Instant Pot Smoky Tofu Quinoa Biryani

Instant-Pot Smoky Tofu Quinoa Biryani

4.3 from 6 reviews

Quinoa biryani infused with Indian spices. Served with smoky tofu and caramelized onions. A flavorful and hearty one-pot dish!



Marinated Tofu

  • 7 ounces (200g) extra firm tofu
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) non-dairy yogurt
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp freshly chopped cilantro
  • 1 tbsp freshly chopped mint
  • 2 tbsp (30ml) lime juice
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp dried fenugreek leaves
  • 1/2 tsp ground chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp liquid smoke (optional)

Quinoa Biryani

  • 2 tbsp (30ml) oil
  • 2 onions, finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp (15ml) oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 and 1/2 cup (255g) quinoa (I used tricolor quinoa)
  • 2 and 1/3 cup (550ml) water
  • 2 tbsp raisins
  • 2 green cardamom pods, crushed
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 tsp salt


Marinated Tofu

  1. Cut the tofu into 1-inch cubes. In a large bowl, combine the non-dairy yogurt, ginger paste, minced garlic, cilantro, mint, lime juice, garam masala, fenugreek, ground chili, smoked paprika, cinnamon, salt, and liquid smoke. Mix until well combined. Add the tofu and stir to coat with the marinade.
  2. Cover the bowl with plastic film and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, or preferably overnight.

Quinoa Biryani

  1. Turn on the Instant Pot on Sauté mode. Once hot, add the oil and onions. Fry the onions until they turn golden brown and caramelize, about 7-10 minutes. Remove the onions from the Instant Pot, transfer to a plate and set aside.
  2. Heat another tablespoon of oil in the Instant Pot. Add the marinated tofu and red bell peppers, and sauté for about 5 minutes, stirring regularly to prevent the tofu from sticking. Turn the sauté mode off.
  3. Add the caramelized onions, quinoa, water, raisins, cardamom pods, cinnamon stick, bay leaf, and salt on top of the sautéed tofu. Close the lid and pressure cook on manual for 1 minute. After 1 minute, let the pressure release naturally, this should take around 10 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff the quinoa with a fork.
  4. Serve immediately topped with fresh cilantro, lime, and/or a dollop of non-dairy yogurt.


If using firm tofu: place the tofu on a few sheets of kitchen paper towel. Top with another layer of paper towels and place a weight on it (iron skillet for example). Let the tofu sit for at least 30 minutes to remove excess moisture.