms cooked with coconut and spices

I don’t even know where to begin to tell you just how flavorful this biryani can be! If you are strictly vegetarian, and okay with mushrooms, then please do try this: your friends that rave about the flavors from chicken or other meat-flavored biryanis can never ever tell you again that vegetarian biryanis don’t match-up to that taste. Mushrooms are so full of flavor which gets picked up by every morsel of rice that has been slowly simmering in its juices.. and add to that these simple yet amazingly taste-friendly combination of coconut, green chilies, mint (screaming FRESH), and not to forget – my old love… juice of lime / lemon. That’s it.. I am in food heaven!

This recipe is adapted (and made even easier) from a food site that a good friend of mine from Houston introduced me to more than 4 years ago.. it used to be fun trying out recipes together, with her little boy doing all he can to not let us cook.

Don’t miss out on this absolutely irresistible mushroom biryani – makes for a yum lunch box item. Oh, and do remember to whip up some raita to go with it.

Mushroom Biryani | Rice & Mushrooms cooked with coconut and spices

Serves: 4-6 | Cooking Time: 45 minutes



  1. Button Mushrooms – 18 oz or 500 gms (can also substitute in part with peppers and/or peas), diced
  2. Basmati Rice – 1.5 cups
  3. Oil / Ghee – 2 tbsp
  4. Cinnamon – 2 sticks
  5. Cloves – 3 or 4
  6. Bay leaves – 2 small or 1 large
  7. Onions – 3 medium, sliced thin
  8. Tomatoes – 3 medium, diced
  9. Ginger Garlic paste – 1 tbsp
  10. Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
  11. Green chilies – 7 or to taste (typically 2 per 1/2 cup of rice)
  12. Coconut – 1/2 cup (shredded/grated/chopped)
  13. Garam masala – 1.5 tsp
  14. Salt to taste
  15. Lemon juice – from 2 medium lemons or to taste
  16. Mint leaves – from 3 or 4 sprigs, stems taken out
  17. Coriander leaves – few stems, chopped fine



  1. Wash and soak the rice in water (for 1.5 cups rice add 3 cups water) just when you start cooking the dish (so total soak time less than 30 minutes).
  2. Grind together the coconut and green chilies into a fine paste, adding very little water if needed.

Prepare the mushroom-masala:

  1. Heat some oil/ ghee (or combination of the two) and add the cinnamon, cloves and bay leaves. Saute for a minute or so.
  2. Add the sliced onions and some salt to help it cook faster and cook for about 5 minutes until fully cooked and browining begins.
  3. Add the ginger garlic paste and turmeric powder and saute for 2 more minutes.
  4. Add the tomatoes and mushrooms and cook with lid on for about 10 minutes until mushrooms are about half the original size and the mixture has a good amount of water forms in the masala from the mushrooms and tomatoes/onions.

Add the coconut mix and spices:

  1. Add the coconut-chili paste to the mushroom masala.
  2. Add the garam masala to the mushroom mixture.
  3. Stir well and cook on medium heat for a couple of minutes.

Cooking the rice in the mushroom-masala:

Similar to chicken biryani.

Important: Rice needs just as much water as is left behind in the soaking bowl, so the key is to minus the quantity of water already in the mushroom masala and add only what is needed as extra

  1. First add the rice, without the water, to the mushroom masala. Retain the water in the soaking bowl.
  2. Add the mint, coriander leaves and lemon juice to the mixture and stir everything together.
  3. Eyeball the mushroom mixture to see how much water is already in there. Usually, I seem to not need additional water, except maybe a 1/4 cup at the most as there is a lot of moisture from the mushrooms and tomatoes and other stuff already in the masala/gravy.
  4. If the mixture seems to have less water/liquid than there in left behind in the rice’s soaking bowl, then add water from the soaking bowl as needed.
  5. Mix well and check for salt or lemon juice and add as needed.
  6. Cook with lid on. Bring to a boil first, stir once and then reduce heat to LOW and continue to cook for 10-15 minutes until rice is fully done.
  7. Turn off the heat. Wait for 10 minutes to allow flavors to settle in and then serve.

Serve with raita and sit back to enjoy every morsel!


I don’t always have mint at hand and have skipped it at times – it does not alter or affect the taste of the biryani too much.. but I highly recommend adding it so you enjoy the fresh and juicy goodness of mint infused into the dish.

7 Responses to “Mushroom Biryani | Mushrooms and spices cooked with rice”
  1. Pavani says:

    Is there a easier way to measure out the water? How about drying out the mushrooms completely and add 1:2 water?

    • aishcooks says:

      Hey Pav.. I prefer to keep the water from the mushrooms cause that adds a lot of flavor. What you could do is, add water such that there is water covering all the rice and veggies and standing an inch above the line of rice. This usually works for any rice preparation – stove top, microwave, etc. Rice + water standing an inch above (you can dip your finger in and it would usually be up to the level of the 1st knuckle.

      Hope it turns out good for you 🙂

  2. Thanks for the feedback, Arun.. glad you all enjoyed it!

  3. Poppy Bhavan says:

    I don’t eat mushrooms. But vouch fo my gal’s culinary skills.yummy.

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  1. […] the rice: Similar to mushroom biryani Important: Rice needs just as much water as is left behind in the soaking bowl, so the key is to […]

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