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How To Make Instant Pot Vegan Smoky Tofu Quinoa Biryani

This vegan tofu and quinoa dish tastes similar to a spicy biriyani but is a whole lot healthier. Typical biriyanis use polished rice, while this recipe uses a healthier whole grain: quinoa. Plus, it packs a punch in veggie proteins.   

how-to-make-instant-pot-vegan-smoky-tofu-quinoa-biryani 2

What Is Tofu?

Tofu is a soybean curd made by coagulating milk from soybeans, then pressing the curds into solid white blocks to form consistencies of silken, soft, firm, medium-firm, or extra firm.

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What Is Quinoa?

Quinoa is a nutritious seed in the amaranth family, rich in dietary fibers, protein, B vitamins, and minerals that result in higher amounts of nutrition compared to rice and other grains.


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Start By Marinating Tofu

  • 7 oz (200g) tofu, extra firm 
  • ½ cup yogurt, non-dairy 
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste
  • 1 tbsp mint, freshly chopped
  • 1 tbsp cilantro, freshly chopped
  • 2 tbsp lime or lemon juice
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • ⅛ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp fenugreek leaves, dried
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp liquid smoke (optional to add)


How To Marinate Tofu

  1. With firm tofu, place it between a few kitchen paper towels and put something heavy on it, like a skillet. Let excess moisture drain for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Chop the tofu into 1-inch sized cubes. 
  3. Put all the ingredients for marination into a large bowl. Mix well.
  4. Throw in the tofu. Ensure it's well coated by the marinade.
  5. Cover with a plastic film. Keep it in the refrigerator for an hour, or overnight preferably.
How To Make Instant Pot Vegan Smoky Tofu Quinoa Biryani

How To Make Instant Pot Vegan Smoky Tofu Quinoa Biryani

Yield: 1-2
prep time: 30 M cook time: 10 M total time: 40 M


  • 1/4 tsp of Salt and pepper
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 2 onions, sliced fine
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 ⅓ cups water
  • 1 ½ cups organic quinoa
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 green cardamom pods, crushed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tbsp raisins


How To Make Instant Pot Vegan Smoky Tofu Quinoa Biryani

  1. Press the sauté button on the instant pot and pour in 2 tablespoons of oil. When hot, fry the onions for 7-10 minutes, until golden brown. Take the onions out and keep them aside.
  2. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil into the instant pot. Put the peppers in and the marinated tofu, stirring it often so nothing sticks to the bottom.
  3. Put all the remaining ingredients, including the caramelized onions, into the instant pot. Seal the lid and cook for 1 minute under high pressure.
  4. Allow the pressure to release naturally, then use a fork to fluff the quinoa.
  5. Serve hot. Garnish with freshly chopped coriander, a generous ladle of non-dairy yogurt, and lime.
Meat alternatives, healthy transition, Instant Pot, Vegan Recipe, Tofu, Quinoa Biryani
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