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Quinoa & Vegetable Dum Biryani | Tamil Nadu Style

Tamil Nadu Style Vegetable Dum Biryani prepared with quinoa instead of rice and slow cooked again to enhance the flavors.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: TamilNadu
Keyword: Quinoa & Vegetable Dum Biryani
Servings: 4
Author: Srividhya G


  • Quinoa - 1.5 cups
  • Water for cooking quinoa - 3 cups + for soaking
  • Mixed vegetables - 2 cups
  • I used 1 potato 1 carrot, 5 to 6 string beans, 1/4 cup of peas and 1/2 cup of cauliflower florets.
  • Mint Leaves - 1 bunch ~ approximately 1.5 cups
  • Cilantro - 1/2 cup
  • Saffron Strands - 4 to 5
  • Water for soaking saffrons - 1/4 cup
  • Rose Essence - 3 to 4 drops or Rose Water - 3 tbsps
  • Onion - 1 thinly sliced
  • Tomatoes - 4
  • Thick yogurt / Curd - 1/2 cup
  • Red Chilly Powder - 2 tsps
  • Ghee - 3 tbsps
  • Oil - 1/2 tsp + 1/2 tsp for greasing
  • Salt - 1.5 tsp + 1 tsp

Masalas For Tempering

  • Cinnamon - 2 inch piece broken into small pieces
  • Cardamom - 3
  • Cloves - 3
  • Stone flower / Kalpaasi - 2 flowers / 2 pieces if your are using powder - 1/2 tsp [OPTIONAL]
  • Ginger Garlic Paste - 1 tbsp
  • Green chilies - 2 slit into two halves
  • Bay leaf - 1
  • Star Anise - 1


Prep Work

  • Chop all the veggies and tomatoes and set them aside.
  • Slit the green chillies into two.
  • Thinly slice the onions and set aside about 1/4 cup for adding later.
  • Soak the saffron strands in 1/4 cup of water.

Cooking Quinoa

  • Soak the quinoa in water for half an hour and wash it twice or thrice to make the dust and other husks washed away.
  • Boil 3 cups of water with 1 tsp of salt and 1 tsp of oil.
  • Once the water starts to boil, add the washed quinoa and let it cook.
  • Once it starts to form bubbles, cover and cook till the quinoa is done.
  • Once the quinoa is cooked, turn the heat off even if there is water. (Over cooking might turn it too mushy)
  • Drain the water and spread the cooked quinoa in a plate and let it cool.

Preparing the Biriyani Masala

  • Heat the kadai and add ghee.
  • Meanwhile crush the cardamom, cloves and cinnamon and stone flower coarsely.
  • Once the ghee is hot, add the bay leaf, star anise, crushed cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and slit green chillies.
  • Fry for a minute and then add the ginger garlic paste.
  • Fry for another minute till the raw smell goes and then add the 3/4 of sliced onions.
  • Cook till the onions are translucent.
  • Then add tomatoes, 1.5 tsps of salt and red chilly powder.
  • Mix well and let it cook till the tomatoes become soft and mushy.
  • Now add the veggies and cover and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
  • As we cover and cook, we don’t need to add water. After 4 to 5 minutes add the yogurt and the rose essence and mix well.
  • Cook till the veggies are 75% done. (Again will be slow cooking them)
  • This mixture doesn’t needs to be very dry. We need it in a semi solid state.
  • Setting up the layer and Preparing the Dum. (Stove top)
  • In heavy bottom wide pan or vessel just apply some oil.
  • First spread a layer of quinoa and then veggie mixture.
  • Repeat this for the remaining quinoa and veggie mixture.
  • Now drizzle the saffron water all over and cover it completely (Ensure no steam goes away) cook in low flame for 12 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat after 12 minutes and remove the lid and let it rest for 5 minutes.
  • Slow mix the layers and that’s it.
  • This dum cooking can be done in oven and slow cooker.
  • Serve hot with raita.


Of course quinoa can be replace with rice of your choice.
Also veggies can be replaced with or you can add mushrooms, soy chunks, broccoli, zucchini etc.
Instead of ghee you can add oil. But ghee adds more flavor.
Adjust the green chillies and red chilly powder according to your taste.
I am adding salt individually for quinoa and veggies.
Dum can kept in oven or slow cooker.