Hello! Today’s recipe share is for this delicious and healthy Rajma Quinoa Biryani. This idea came about by chance when I wanted to make a protein based vegetarian Indian dinner which involved no rice! Grain free Indian meals are not the easiest option and is always something I struggle with. As soon as the carbohydrate is reduced it needs to be balanced with a good enough amount of protein and good fats to make the meal as filling. I had soaked some rajma or red beans and then thought about creating a pulao or biryani. This led me to a recipe for a Channa biryani which I modified and recreated into this delicious rajma quinoa biryani!
Quinoa is a pseudo-cereal originally grown in South America. This means its a seed which is eaten like a grain and hence is considered to be allowed in grain free meals. Quinoa has a high amount of fibre, though a majority of this is insoluble fibre, the fibre content helps in improving constipation and managing blood cholesterol. It also one of the few plant based sources to have a complete protein having all the nine essential amino acids. It is hence a great source of protein especially for vegetarians and vegans. Quinoa also has a low GI compared to other simple or complex carbohydrates. It is a great source of minerals like magnesium and has a beneficial impact on metabolic health and reducing blood sugar levels.
Due to its high fibre and protein content a small portion can easily fill you up. In comparison rice gets easily digested and has low amount of protein or fibre. You end up eating greater portions of rice to feel satiated which leads to over eating, sugar rush, low energy, bloating, low metabolic activity and weight gain. Quinoa’s benefits are enhance when soaked and sprouted. Hence quinoa is an important and necessary ingredient to have in your store cupboard. I prefer buying them in bulk to get them at a better rate.
This recipe for a quinoa biryani is very simple to make because the entire masala or spice base is made in the blender. So no time is spent in chopping or making separate spice pastes etc. This is more of a South Indian style of biryani and has coconut milk and some spices like fennel seeds. I love adding coconut milk into my biryanis as it is a great way to add creaminess and good fats into the meal and enhance its flavour. I used white quinoa to make this quinoa biryani as its texture is the closest to rice and it has a very mild flavour.
I soak and cook my own Rajma or red beans but you can use the canned variety if you are in a hurry to make. You can also use white beans, mixed beans or black eyed peas to make this quinoa biryani recipe. I have given exact water and coconut milk measurements and this will ensure your healthy Rajma Quinoa biryani turns as fluffy. I have served it with a simple raita of thickly grated carrots, onion and cucumber. Let me know if you would like me to share this recipe as well and I can do so in the comments below.
I do hope you are convinced to start adding more quinoa into your diet. I really hope this recipe inspires you to cook and eat more healthily at home. If you liked this Indian recipe for a healthy Rajma Quinoa Biryani then do try out my other grain free Indian recipes like my healthy Healthy Indian Chaat:Chole Tikki and my Rich Indian Vegan Curry recipe made with a base of Cauliflower. If you do recreate this recipe then I would so appreciate it if you would let me know how it turns out in the comments below. If you share it on Instagram then please do use the tag @meghnas_ on the image itself and #meghnas so that I can enjoy your wonderful creations as well and re-share them on my account!