Diabetes Friendly · healthy · Rice

Quinoa Lentil & Chicken Biriyani – Diabetic Friendly Thursdays

Hello Every One !!!

Celebrate the Eid Dinner with Team DFT’s Biryanis and Pulaos! Eid Mubarak!

This week team DFT is bringing you all a delectable array of biriyanis and pulaos to indulge during this auspicious time of Eid.  I promise you all they are mouthwatering , indulging but guilt free . During this week I am presenting you all a Quinoa , Lentil and Chicken Biriyani. Read on more here to know more delicious recipes of this week.

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 Who doesn’t love a fulfilling and fragrant biriyani to satisfy your hunger . A biriyani is a delicate dish which is very flavourful and has to be done with a lot of precision. The making of biriyani differs from region to region. I have made this biriyani by cooking quinoa and lentil separate with spices , then made the chicken and mixed it together , this method is a kind of variation to the northern kerala style biriyani . A normal biriyani is made with basmati rice or jeeraga samba rice , for the DFT this week instead of using rice I have used Quinoa and Black Lentils. If black lentil is unavilable feel free to use split yellow moong dal also , but make sure not to pressure cook the lentils to retain the shape . I have only used chicken drumsticks here which has been skinned and fat has been removed and please avoid using thigh meat , use either breast or drumstick . Making Biriyani is definitely a lengthy process but the result is totally worth . I have served this scrumptious Biriyani with a side of Carrot and Radish salad and Low fat yogurt instead of usual papad and pickle.

Now let’s get into cooking this beauty !!!


Yield – 600 grams of Biriyani Including Chicken Drumsticks
Serves- 5 people
Recommended Serving Size- 120 grams (Including the Drumstick). In that drumstick will be around 57 grams ( 2 ounces) and the rest 63 grams is a mix of quinoa , lentil and vegetables . I have used more vegetables ,less quinoa and lentil to control the carbohydrate portion. The ratio of quinoa , lentil and vegetables will be as follows (it is an approximate calculation)
Vegetables : 30 gms
Quinoa (Cooked): 25 gms
Lentils ( Cooked) : 8 gms
Preparation Time : 1 hour including marination time for Chicken Time
Cooking Time – 1 hour including cooking time for quinoa and lentil
Method- Medium Difficult
Author- Parvathy V Nair



Quinoa – 1/2 cup uncooked
Black Lentils- 1/4 cup
Chicken drumsticks- 5 numbers
Chopped Vegetables- 1 cup , I used a mix of mushrooms , carrots, green beans and green peas
Onion- 1 Medium sliced
Fennel Seeds- 1/4 teaspoon
Tomato – One medium chopped
Ginger Garlic Paste – 1/4 teaspoon
Cilantro – Chopped 1/2 cup
Mint- chopped 1/4 cup
Salt- As needed
Turmeric powder- 1/4 teaspoon
Coconut Oil- As needed

Spices Required to cook quinoa

Bay leaf – 1

Cloves- 3 to 4
Cardamom- 3 to 4
Cinnamon Stick- 1
Star Anise- 1 small piece
Mace- 1 small piece

For Chicken Marination

Biriyani Masala – 1 teaspoon I used Shan masala , but feel free to use any masala of your choice

Ginger Garlic paste – 1 teaspoon
Low fat yogurt- 1 tablespoon

1. Remove skin wash and remove fat of chicken . Marinate chicken with the items written in the marination section and keep it in fridge for 30 minutes.

2. While the chicken is in the fridge in a pan heat little bit coconut oil add all the whole spices then add washed quinoa to it . Add hot water enough to cover quinoa and cook till it is done . While quinoa is cooking cook black lentils on stove top it will take 20 minutes for the lentil to cook . Please do not pressure cook it . The lentils should look like in the below picture.

4. Now it is time to start the biriyani. In a pan heat some coconut oil add fennel seeds to it and fry for 20 to 30 seconds . Now add onions  and ginger garlic paste and saute it very well till the raw smell goes away . Now add all the chopped vegetables to it and saute well .

5. To this add chopped tomatoes and saute till it becomes soft and mushy . You need to saute atleast for 3 to 4 minutes in medium heat

6. To this add chopped coriander leaves and chopped mint leaves . Saute it on medium heat till the leaves are wet and dark green in colour .

7. To this add chicken , turmerc powder , salt and if the masala is not enough some more biriyani masala . Add enough water to cook the chicken which is almost 1/2 cup for 5 drumsticks . Please make sure not to add more water to it because it will make the quinoa and lentils mushy

8. Wait till the chicken is cooked 3/4th , now to this add lentil and quinoa . Now reduce the flame cover and cook it for 10 minutes or till the water is all absorbed .

9. Serve with carrot & radish salad and yogurt .
Carrot and Radish Salad
Mix chopped carrot , radish , green chilli , lemon juice , salt and garnish with coriander leaves.

Foot Notes

1. Quinoa
Quinoa is  a grain crop grown primarily for its edible seeds which is a pseudocereal rather than a true cereal, as it is not a member of the true grass family. One cup cooked quinoa has 222 calories in which 39 gm carbohydrate and 5 g Dietary fibre . Even though it has lesser carbohydrate content compared to other polished grains it is still not advisable to consume more than the recommended serving size.  Quinoa is an excellent addition to a diabetic diet. A whole-grain with a low glycemic index to support an even blood sugar and it is packed with protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals .

2. Black Lentils
Lentils which is from legume family, can manage blood sugar disorders by preventing the sugar level to rise after a meal this is because of the low GI of lentils. One serving of cooked lentil contains a lot of minerals with no fat content at all , one cup of cooked lentil yields to 230 calories . Lentils also helps in stabilizing blood sugar levels by providing steady and slow burning energy. According to American diabetes association one cup of cooked lentil contains 50gms of dietary fibre which helps in stabilizing the blood sugar. 

3. Chicken
Chicken is one of the food item which is high in protein and it is knows as ” protein foods” ( Source:  American Diabetes Association).  But one thing we need to keep in mind is about the fat content of poultry , fish or meat . While consuming poultry you need to remove skin and all the fat , same applies with meat too . While we remove skin from chicken it helps to reduce saturated fat and cholestrol. Chicken does not have GI and it doesn’t increase blood sugar level , but you cannot eat more than the recommended serving size.

Check these links to read more about the nutritional benefits of the ingredients



“I am not a dietitian or nutritionist . My knowledge and information is based on my research and reading from different resources. Please consult your doctor or dietitian before making any changes to your diet”

Check here for this weeks Eid Specials by Team DFT !!!

Sonal’s Gobhi Anar Pulav with Spinach Garlic Raita

Shailja’s Shrimp Biriyani 

Prachi’s Soya Nuggets Garden Biriyani 

Apsara’s Mixed vegetable Brown Rice Pilaf 

Anupama’s Mint Biriyani Using Brown Rice

Swati’s Kale and Tofu Biriyani

Suchi’s Rawas/Salmon Fish Dum Biriyani 





7 thoughts on “Quinoa Lentil & Chicken Biriyani – Diabetic Friendly Thursdays

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