One of the things I see over and over in my practice is the dependency in the modern diet on processed grains without a lot of comfort in using and familiarity with whole grains.  This is why I have so many whole grain recipes on my site – to help you incorporate more of them into your diet, develop your palate, and increase your ease in using grains that you may never have even heard of!

This basic formula allows you to use rice as a base mixed with different whole grains to come up with an endless variety of easy whole grain pilafs.  I use these on a weekly basis and eat them for lunch, dinner, and even breakfast.

Although in Ayurveda we use specific foods to balance the doshas, the ongoing best Ayurveda diet is simply based on whole foods – rotating grains, legumes, vegetables and such with the seasons or on a regular basis.  Rotating means that you don’t build an excess in any one food that can lead to an imbalance.

Know that while I’m supplying some ideas with these recipes, you can get creative and change spices, dried fruits and nuts/seeds in any way that appeals to you inner wisdom and tastebuds!

Rotating Whole Grains Pilaf

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword amaranth, barley, buckwheat, millet, quinoa, rice pilaf
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4


  • 1/3 c. white basmati rice you can use brown basmati rice if your digestive system is strong enough but you will need to increase the water by another 1/2 - 3/4 cup
  • 1/3 c. whole grain quinoa, millet, buckwheat groats, amaranth
  • 1 1/2 c. water or vegetable broth can use more if you like the pilaf a little moister
  • 1 Tbsp. dried fruit cranberries, chopped apricots, figs or dates, cherries, unsweetened coconut
  • 1-2 Tbsp. seeds or nuts pumpkin seeds, cashews, sunflower seeds, pecans
  • 1/4 tsp. salt ideally Soma salt
  • Pinch pepper
  • Additional spices to taste


  1. Rinse the grains and put in a pot or rice cooker with the water or broth. 

  2. Add dried fruits, seeds or nuts, and spices and stir. 

  3. If using a rice cooker, you simply press cook or start and then it will automatically turn off to the warm cycle when it is done. This is my favorite method as I can take the 3 minutes in the morning to get everything together, press the button, and head off to get ready for the rest of my day.

  4. If cooking on the stove top, bring to a boil, then turn down to low, cover and cook for about 20 minutes.

Recipe Notes

Combinations I enjoy are:

  • Basmati rice and quinoa with dried cranberries, cashews, 2 cardamom pods, and a pinch of saffron;
  • Basmati rice and millet with apricots, pumpkin seeds, 2 whole cloves, 1/4 inch cinnamon stick;
  • Basmati rice and buckwheat with cranberries, sunflower seeds or almonds, 1/2 tsp. dill, 1/4 tsp. chili powder, 1/4 tsp. coriander, and a pinch of turmeric;
  • Basmati rice and amaranth with chopped dates and/or figs, pecans, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, pinch nutmeg and 2 cardamom pods. Due the sweetness and the texture that amaranth makes which is stickier, I use this as a breakfast porridge.

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