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.
Transfer saffron quinoa to serving plate. Top with the fried cashews, raisins, cranberries and serve!
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.