Peach and Cashew Biryani Salad

Peach and Cashew Biryani Salad on a metal platter

Peach and Cashew Biryani Salad ~ barbecues can be pretty staid affairs what with the same old burgers, potato salads, and slaws, so here’s a thought ~ next time you’re asked to bring something, ditch Aunt Rose’s macaroni salad and make this knock-out rice pilaf salad instead.

a large round platter of peach and cashew biryani salad

Reader Rave ~

“I made this the other night, with only a few minor substitutions, and with the addition of microplaned lemon peel in the dressing. It was outstanding! Definitely a keeper– beautiful, and with so many different flavors it was like a party in your mouth!” ~Beth

I don’t read many food magazines these days because I just don’t have the extra time, but I always buy one or two to help me pass the time when I fly. I usually end up annoying anybody sitting near me because I’m madly ripping out pages for the duration of the flight.

One of the torn pages from my last flight inspired this stunning biryani salad ~ it’s adapted from a recipe in this month’s Food & Wine. It’s so up my alley I just had to make it and share with you. I adore biryani, it’s my standing order at any of the (many!) Indian restaurants we get take out from. It’s a beautiful, vibrant dish that’s also incredibly satisfying, even when it’s vegetarian, like this one.

overhead photo of peach and cashew biryani salad on a silver platter with large spoon

The vegetable biryani I usually get from our local restaurants aren’t nearly as colorful or chocked full as this one, but the basics are there…fluffy basmatic rice, aromatic saffron, cashews, spices, garden veggies. This version has quite a few bonus ingredients like plenty of dried fruit, and a flourish of very finely sliced fried onions. Instead of being a hot main course, this one is more of a room temperature ‘salad’. It’s a fabulous recipe if you’ve got leftover rice, because you can focus your attention on all the pretty extras.

Peach and Cashew Biryani Salad on a metal platter

If you bring this stunning salad to a potluck or church supper you’re bound to get oohs and aahhhs, and so the few extra steps in this recipe won’t be in vain. It’s a wonderful dish for a gathering because you don’t have to worry about keeping it piping hot or cold.

Peach and Cashew Biryani Salad on a metal platter

Also try ~

Reader Rave ~

“I made it step by step, reading your instructions. It was super delicious. Thank you for sharing this. This made me happy..” ~ Dhaval

~ recipe adapted from Food & Wine

Peach and Cashew Biryani Salad on a metal platter
3.64 from 11 votes

Peach and Cashew Biryani Salad

Peach and Cashew Biryani Salad ~ a healthy vibrant salad inspired by a classic Indian rice dish.
Course Salad, Side Dish, vegetarian main course
Cuisine Indian
Author Sue Moran



  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1/2 tso cardamom powder
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 clove powder
  • pinch salt and pepper


  • 1/2 tsp saffron threads
  • 1/2 red onion cut into half inch slices
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 small zucchini or yellow squash sliced in half lengthwise
  • 1 small eggplant sliced in half lengthwise
  • salt and fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • olive oil vegetable oil, or coconut oil
  • 1 cup cooked green lentils
  • 5 cups cooked basmati rice
  • 1 cup chopped dried fruits I used apricots, peaches, plums, and raisins
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro chopped
  • 1 bunch scallions thinly sliced

fried onions

  • 1/2 yellow onion peeled and sliced paper thin
  • vegetable or coconut oil for frying


  • Preheat oven to 425F (or heat a charcoal grill)
  • Whisk the dressing ingredients together, taste to adjust any of them, and set aside.
  • Crush the saffron threads between your fingers into a small bowl and pour 1/4 cup boiling water over them. Stir and set aside.
  • Toss the onion, broccoli, and zucchini and eggplant with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet if you are using the oven, or a grill pan if you are grilling, and roast for about 5-15 minutes, or until charred and just tender. Cool slightly and then cut the veggies into bite sized pieces.
  • While the veggies are roasting make the fried onions. Put a couple of inches of vegetable or coconut oil in a sauce pan and heat until quite hot, but not smoking, about 350F. Separate the onion rings from each other and fry, in batches, until golden and crispy, keeping them moving in the oil so they don't burn. Drain on paper towels and set aside.
  • Coat the bottom of a small skillet with vegetable or coconut oil and toast the cashews, stirring almost constantly, until they are golden, about 8 minutes. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with a little salt.
  • Assemble the salad ~ put the rice in a large bowl and drizzle the saffron water over it (you just want to color some of the grains.) Add the lentils, grilled veggies, cashews, dried fruits, cilantro, and scallions. Toss with the dressing. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve topped with the fried onions.
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

Make it your own ~

  • Make it with chicken ~ add some shredded or cubed cooked chicken for a main course salad.


