Here’s any easy side dish for the holidays- Saffron Quinoa with Cashews, Raisins & Dried Cranberries.
Made in the Instant Pot, this aromatic dish is vegan and gluten-free.
This Saffron Quinoa
✔is easy to make in the Instant Pot.
✔makes a great vegan side dish for Thanksgiving.
✔is wonderfully fragrant from the spices.
✔one-pot dish and also gluten-free.
This recipe uses a lot of spices which makes it very fragrant. Add to it the crunch from the cashews and the sweetness from the raisins and cranberries and you have got yourself a very aromatic side dish.
- ▢1 cup quinoa 185 grams, raw
- ▢1/4 teaspoon saffron strands
- ▢1 cup water 8 oz, divided
- ▢1.5 tablespoons oil divided
- ▢1/4 cup whole cashews raw, unsalted
- ▢2 tablespoons golden raisins
- ▢2 tablespoons dried cranberries
- ▢1 inch cinnamon stick
- ▢1 bay leaf
- ▢4-5 whole green cardamom pods
- ▢3-4 whole cloves
- ▢1 small yellow onion
- ▢1/4 teaspoon salt
- Heat up 1/4 cup (2 oz) water in a pan, there’s no need to boil it but just warm it up. Then add 1/4 teaspoon saffron strands to it. Let it sit like that while you do the other steps. This will really bring out the color of the saffron nicely.
- Also, rinse quinoa under a strainer for 1-2 minutes.
- Press the sauté button on the Instant Pot. Once it displays hot, add 1 tablespoon oil and then add cashews, raisins and cranberries to the pot. Cook until cashews start turning light golden brown and raisins and cranberries plump up, stir often. This takes around 1-2 minutes. Remove the roasted nuts and raisins in a bowl and set aside.
- To the pot, now add remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil and then add the whole spices- cinnamon stick, bay leaf, green cardamom pods and cloves. Sauté few seconds until the spices are fragrant.
- Then add the chopped onion and cook 2 minutes until onions softened
- Add the rinsed quinoa, remaining 3/4 cup (6 oz) water and the 1/4 cup (2 oz) prepared saffron water. Total liquid is 1 cup (8 oz). Add salt and stir.
- Close the pot with the lid and press the manual or pressure cook button. Cook on high pressure for 2 minutes with the pressure valve in the sealing position. Let the pressure release naturally. Open the lid and fluff the quinoa with a fork.
- Please note that the pressure cooking time is 2 minutes. But it does not mean that quinoa literally cooks in 2 minutes. The pot takes time to come pressure and then the pot takes 13-14 minutes to release the pressure naturally. All this is enough time for the quinoa to cook perfectly.
- Transfer saffron quinoa to serving plate. Top with the fried cashews, raisins, cranberries and serve!