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Vegan Quinoa Biriyani

A good friend of mine at law school was of Pakistani descent and she and her Mom taught me some wonderful recipes. One of my favorites was their Biriyani recipe, which usually is meat based. This recipe takes the best of both worlds: spices from Pakistan but with some super additions to make this the most beautiful, nutrient boosting Bestest Biriyani ever!

Biriyani Rice Mix:

  • ½ cup brown basmati rice
  • ½ cup unpolished quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ tablespoon mild curry paste (store bought)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 green cardamom pods
biriyani recipe toppings part1

Biriyani Topping:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • ¼ teaspoon fennel seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon coriander seeds
  • ½ tablespoon ginger paste
  • ½ tablespoon garlic paste
  • ½ tablespoon mild curry paste
  • ⅓ cup tomato paste
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup goji berries
  • 1 ½ cups vegetables, diced (½ cup each: frozen green peas, diced carrots, chopped green beans)
  • 1 cup onions, diced
  • ¼ teaspoon rock salt
  • 1 teaspoon coconut sugar
  • ½ cup cilantro, washed dried and packed
biriyani recipe toppings part2

Biriyani Directions:

  1. For Rice Mix, combine rice and quinoa, and stir in all other ingredients in a cook pot with a secure lid on.
  2. Bring to a boil, stir once, place lid on and turn to low and cook for 20 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat, turn heat off and set aside keeping lid on.
  4. In a medium-large frying pan, turn heat to medium-high and add 3 tablespoons olive oil. Once heated add in cardamom, coriander, and fennel seeds and cook for 1 minute, stirring.
  5. Add garlic and ginger paste and cook for 2 minutes, stirring.
  6. Add in water, curry paste, and tomato paste and stir.
  7. Bring to a low boil then add in vegetables, onions, and goji berries, salt, and coconut sugar. Cover and turn heat to low. Let vegetables cook until tender but firm (about 8-10 minutes)
  8. Gently add in rice/quinoa to topping mix, gently folding in.
  9. Coarsely chop cilantro and add in to Biriyani at very end.
  10. Serve immediately. 

Makes 6 cups. Great as a leftover.

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