This Instant Pot quinoa pulao or pilaf is a complete, one-pot meal that is quick, delicious, nutritious, vegan & gluten-free! Stovetop instructions included too!
There are some days where I’ll cook up an entire meal like rice, dal or curry, veggie, and some salad. Then there are some days when I really don’t feel like cooking at all and also do not wish to resort to that last option of take-out food.
This Instant Pot quinoa pilaf is apt for those days! It doesn’t need much prep work and makes for a wholesome meal. I usually end up making pilaf when I want a one-pot dish and minimal cleanup.
This Indian style quinoa pulao is a spin off my regular rice pilaf. The only difference is that the rice is swapped with quinoa. You won’t come across any traditional Indian dishes with quinoa since it is not an ingredient that is used on a daily basis in Indian cooking.
But since most folks are trying to make better diet choices these days, swapping rice with quinoa has become a pretty common food trend. And why not really? It is indeed a superfood with all the amazing health benefits it provides. It is an amazing source of proteins for those who are on a vegan or vegetarian diet!
Quinoa does not have a very strong taste of its own, it is nutty and has fluffy and chewy texture if cooked correctly. It can be easily adapted in any recipe to swap out the rice for a healthier meal.
So if you love Indian food, and are wondering how to cook quinoa in Indian style, then look no further, this quick quinoa pulao is one of the most basic recipes to get you started off with. Besides this quinoa pulao, there are a couple of other easy vegetarian recipes where I try to incorporate quinoa, like quinoa lentil khichdi, quinoa croquettes or quinoa bites, quinoa upma, quinoa idli or quinoa dosa. I will try and share those in the coming months too.
Table of Contents
INGREDIENTS NEEDED FOR THIS QUINOA PULAO RECIPE
To make this really easy recipe of quinoa pulao, you will need,
- Quinoa, rinsed until the water runs clear and drained. It is a good practice to rinse the quinoa well, even though most brands are pre-rinsed these days. Rinsing will help get rid of saponin, which may give a bitter taste.
- Minced garlic, you can also add some minced ginger or may also use ginger garlic paste instead.
- Fresh or frozen veggies. Since this is my quick meal option, I’ve used a frozen veggie mix of corn, carrots, peas, green beans, and edamame. Along, with these, I also used some mushrooms. You want to use something that will cook quickly. If you use potatoes or other veggies which take longer to cook, simply dice them into very small cubes, so that they cook faster, retain their shape and yet don’t turn to mush.
- Spices to flavor up the quinoa: I don’t spice this quinoa pulao very heavily. I just add some ground turmeric, a dash of cayenne, and a pinch of garam masala. You can totally get creative here and add in your favorite seasonings. You can add curry powder instead of individual Indian spices or add some Italian seasoning for a different flavor profile.
- Liquid, I’ve used water today, but vegetable stock is also a good vegetarian option. If not vegetarian or vegan, you can use some chicken stock instead.
- I added some dried cranberries, they plump up on cooking, and add a nice pop of color to contrast the yellow and adds some sweetness in every bite. My kids love dried cranberries in this quinoa pulao, so I always add some. Sometimes, I throw in raisins, if I run out of dried cranberries. You can also throw them in after the pilaf is cooked, if you prefer it that way.
HOW TO COOK QUINOA IN THE INSTANT POT?
Cooking quinoa in the instant pot is really easy, and yields perfect, fluffy quinoa every single time.
You just have to remember a super simple 1:1 ratio of quinoa to liquid. Plus the cook time for quinoa in the Instant Pot is easy to remember as well, it is just 1 minute.
While this is basically a one-minute quinoa recipe, you need to take into account the time the IP takes to come to pressure and a natural release time of 10 minutes at least. But once you ‘set it and forget it’ you can go about doing other chores. And come back to enjoy a delicious plateful of this Instant pot quinoa pulao.
Have no time to sauté the veggies? No worries, convert this into a dump-and-go recipe, set the timings and forget about it for the next 15 minutes, at least 😀 I’m not sure about the mushrooms in this case, so I’d leave them out.
If you are looking for some quinoa recipes for the Instant Pot, then do try this quinoa pilaf with vegetables. It makes for good lunchbox option as well. Leftovers can be refrigerated up to 5 days.
I don’t have a whole bunch of quinoa recipes on the blog here since it’s just been about a year that I started incorporating some in my diet. Hope to share more easy ones like this Instant Pot quinoa pulao. But I recommend you also give this Mediterranean quinoa salad with chickpeas a go, it is one of my favorite quinoa recipes, and apt to be made often during the coming Summers. You will definitely enjoy that one as well!
