Photo of yellow biryani rice with chopped pumpkin, chickpeas and pumpkin seeds in a silver saucepan

Vegan Chickpea Pumpkin Biryani (GF)

This Vegan Chickpea Pumpkin Biryani is easy to make, super nutritious and full of flavour.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Keyword chickpea biryani, pumpkin biryani, vegan biryani
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 553kcal
Author Rhian Williams


  • 1 tablespoon (1 tablespoon) coconut oil (or sub vegetable or rapeseed oil)
  • 1 (1 ) onion , diced
  • 2 cloves (2 cloves) of garlic , minced
  • 1 cm (1/2 inch) ginger , peeled and minced
  • 1 heaped teaspoon (1 heaped teaspoon) curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon (1 teaspoon) ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon (1 teaspoon) ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon (1 teaspoon) sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon (1 teaspoon) garam masala
  • 300 g (1 1/3 cup) uncooked Basmati rice (or any other long-grain white rice)
  • 400 g (14 oz) pumpkin , peeled, deseeded and cut into small cubes (or sub butternut squash or sweet potato)
  • 400 g (14 oz) tin of chickpeas , drained and rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons (3 tablespoons) dried cranberries (or sub dried sour cherries)
  • Handful (Handful) fresh coriander (cilantro) , roughly chopped
  • 1 (1 ) vegetable stock cube (ensure gluten-free if necessary)
  • Salt + pepper to taste

To serve:

  • Flaked almonds
  • Pumpkin seeds


  • Heat up the oil in a large pan
  • Fry the onion, garlic and ginger for around 10 minutes until softened
  • Add the curry powder, cumin, turmeric, paprika and garam masala and fry for a minute until fragrant
  • Add the rice and fry for a couple of minutes, stirring frequently
  • Add the pumpkin, chickpeas, cranberries, coriander, stock cube (dissolved in a splash of hot water) and salt + pepper, along with 550ml (2 1/3 cup) water
  • Bring to the boil and keeping a lid over it, turn down the heat and cook for about 15 minutes (until all the water has been dissolved by the rice and the pumpkin is soft)
  • Once cooked, turn off the heat and keep the lid on for another 5 minutes
  • Scatter over flaked almonds and pumpkin seeds, if desired


Make sure to use a measuring jug to measure the amount of water exactly - too much and the rice will be uncooked and hard, too much and it will be watery and soupy.
If using a stock cube, make sure you've dissolved it completely in boiling hot water before adding it to the rice otherwise you'll end up with clumps of stock in your rice and the flavour won't be distributed evenly. You can alternatively use liquid stock.


Calories: 553kcal | Carbohydrates: 107g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 184mg | Potassium: 790mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 8785IU | Vitamin C: 12.8mg | Calcium: 105mg | Iron: 5.1mg