Vegetarian quinoa pilau

By Shahzadi Devje
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Inspired by the traditional rice pilau, this enticing and super-healthy gluten free Vegetarian Quinoa Pilau Recipe, aka "qui-lau" is bursting with flavour, and so simple to pull off. Infused with the aroma of cumin, coriander and garam masala, this recipe is one you will want to add to your repertoire. Satisfying and finger-licking good!



  • 1 cup green beans cut in small pieces
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups black beans cooked. You can use canned
  • 2 tomato fresh, diced, small pieces. You can use canned
  • 1 bell pepper red, washed and diced into small cubes
  • 1 green chili washed, and finely chopped. Leave out if you don't fancy any heat
  • 1 cup quinoa washed and soaked overnight
  • 1/2 cup coriander washed, and finely chopped
  • 1 onion medium, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic large, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1-1/2 cups vegetable stock reduced salt/sodium
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice


  1. Wash and trim ends of green beans. Add water and beans to small pan. Cover and steam on medium/high heat for five minutes. Once done, set aside. If using canned black beans, drain and rinse and set aside. Wash and dice tomatoes, pepper and chilli in small pieces and set aside.
  2. Wash quinoa thoroughly several times, drain and set aside.Wash and finely chop coriander and set aside. Peel and chop onion and crush garlic. Heat oil in large pan, fry onion and garlic on medium heat until golden.
  3. Add tomatoes, pepper, chilli and cook on high heat for five minutes, stirring continuously. Add salt and dry spices. Mix well.
  4. Stir in green beans, black beans, quinoa and stock. Bring to boil on high heat. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 10-15 minutes, until quinoa is soft and fluffy.
  5. Add lime juice and garnish with cilantro.


  1. Rinse the quinoa thoroughly several times in cold water to remove the bitter coating.
  2. Dice the vegetables in bite-sized chunks so they all cook evenly.
  3. Avoid cooking quinoa on low heat, otherwise it will be mushy.
  4. The fresher your ingredients - the better.
  5. Extra pilau makes a terrific meal to pack for lunch. Let it cool, cover and refrigerate for up to two days.

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