Quinoa and vegetable biryani

A fresh, vegetable-loaded take on an Indian classic.
Quinoa biryani

This vegetable biryani is a satisfying, vegetarian version of the classic dish. We swap the rice for quinoa and pack in the vegetables, serving the final dish topped with marinated, fried paneer.

Test Kitchen tip

You could also use leftover cooked rice, barley or other grains instead of the quinoa in this recipe. For an even faster recipe use a precooked packaged quinoa.

Love cooking with quinoa? Try these healthy quinoa salad recipes.

Or for a non-vegetarian biryani, try this slow cooker recipe with brown rice and beef. Or this lamb biryani recipe.



1.Combine ½ cup of the yoghurt, the ginger, garlic, turmeric and cardamom in a large bowl; season. Add paneer; toss to coat. Cover; set aside until required.
2.Meanwhile, place quinoa and 2 cups (500ml) water in a small heavy-based saucepan; bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium; cook, covered, for 15 minutes or until tender. Keep warm.
3.Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large wok over high heat. Remove paneer from marinade, discard marinade. Cook paneer for 2 minutes each side or until golden. Transfer to a plate; cover to keep warm.
4.Heat remaining oil in wok. Stir-fry onion, cauliflower and pumpkin for 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add peas and quinoa. Season to taste. Stir-fry for 1 minute to combine.
5.Combine remaining yoghurt and the coriander in a small bowl; top with pistachios. Season.
6.Top quinoa biryani with paneer and extra coriander leaves; serve with coriander yoghurt and lemon halves.

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Lamb biryani

Biryani are some of the most elaborate of Indian rice dishes synonymous with the Moghul emperors. Lamb, rice and spices are layered in this fragrant one-pot dish. Start the recipe a day ahead.