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Author Notes: Bringing best of two worlds together in a pot- Quinoa Vegetable Biryani!
Quinoa is the perhaps the most popular super food of this decade. It’s a seed (not a grain), which is gluten-free, high in protein, fiber, amino acids and a lot more. Biryani, on the other hand, is an Indian Rice dish, where aromatic basmati rice is cooked with marinated meat or vegetables.
This dish is my effort to bring them both together in a pot- and the result is simply delicious. It’s quick to make, cooks at lightning speed in my Instant Pot, so a big one-pot weeknight hit in my family! It’s easily customizable, you can add your choice of vegetables (I used cauliflower, carrots, green pepper and potato), add paneer (Indian Cottage Cheese) to it to bump up the protein (I always do that). Try it for yourself!
(In this recipe, I have used a pre-mixed Biryani Spice blend. You can easily substitute that with 1 tbsp Garam Masala, 1 tbsp Coriander Powder, 2 tsp Cumin Powder, 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder, 1/2 tsp cayenne, 1 tsp salt.) —Garam Masala Kitchen
- 1 cup quinoa of your choice
- 1 tablespoon ghee/butter/olive oil
- 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
- 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic crushed
- 4 tablespoons whole almonds and cashews
- 2 cups assorted vegetables of your choice
- 1 cup paneer, cubed (optional)
- 2 tablespoons Shan Biryani Masala
- 3 tablespoons fried onions
- 1/2 teaspoon saffron strands
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro and mint
- 1 cup 2 tablespoons water
- Prep: Cut assorted vegetables of your choice in bite size pieces. Cube paneer in 1/2 inch pieces. Crush 1/2 inch ginger+ 3 garlic cloves and keep aside (if using fresh).
- Turn IP on Sauté. Wait 30 seconds and add cumin seeds. When cumin seeds begin to sizzle, add ginger-garlic paste and sauté for 30 seconds. Add almonds and cashews and sauté another 30 seconds.
- Add vegetables and paneer, Biryani masala (see 'description' for substitute for masala blend) and quinoa. Add water and stir well. Top with fried onions, saffron strands and chopped cilantro-mint. Close lid. Valve set to Sealing. Press Manual (hi) for 2 minutes.
- After natural pressure release, NPR, open lid. Using a fork, gently fluff the biryani. Serve with raita or your favorite condiment.
- Stove-Top Pressure Cooker: This Biryani can also be made in any stove-top pressure cooker- Follow all instructions and continue to cook for 2 minutes 'after' your pressure cooker reaches high-pressure. When done, let the pressure release naturally.