“Danpauk” or vegetarian biriyani is a spicy, colorful, fragrant party-friendly rice dish that is guaranteed to tickle your nose, and satisfy your taste buds. BuddingVeg.com’s Stephanie shares a family recipe for Danpauk from her native country, Myanmar, where there is a vast vegetarian population.

What It Takes ( Preparation):

  • Prep time: 30 mins.
  • Cook time: 1.5 hours
  • Serving size: 3-4


What You’ll Need (Ingredients):

For the rice:

  • 1- 1 1/2 cups of basmati rice
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1-2 teaspoons of turmeric power (for that beautiful golden/yellow color, as well as a serious health boost)
  • 3-4 tablespoons of butter/ghee (a lard used out East). Aside from its tastiness, butter also gives dishes a beautiful shine. For a healthier version, try margarine or plain Greek yogurt (but go easier on this since it tends to give dishes a sour taste)
  • 2-3 whole cinnamon sticks (to  put into the rice cooker so rice becomes fragrant)
  • 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/8 cup of cardamom seeds (which you will remove once the rice is done)
  • 1/4 cup of finely minced garlic (can use  garlic powder as an alternative )
  • 1 star anise
  • Salt & Pepper—a generous amount for flavor

To garnish the rice AFTER the rice has been cooked (these items are highly recommended but optional):

  • For enhanced flavor and an even more orange/golden color, try a few packets of Goya’s Sazon flavor packets
  • 1/4 cup of roasted salted cashews to sprinkle (AFTER the rice is cooked so it doesn’t get soggy in the rice cooker)
  • 1/4 cup of crispy shallots to sprinkle atop
  • 1 small bunch of cilantro leaves for garnish
  • 3-4 small boxes of raisins (brown or purple is preferred for presentation)


What You’ll Do (Directions):

  1. Pour equal parts of the rice and water in the rice cooker (and in a large pot if you don’t have one).
  2. Slow cook for 1- 1.5 hours or until rice is tender
  3. Add remaining ingredients needed for the rice (spices, butter/butter substitute, etc).
  4. After rice has been cooked, add items for the garnish (cashews, crispy shallots, raisins, cilantro)
  5. Enjoy!


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