ENJOYED THIS INDIAN STYLE INSTANT POT QUINOA PULAO? CHECK OUT THESE INSTANT POT INDIAN RECIPES TOO,
STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS TO MAKE INSTANT POT QUINOA AND VEGETABLES
1.Press the ‘SAUTE’ button, set it to “NORMAL’ and wait until it displays ‘HOT’. Add the oil, once it heats up, add cumin seeds, let them crackle.
2.Next, add finely chopped onions and sauté until translucent.
3.Add minced garlic, sauté for another few seconds until aromatic
4.Add sliced mushrooms, sauté until they are lightly browned.
5.Add veggies, cook for another minute.
5.Add all the spices along with salt, mix well.
6.Add the washed and drained quinoa, mix well and sauté gently for another minute.
8.Add 1 cup of water/vegetable stock. Add dried cranberries (if using), make sure the quinoa is just about covered with water. Refer pic below for reference.
9.Press ‘CANCEL’, close the lid of the Instant Pot with the valve on sealing position. Press the manual or pressure cook button and pressure cook on high for 1 minute. It will take some time for the pressure to build up (about 5 minutes), after which the timer will start.
11.Let it depressurize naturally for 10 minutes, the silver pin drops at around 6 minutes. But let it sit for atleast 10 minutes so that the quinoa can absorb all the liquid. After 10 minutes, turn the knob to venting and open the lid. Gently fluff the quinoa with a fork. Squeeze a dash of lemon, garnish with freshly chopped parsley or cilantro leaves, dish out and enjoy along with some yogurt or raita.
- For stovetop quinoa pulao: The steps remain the same from adding oil, cumin seeds right up to step 9. The liquid quantity will change to 1.75 cups. Many people like a 1:2 ratio of quinoa to liquid for the stovetop, but I personally prefer 1.75 cups of water for this pulao, it is perfectly fluffy and not mushy. After adding the liquid, bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, and simmer covered for 10 minutes. After all the liquid has been absorbed, take the pan off the heat, and let it sit undisturbed for another 5 minutes, then gently fluff with a fork. Sprinkle lemon juice and serve.
- You may double this recipe, cooking time will remain the same.
- You may add more veggies, make sure the quinoa is just about covered with water. If required, add in another 1/4 cup of water.
HOW TO MAKE QUINOA PULAO IN AN ELECTRIC PRESSURE COOKER?
Quinoa Pulao | Instant Pot Quinoa Pilaf
Measuring cup used, 1 cup = 250 ml, 1 tsp = 5 ml
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed till it runs clear and drained
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 1 cup finely chopped yellow onions or shallots
- 1 cup mixed vegetables
- 1 cup water/stock
- 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, increase for more heat
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt or to taste
- 2 tbsp dried cranberries/raisins, optional
- Dash of lemon juice
- Fresh parsley/cilantro, to garnish
- Press the 'SAUTE' button, set it to "NORMAL' and wait until it displays 'HOT'. Add the oil, once it heats up, add cumin seeds, let them crackle.
- Next, add finely chopped onions and sauté until translucent.
- Add minced garlic, sauté for another few seconds until aromatic
- Add sliced mushrooms, sauté until they are lightly browned.
- Add veggies, cook for another minute.
- Add all the spices along with salt, mix well.
- Add the washed and drained quinoa, mix well and sauté gently for another minute.
- Add 1 cup of water/vegetable stock. Add dried cranberries (if using), make sure the quinoa is just about covered with water.
- Press 'CANCEL', close the lid of the Instant Pot with the valve on sealing position. Press the manual or pressure cook button and pressure cook on high for 1 minute. It will take some time for the pressure to build up (about 5 minutes), after which the timer will start.
- Let it depressurize naturally for 10 minutes, the silver pin drops at around 6 minutes. But let it sit for at least 10 minutes so that the quinoa can absorb all the liquid. After 10 minutes, turn the knob to venting and open the lid.
- Gently fluff the quinoa with a fork. Squeeze a dash of lemon, garnish with freshly chopped parsley or cilantro leaves, dish out and enjoy along with some yogurt or raita.
PIN IT FOR LATER
If you try this Instant Pot quinoa and veggies, I would love to know how it went! Please feel free to share your feedback with photos and suggestions to me at [email protected]
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