Quinoa Biryani with Kala Chana

Recipe by
Total Time:
1 hour
Serves: 6
Nutrition facts:

240 calories, 9 grams fat

Category: Vegan Recipe
Technique: One-Dish Recipe
Difficulty: Medium

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  • For the quinoa "rice":
  • 1.5 cups - quinoa, rinsed thoroughly in a fine-mesh strainer
  • 3.25 cups - water
  • 1-inch stick - cinnamon
  • 2 - green cardamom pods
  • 2 - cloves
  • Salt to taste
  • For the kala chana sauce:
  • 3 - green cardamom pods
  • 3 - cloves
  • 1-inch piece - cinnamon
  • 1 tsp - shahjeera
  • 1 - large onion, very finely chopped
  • 6 cloves - garlic, very finely grated or put through a garlic press
  • 1-inch knob - ginger, finely grated
  • 1/2 cup - tomato puree
  • 1 tbsp - coriander seed powder
  • 1 tbsp - biryani masala
  • 1/2 tsp - turmeric
  • 1/2 cup - coconut milk
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup - fried onions (you can even buy these in a packet)
  • 1/4 cup - finely chopped coriander leaves
  • 1/4 cup - finely chopped mint
  • 1 tbsp - olive oil

How to Make Quinoa Biryani with Kala Chana

  • Place all the quinoa "rice" 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 for another 10 minutes.
  • For the kala chana sauce:
  • 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, 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, then add the tomato puree.
  • Cook for about five minutes, stirring often, and then add 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 for 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.