Authentic Recipes from the Kitchens of Shriya, Nithu & Arthi!

Quinoa Biryani

I just joined in weight watchers in the last couple of months, so I started calculating my points in my daily eating habits. I’ve always wanted to make Quinoa for a very long time but never got a chance. I just tried making Quinoa Biryani yesterday and I must say the flavor and aroma tasted almost like basmati rice. You don’t see a bug difference in biryani.

The cooking technique of Quinoa is just like cooking any rice. Wash it and always soak quinoa for atleast 15 minutes before you use. You will see a white tail in quinoa after its fully cooked and that’s the sign it’s completely cooked.

A little information about Quinoa from Wikipedia:

Quinoa a species of goosefoot (Chenopodium), is a grain-like crop grown primarily for its edible seeds. It is a pseudocereal rather than a true cereal, or grain, as it is not a member of the grass family. As a chenopod, quinoa is closely related to species such as beets, spinach, and tumbleweeds. Derived from the Spanish spelling of the Quechua name kinwa or occasionally “Qin-wah”, Quinoa originated in the Andean region of Ecuador, Bolivia, Colombia and Peru, where it was successfully domesticated 3,000 to 4,000 years ago for human consumption, though archeological evidence shows a non-domesticated association with pastoral herding some 5,200 to 7,000 years ago. [1]
Similar Chenopodium species, such as pitseed goosefoot (Chenopodium berlandieri) and fat hen (Chenopodium album), were grown and domesticated in North America as part of the Eastern Agricultural Complex before maize agriculture became popular.[2] Fat hen, which has a widespread distribution in the Northern Hemisphere, produces edible seeds and greens much like quinoa, but in smaller quantities.
The nutrient composition is very good compared with common cereals. Quinoa grains contain essential amino acids like lysine and good quantities of calcium, phosphorus, and iron.[3]
After harvest, the grains need to be processed to remove the coating containing the bitter-tasting saponins. Quinoa grains are in general cooked the same way as rice and can be used in a wide range of dishes. Quinoa leaves are also eaten as a leaf vegetable, much like amaranth, but the commercial availability of quinoa greens is limited.

Preparation Time : 45 minutes
No Of servings : 3
Spice level : 3 out of 5
Weight Watchers point : 6



  • Quinoa : 1 cup
  • Green Peas : 1/2 cup
  • Carrots : 1/2 cup
  • Beans : 1/4 cup
  • Oil : 1 tbsp
  • Cloves : 2
  • Fennel seeds : 1 tsp
  • Bay leaves : 1
  • Cinnamon stick : 1/2 “
  • Onion : 1 medium(cut into lengthwise)
  • Tomato : 1 medium (chopped)
  • Curry leaves : 3-4
  • Coriander leaves : 1/4 cup
  • Mint Leaves : 1/2 cup
  • Turmeric Powder : 1/4 tsp
  • Salt : to taste
  • Coriander Powder : 1 tbsp
  • Red chili powder : 2 tbsp
  • Green Chiles : 2 (slit into lengthwise)
  • Ginger : 1 tbsp (finely chopped)
  • Garam masala powder : 1/2 tbsp
Method Of Preparation :
  1. Wash and soak quinoa for 15 – 30 minutes.
  2. Heat oil in a pressure cooker add cloves, fennel seeds, cinnamon and bay leaves.
  3. After it sputter add onions with green chilies and chopped ginger. Fry them for few minutes.
  4. Now add tomatoes with some salt and saute it for a minute and all the masalas (turmeric powder, coriander powder, red chili powder and garam masala powder) fry them for 2 minutes.
  5. Finally add the coriander leaves, curry leaves and mint leaves. Mix it all together.
  6. Add 2 cups of water mix them well and pressure cook for 2 whistle in medium heat.
  7. Remove it from heat garnish it with some coriander leaves.


  1. What a great idea to use quinoa in biryani…very creative!!!

  2. Oh, I LOVE quinoa! I love that this is a classic twist biryani!

  3. Looks absolutely fabulous! I’m on a low carb diet so rice is a no-no, my doc won’t even allow brown rice. So I suddenly thought, how about a quinoa biryani and a google search led me to your space. Will try it out for sure

    • I may be the only Indian without a pressure cooker. Have you tried this using a regular pot? Sounds delish. I have a bag of quinoa waiting to e used!

  4. ood recipe for quinoa but when do we add the vegetable smentioned and the quinoa?

  5. I tried this and it came out excellent. I also added some boiled eggs with the veggies to make it more appealing! Thanks!


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