This quinoa biryani recipe is so easy to follow and you can make delicious and very flavorful biryani easily for lunch or dinner.
If you are trying to find a healthy alternative to white rice in dishes like biryani, quinoa is a great option. And don’t be scared to try quinoa in place of white rice for a biryani recipe.
So if you are looking for a biryani recipe without rice or if you are just trying to make a biryani without using white rice, do try this quinoa biryani recipe!
Quinoa is a chewy grain like seed with a great texture and you will never miss out the white rice in biryani when done right following the directions.
Just make sure to cook the quinoa in the right consistency for a biryani just like you do with white rice. That is, the biryani won’t taste its best when the rice is overcooked or mushy. Similarly we shouldn’t overcook the quinoa, and getting the quinoa in the right consistency for a biryani is not at all difficult.
We add caramelized onions and exotic spices to make this quinoa biryani so flavorful and delicious. Other than onions, I used tomatoes and coriander leaves to make this quinoa veg biryani, but you may also add chopped carrots, green peas etc if you wish.
I have similar rice recipes in my blog which will help you learn to make delicious Indian rice dishes for lunch or dinner. See here easy masala rice recipe, South Indian Kerala style ghee rice recipe, easy tomato biryani recipe etc which are all delicious Indian rice recipes for lunch and dinner.
As I mentioned above, we caramelize the onions for this recipe and please don’t skip the caramelized onions as they impart much flavor to make this quinoa biryani so yummy and flavorful.
Biryani can be prepared in different ways and many traditional biryani recipes call for layering rice and veggies and then baking them together further, to get the best results and flavors.
In this easy quinoa biryani recipe, we are not layering the ingredients but we are mixing the different ingredients together and cooking on top of a heated iron skillet once the initial cooking is done. However, if you wish, you can also do the layering and baking, instead of the easy way of mixing as called in the recipe.
I used a pre-washed quinoa(which is already washed) so I didn’t wash the quinoa before cooking. I found it little difficult to wash the quinoa as they are so small tends to stick all around. So I find it easy to buy already washed quinoa, which can be used for cooking. You can check your package to see if the quinoa is already washed or if you have to wash it yourself before cooking.
This is an easy quinoa biryani recipe and you won’t be disappointed if you follow the instructions. So here is how you can make this easy and yummy quinoa biryani following this easy quinoa biryani recipe.
Easy Quinoa Biryani Recipe
Makes 4 Servings of quinoa biryani
Ingredients for easy quinoa biryani recipe
- Quinoa(Pre-washed) 1 cup
- onions 2
- tomatoes 3 medium sized
- coriander leaves (cilantro) chopped 4 tablespoons
- salt as required
- lime juice 1 tablespoon
- turmeric powder 1 teaspoon
- red chili powder 1 teaspoon
- garam masala powder 2 teaspoons
- ginger garlic paste 2 tablespoons
- bay leaves 2
- cinnamon sticks 2 small
- anise 1
- cloves 2
- red chilies 4 to 5
- oil 4 tablespoons
- water 1.5 cups
- cashews a handful
- extra garam masala powder 1/2 teaspoon
Instructions For Easy Quinoa Biryani Recipe
- Peel one of the onions, wash and slice thin and long.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan and add the onions to caramelize.
- Add salt and fry the onions until the onions are browned and caramelized. Keep the heat at medium to low and this process may take around 25 to 30 minutes at least, meanwhile we do other things for the biryani.
- Once the onion slices are caramelized (you can do the following steps in between), transfer the caramelized onions from the stove and keep it aside.
- Meanwhile peel and wash the other onion, slice thin and long.
- Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in another large pan or kadai and lightly fry the cardamom pods, cloves, bay leaves, cinnamon sticks and red chilies.
- Once the above spices are lightly fried, add the sliced onions and saute until the onions are transparent in color, which may take 8 to 10 minutes of time.
- Chop the tomatoes and add it to the sauteed onions, saute for another 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add ginger garlic paste and lightly fry the contents for another 1 minute.
- Add the quinoa to the pan and roast the contents for about 2 to 3 minutes or until all the juice from the tomatoes is evaporated.
- Add salt and all remaining spices – turmeric powder, red chili powder, garam masala powder and also the lemon juice to the pan and stir everything well.
- Add the water and bring the mixture to a boil.
- As the mixture starts boiling, reduce the heat to low and cook for about 12 to 15 minutes or until the quinoa is almost cooked. As the quinoa gets cooked, the color changes from white to transparent light brown, which you can see.
- After 12 to 15 minutes of cooking, once the quinoa is not white in color anymore, open the pan and stir everything well. If there is anymore water remaining in the pan, keep the pan opened and cook in medium heat until all water is evaporated.
- Now mix in 2 tablespoons of chopped coriander leaves to the quinoa mixture (keep aside the remaining 2 tablespoons of leaves, as we need it for garnishing).
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a pan and lightly fry the cashews.
- Once the cashews are fried, add the caramelized onions to the same pan with cashews and mix them together.
- Add the extra 1/2 teaspoon of garam masala powder to the cashew onion mixture and stir fry for 1 to 2 minutes, keep this aside.
- Now lets heat the iron skillet in medium high heat and once the iron skillet is hot enough, place the pan with the quinoa mixture on top of the hot iron skillet. Keep the pan closed and cook in medium heat for another 4 to 5 minutes.
- After 4 to 5 minutes, open the pan and stir the contents again.
- Add half of the caramelized onions and cashew mixture to the quinoa mixture and mix everything well.
- Add the remaining half of caramelized onions and cashews as a topping by spreading it on top of the quinoa biryani.
- Close the pan again and cook in low heat for another 2 to 3 minutes.
- Garnish the quinoa biryani with the remaining chopped cilantro leaves (coriander leaves) and the quinoa biryani is ready to be served!
- Switch off the stove and transfer the biryani from the hot skillet and keep away from heat. Keep the biryani closed until serving, for the best flavors.
- Serve the quinoa biryani hot with fresh yogurt or raitha, pickles, chutney or any vegetarian curry or gravy as you wish. I served this quinoa biryani with crispy tofu baked and pan fried with tomato sauce and spices and the combo was great!
Hope you found this post on quinoa biryani helpful in making a delicious biryani without using white rice.