Vegan Quinoa Biryani

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Vegan Quinoa Biryani


You must be thinking it’s raining Biryanis here. Well it’s just that biryani is one of the favorite foods at my home, often requested by the teen and the spice guy. Since I make it so often I just keep cut and prepped vegetables in the freezer so I can make this as and when requested. There are times however Biryani gets requested more than once a week. I do like the fact that the teen enjoys eating vegetables, but I also want her to eat from the entire spectrum of healthy and nutritious food.

Adding a few nutritious seeds here and there, making a smoothie with oats added in and substituting quinoa for grains are things that she enjoys and eats without fuss.

vegan Quinoa Biryani

This  Vegan Quinoa Biryani is my go to Biryani especially when time is of essence. I know I posted an Easy Vegetable Biryani, but this one is just as easy and equally delicious. The best part is, it makes great leftovers for a snack or lunch without being too heavy.

Here are some tips for a successful Quinoa Biryani

1) Cook the Quinoa in a vegetable stock and add in some salt. This enhances the flavor of the quinoa and packs in more nutrition.

2) Different brands and types of Quinoa cook differently. So follow the guidelines on the pack for cooking times and liquid content.

3) Since Quinoa takes in flavors from anything you add into it, you want the Biryani lightly spiced. So a generous hand with spices may not be a good thing here.

4) Chances are that your quinoa is pre rinsed,  but you should rinse it well to avoid getting the bitter taste of the saponins.


Vegan Quinoa Biryani


  • Ingredients
  • 2 Cups Quinoa
  • 500 gms vegetables Mix of cauliflower florets, peas, sliced carrots, cut green beans
  • 4 C Veg Stock
  • 1/4 C mint
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp garam masala use your favorite brand
  • 1 tsp chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 blade of mace
  • 1 green cardamoms
  • 1/4 stick of cinnamon
  • 6-8 black peppercorns
  • 1 C sliced onions
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • salt to taste
  • 3 tsp coconut oil or any other oil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 Indian bay leaf tejpatta


Pre cook the Quinoa

  1. Place quinoa in a mesh strainer, and rigorously rinse it under running water. Allow the water drain for a few minutes.
  2. Meanwhile start to heat up the stock and let it warm up Add in the cloves, mace, green cardamom, cinnamon, pepper corns and let it simmer.
  3. Take a medium pan and add 1 tsp oil, add in the quinoa and roast it until it looks almost dry.
  4. Now add the warmed up stock to the quinoa ( remove the spices) and bring this to a rolling boil.
  5. Cover and reduce the heat to low and cook for 10 minutes. Then switch off heat and let the quinoa rest for another 10 minutes before opening the lid.

Pre cook the veggies

  1. Heat the oil, add in the cumin and tejpatta, Add in the onion and saute until light in color.
  2. Add in ginger and garlic and cook until fragrant.. about one minute
  3. Add the veggies except peas and add the turmeric, cayenne, garam masala,coriander powder.Mix.
  4. Cook covered for 10 minutes on medium heat .
  5. Add in the salt and peas and cover and cook until veggies are slightly tender. Be sure to not cook them through at this point.


  1. Your quinoa should be rested and ready for this step.
  2. Simply add the quinoa as a top layer to the vegetables,layer with mint and cover.
  3. Cook on medium low heat for 10 minutes and allow it to rest for another 10 minutes before serving.
  4. Serve with a side of raita and don't forget the side of onions, lemons and green chillies.

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Comments 6

  1. I never thought of making vegetable biryani with quinoa instead of rice! I LOVE LOVE LOVE quinoa so will have to try this (when I have all the necessary spices on hand)!

  2. Ansh, I am in love. With that piece of cauliflower. It looks succulent, flavorful and done just right. And anyone who can get a cauliflower look like that deserves kudos of the highest order. And I can tell that biriyani tastes as smashing as it looks. Yummm!!

  3. I have most of these ingredients on hand but love your idea of freezing some to be ready to make this at a moment’s notice. I need to be that organized!

  4. Quinoa Biryani! Simply Wow! I remember you mentioning your attempts at making biryani using quinoa way back when quinoa was relatively new to us. I am so glad to see the recipe now and can’t wait to try it out. The photo with the charred cauliflower and steaming hot plate of biryani is brilliant!

    1. Post

      LOL! Yes, the quinoa superfood thing had not caught on then. It’s a really easy dish to do and makes for a great (gasp) cold lunch.

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