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Vegetable Biryani Broth

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 5 minutes
Servings 6 cups
Author Phoebe Lapine


  • 1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
  • 1 red onion quartered
  • 4 inches ginger root thinly sliced
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 4 star anise
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups misc vegetable scraps (leeks, carrot shavings, kale stems, etc.), optional
  • 16 cups water


  1. In a large Dutch oven or stock pot, heat the oil. Brown the onion and ginger over medium heat until lightly caramelized on all sides, about 4 minutes. Add the cardamom, star anise, cinnamon, cumin, cloves and salt. Toast the spices, stirring once or twice, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Cover the spice mixture with the water and add any additional veggie scraps you’re using (you can also add a head of garlic or give it a kick with a jalapeno).
  2. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered until the broth has reduced by two thirds, about 3 hours. Taste for seasoning and add more salt as necessary.
  3. Strain the broth through a fine mesh sieve and store in the fridge until ready to use. You can also freeze individual portions of it to add to quinoa, curries, or rice (like biryani!).

Recipe Notes

You can throw in any extra vegetable scraps you have on hand. Carrots, garlic and celery are a great addition as is a jalapeno for heat!