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  • Preeti Shridhar

Quinoa Masala Pulao

Pilaf, Pilau or Pulao is a rice dish, where rice is cooked in stock or water, flavoured with spices ,to which, meat or vegetables are added. Each grain of rice should be separate, that's the sign of a well cooked Pulao.

In recent times, people have started experimenting with other grains or millets ,resulting in newer versions of Pulao.

I also love to create dishes , wherein I replace rice with different millets and grains. One such recipe, which I often make is Quinoa Masala Pulao.

Since ,it's a vegetable pulao, feel free to use vegetables available in your pantry. I love to add carrots, corn, peas, bell peppers, capsicum and cauliflower to my Pulao.

My favourite masala for Quinoa Pulao is Sambaar Masala. In case you don't have Sambaar Masala, you can use red chili powder 1/2 tsp, turmeric powder 1/2 tsp, coriander powder 1/2 tsp and cumin powder 1/2 tsp.

I am part of a blogger group on Facebook

"Shhh Cooking Secretly Challenge".

This is a fun group, where every month a theme is given by one member...then all the members are divided into groups of two. Now these two partners give each other two secret ingredients based on the theme. Then each member prepares a dish using these two secret ingredients and posts the pic on the group without naming the dish. Others are asked to guess the ingredients. It's so much fun. You are challenged to create something new. You interact with so many members and make some wonderful friends.

This month's theme "Exotic Biryanis and Pulao" was suggested by Swati Malik. Check out her blog for air fryer recipes. I have book marked her Kashmiri Dum Aloo ,

My partner for this month is Sujata Roy. I love her blog Batterupwithsujata for Bengali recipes. She also has an amazing collection of eggless cookies. I have saved recipe Srilankan egg curry to try sometime soon

I gave her Kewra and Yogurt. She created this beautiful Kolkata Chicken Biryani while she gave me the secret ingredients Quinoa and cranberries . I got the opportunity to blog this wonderful Quinoa Masala Pulao.


Quinoa 1/2 cup

Ghee / Oil 1 tbsp

Cashew nuts 1 tbsp

Cranberries 1 tbsp

Garlic 1 tsp chopped

Onion 1 large diced

Shah Jeera 1/4 tsp

Green chili 1/2 finely chopped

Ginger 2 tsp grated

Carrot 1/4 cup diced

Corn 1/4 cup

Baby corn 1/4 sliced

Capsicum 1/4 cup diced

Sambaar Masala 1 tbsp

Salt to taste

Lemon juuce 1 tsp

Chopped Coriander 2 tbsp

Chopped Mint 1 tbsp

Crispy Onions 1/4 cup

Whole Spices

Green Cardamom 2

Cloves 4

Peppercorn 4

Black Cardamom 1


  1. Wash Quinoa thoroughly and soak it in sufficient water for 4 hours.

  2. Drain the water in which it was soaked.

  3. Take quinoa , 2 green cardamom, 4 cloves, 4 peppercorn , 1 black Cardamom,1 cup water and 1/4 tsp salt in a deep heavy bottom pan.

  4. Bring it to a boil and then cover it and let it simmer.

  5. Stir with a fork once or twice.

  6. Check once all the water has been absorbed. The quinoa should be cooked.

  7. Fluff it with a fork and keep it aside.

  8. Heat oil in a large pan.

  9. Fry cashew nuts and cranberries in 1 tsp oil, till cashew nuts are golden in color.

  10. Remove them on a plate.

  11. In the same pan, add remaining oil.

  12. Add Shah Jeera.

  13. Once it crackles, add garlic followed by onion.

  14. Now add green chili and ginger.

  15. Once onions turn soft, add carrot , baby corn, corn.

  16. Saute for a couple of minutes.

  17. Now add capsicum , mix well.

  18. Add salt.

  19. Cover and cook till vegetables are just done. Don't overcook the vegetables.

  20. Mix in Sambaar Masala.

  21. Discard the whole Spices from Quinoa.

  22. Now add Quinoa to the vegetables.

  23. Give it a good mix.

  24. Let it cook in low heat for a few minutes so that quinoa absorbs all the flavors.

  25. Taste and adjust seasoning.

  26. Mix in half of coriander, mint , cashew nuts , cranberries and lemon juice.

  27. Serve hot garnished with remaining coriander, mint , cashew nuts, cranberries and crispy onions.

  28. Serve it with raita of your choice and some pickle.


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