Thanks for pinning this peach and cashew biryani salad

Peach and Cashew Biryani Salad ~ a gluten free rice salad inspired by fabulous Indian pilaf #salad #rice #glutenfree #pilaf #pilau #Indian #biryani #saffron #vegan #vegetarian #sidedish #ricesalad #vegetable #recipe #easy


I love to bring new and exciting dishes to the table, especially when I can introduce new flavors and combinations to friends and family. If you’re called upon to bring something to a gathering, why not try something a little off the beaten path? My Spicy Thai Spaghetti Salad is a great example of a dish that takes a beloved classic and tweaks it, and my Fried Cabbage and Bacon Slaw is always the first to go at any party. This Chopped Turkish Salad also sounds delicious, and no one will expect this Corn and Blueberry Salad!


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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    Deb Kelner
    September 7, 2020 at 6:41 pm

    5 stars
    Winner! Winner! Vegan dinner!
    In our quest to add more vegetarian meals to our repetoire I was thrilled to find this recipe. Yes, there were many steps involved in the preparation- it wasn’t a quick meal- but as its eaten room temperature it was perfect for this hot day. (90 degrees today, snow expected tomorrow! It’s labor day. We live in Colorado and it’s wacky). Mid-recipe I doubled it in order to take a meal to a grieving friend- perfect meal for drop off (all they have to do is combine things!)
    We had fresh peaches so I roasted a few and added them to the salad to up the peachiness. And… in doubling it I needed more veggies so I roasted some carrots and bell peppers and they just added to the yum!

  • Reply
    Dhaval Khambhayata
    October 28, 2018 at 7:24 am

    I made it step by step, reading your instructions. It was super delicious. Thank you for sharing this. This made me happy.

    • Reply
      October 28, 2018 at 10:16 am

      Your comment makes me happy 🙂

  • Reply
    Beth Harrison
    June 23, 2018 at 8:48 am

    I made this the other night, with only a few minor substitutions, and with the addition of microplaned lemon peel in the dressing. It was outstanding! Definitely a keeper– beautiful, and with so many different flavors it was like a party in your mouth!

    • Reply
      June 23, 2018 at 10:23 am

      I so happy to hear this, and such quick feedback, thanks Beth. I don’t normally post such involved recipes, but this one was really special. I’m so glad you liked it, and love the ‘party in the mouth’ bit 😉

  • Reply
    June 22, 2018 at 4:33 am

    I am a bit confused about the red onion. It states to cut in half and place with all veggies in oven. Do you only use one half in that way and the other half cut thin to saute?

  • Reply
    Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers
    June 20, 2018 at 3:54 pm

    Such a creative and pretty salad! Loving all the colours and flavours. Beautiful!

  • Reply
    John / Kitchen Riffs
    June 20, 2018 at 7:35 am

    What a terrific way to use peaches! And I don’t think I’ve ever had peaches and cashews together in the same dish — love the idea. This looks like it’s loaded with flavor, and we’re practically living on salads these days, so this a timely recipe for us. Thanks!

    • Reply
      June 20, 2018 at 7:37 am

      I agree John, just those two ingredients together sounds so enticing.

  • Reply
    Chris Scheuer
    June 20, 2018 at 7:07 am

    Haha! I’m totally with you on the magazine thing. I save all of mine up for when I travel and yes, tear out the pages! I always have a pile of torn pages stashed in my cupboard – my little inspiration corner. This Biryani Salad looks amazing and loaded with everthing I love. Can’t wait to try it!!

    • Reply
      June 20, 2018 at 7:28 am

      I have a gallery of those pages taped to my office wall…old school 🙂

  • Reply
    June 20, 2018 at 6:43 am

    WOW! This is the most vibrant biryani I’ve ever seen. I’ve never made it at home and never thought of its vegetarian version. Love your twist! Have to try it this summer!

  • Reply
    Angie@Angie's Recipes
    June 20, 2018 at 5:58 am

    Very colourful and delicious! Wish I could get my husband to eat cooked veggies…he can eat salads, but any cooked veggies is a no-go for him…

    • Reply
      June 20, 2018 at 7:01 am

      Husbands! Maybe you could serve the veggies raw in this salad, that would work.

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving Room for Dessert
    June 20, 2018 at 5:03 am

    All that goodness in one gorgeous salad! I really wish I could have this for breakfast this morning!

    • Reply
      June 20, 2018 at 7:04 am

      You know I have the classic Indian/British Kedgeree on the blog, Tricia, and that’s a breakfast dish made with rice and curry!

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