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5 from 1 vote

Quinoa Biryani

Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Servings: 10
Author: Vaishali ยท Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes

Ingredients

  • For the quinoa "rice":
  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa , rinsed thoroughly in a fine-mesh strainer
  • 3 1/4 cups water
  • 1 1- inch stick cinnamon
  • 2 green cardamom pods
  • 2 cloves
  • Salt to taste
  • For the kala chana sauce:
  • 1 cup kala chana. Soak overnight , rinse and cook in a pressure cooker or on the stovetop until cooked but still firm. For the stovetop method, place the rinsed chana in a pot with at least two inches of water covering the chana. Bring to a boil, cover, slap on a lid, and cook until tender. Check regularly and add water if the chana gets dry. It should cook in about an hour. Honestly, a pressure cooker's much faster and you can also usually skip the soaking, so get one already.
  • 3 green cardamom pods
  • 3 cloves
  • 1- inch piece of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp shahjeera
  • 1 large onion , very finely chopped
  • 6 cloves of garlic , very finely grated or put through a garlic press
  • 1- inch knob of ginger , finely grated
  • 1/2 cup tomato puree
  • 1 tbsp coriander seed powder
  • 1 tbsp biryani masala (available online or at any Indian store)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup fried onions (you can buy these in a packet at any Indian store. Fried onions might appear dispensable, especially to the health-conscious, but make the effort: they add a certain flavor to biryani that you cannot replicate with another ingredient. And since this biryani makes at least eight servings, they don't add many calories in a single serving).
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped coriander leaves
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped mint
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Instructions

  • To make the quinoa rice, place all the ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium-low and let the quinoa cook until it has absorbed most of the water.
  • Lower the heat to low, slap on a tight-fitting lid, and let it cook another 10 minutes. Let the quinoa stand while you prepare the rest of the biryani.
  • Heat the oil in a large, heavy pot.
  • Add the cardamom, cloves and cinnamon and stir-fry for a few seconds. Add the shahjeera, stir, and then add the onions.
  • Saute, stirring frequently, until the onions are browning at the edges.
  • Add the ginger and garlic, stir-fry for 30 seconds, then add the turmeric powder, biryani masala, and coriander seed powder. Stir again to coat the spices with the oil, and then add the tomato puree.
  • Cook for about five minutes, stirring often, and then half of the fried onions, coconut milk and lemon. Add the mint and coriander leaves. Stir.
  • Add the drained, cooked kala chana. Stir together and let it all come to a boil. If the mixture is too dry, add some of the stock from boiling the kala chana. You want a thick gravy.
  • Reduce the heat to low. Now fluff the cooked quinoa with a fork so the grains separate. Pour over the kala chana masala in an even layer, using a ladle to help spread it evenly.
  • Sprinkle the quinoa with the remaining fried onions. Put on a tight-fitting lid and cook over a low flame for 15 minutes.
  • Let the biryani stand at least 15 minutes before serving. While serving, make sure you dig all the way to the bottom of the pot with the ladle to get a good mix of the quinoa and the masala.