Chai Tea Biryani

Chai Tea Biryani




It’s National Vegetarian Week, and I’m doing my bit to create awareness about the benefits of eating less meat by sharing my recipe for vegan chai tea biryani rice.

There are many reasons why people become vegetarians, but probably the 3 most common reasons are: for better health, compassion for the animals, and to better the health of the planet.

According to “Nine billion land animals (and billions more aquatic animals) are raised and killed for food each year in the United States—that’s more than 1 million animals every hour.” There are several things wrong with this figure: It’s an unnecessary waste animal life, water resources, and land, and it’s unsustainable.

One book that I can recommend you to read about the unsustainability of the current practice of harvesting animals is Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating by Mark Bittman. This book is written for vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike.

Whether we eat meat or not, by making a few changes in our diet, in the direction of eating less meat, we will be doing better for our own health, the well-being of animals and for the health of the planet.

This week the friendly women at theRecipeReDux challenged the group members to come up with a recipe that uses tea–like that was really a challenge. For me it had to be something with chai tea, or a variation of it. This biryani rice dish uses chai tea as the base liquid and it’s delicious! It’s also dairy free, vegetarian and vegan. Try it and let me know what you think about it.

You might also like the following recipes to celebrate National Vegetarian Week. They are all super yummy!

Wicked Vegan White Beans (vegan)

Mediterranean Garden Lasagna (vegetarian)

Vegetable Shu Mai (vegan)

Spicy Marinated Tofu (vegan)


Chai Tea Biryani

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Serves: 4

Chai Tea Biryani


  • Chai Tea Biryani
  • For the Tea:
  • 2-1/3 cups water
  • 1 teabag of chai tea
  • 2 1/3-inch slices of ginger
  • 5 green cardamom pods
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 1 star anise
  • 5 black peppercorns
  • For the Rice:
  • 1 cup Brown Jasmine Rice
  • 1 tablespoon olive
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons chai tea
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • Garnish:
  • ¼ cup cashews
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro or parsley


    For the Tea:
  1. Place 2-1/2 cups water in a small pot along with 1 bag of chai tea, 2 slices of ginger from a piece of ginger about 1-inch in diameter, 5 cardamom pods, 1 star anise, and 5 black peppercorns. Bring the water to a simmer and allow it to simmer for 5 minutes.
  2. Remove the tea from the heat and let it rest for 10 minutes.
  3. Strain the tea. You should have 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons of liquid remaining. If you are short of this amount add water to make up the difference.
  4. For the Rice:
  5. Pour 1 tablespoon olive oil in a 4-quart saucepan and sauté the onion until it is transparent.
  6. Add the salt, turmeric, cumin and raisins. Stir well.
  7. Add the tea, coconut milk, rice, and bay leaf. Stir, and bring the liquid to a simmer. Cover the pot tightly and cook on low heat until the rice absorbs the liquid, about 30 to 35 minutes.
  8. When with rice is done, fluff it up with a fork and then garnish with chopped cilantro or parsley, raisins and cashews.


This recipe is also posted at Hearth and SoulTuesday’s Table, and Wonderfully Creative Wednesdays.

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