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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. Unlike typical biriyanis, which use polished rice, this recipe uses a healthier whole grain in quinoa and packs a punch in veggie proteins.   

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What Is Tofu?

Tofu is a soybean curd that is made by coagulating milk from soybeans and then pressing the curds into solid white blocks that come in the forms 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 The 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 The Tofu

  1. With firm tofu, place it between a few kitchen paper towels, and put something heavy on it, like a skillet. Let the 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, and ensure it is well coated by the marinade.
  5. Cover with a plastic film, and keep it in the refrigerator for an hour, or overnight preferably.
VHow 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, till they're golden brown. Take the onions out, and keep them aside.
  2. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil into the Instant Pot. Put in the peppers 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, and then use a fork to fluff the quinoa up.
  5. Serve hot, garnished 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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