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Recipes » Main Dish » Quinoa Chickpea Biryani
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Cooking the quinoa with cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves gives it an extra depth and warmth that perfectly complements the rich and fragrant masala spice blend

¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish


1 bay leaf

1 ½ tsp fennel seeds

10–12 green cardamom pods

2 black cardamom pods

1 tsp peppercorn

1 Tbsp cinnamon

1 Tbsp cloves

4 Tbsp coriander seeds

½ tsp nutmeg


¼ cup quinoa

¾ cup water

1 cinnamon stick

2 green cardamom pods

2 cloves


2 red onions, sliced and divided

1 tsp Biryani Masala

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 Tbsp fresh minced ginger

1 cup cooked chickpeas

2 Tbsp tomato paste

¾ cup low-sodium vegetable broth

1 Tbsp lemon juice

¼ cup chopped fresh mint


1 In a dry pan, toast the spices over medium heat for 3–5 minutes.

2 In a blender or grinder, process the toasted spices into a powder.


1 In a medium pot, mix all the ingredients and bring to a boil.

2 Cover and lower the heat to medium-low, and cook for at least 20 minutes, or until the liquid is gone.

3 Remove from heat and fluff with a fork.


1 In a pan, sauté one of the onions over medium heat, stirring frequently until golden brown, approximately 10–15 min. Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable broth to caramelize the onions. Remove from heat and set aside.

2 In a shallow pan, heat a tablespoon of vegetable broth, add the Biryani Masala and sauté for 15 seconds, or until the spices become fragrant.

3 Add the other sliced onion and sauté until golden brown. Add the garlic and ginger and sauté for one more minute.

4 Add chickpeas, tomato paste, salt, half of the caramelized onions from Step 1, and the remaining vegetable broth. Stir to combine, and cook for 5 minutes (the texture should be like a curry; if necessary, add a bit of water).

5 Stir in the quinoa and cook for 15 minutes.

6 Add lemon juice and mint. Let it cool down completely before serving.

7 Serve topped with cilantro and the rest of the caramelized onions.

Serve with tahini or plant-based yogurt.

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