Friday, October 30, 2009

Quinoa Pulao

Lunch Box Dilemma in the morning led me to finally opening the packet of Quinoa. As with all foods outside the 'west', once the the 'west' 'discovers' it, it gets elevated to the exclusive, organic, highly expensive  culinary boutiques all over  the discoverer-geography: ancient-sacred -food-modern-super-food??!!!

It cooks like rice, has a very nutty texture, with a small bite while being very light! It could be cooked with the rice/biryani and pulao recipes or then with the Upma recipes. Decided to take the rice recipe for this one. The product I had, did not need rinsing, so toasted it directly.
Quinoa: 1cup
Water: 2 cups
Finely chopped red onions: 1/2 cup
Finely diced orange bell peppers: 3 tbsps
Green Chilli: 1
Cloves: 2-3
Green cardamom: 1
Indian Cinnamon: 1 small piece
Black Pepper corns: a few
Black Pepper powder: 1/4 tsp or more
Turmeric: 1/4 tsp
Touch of Garlic
Ghee or Olive Oil: about 2 tbsps
Cumin seeds: less than 1/4 tsp
Aniseed: less than 1/4 tsp
Dried Red Chilli: 1
Curry Leaves: a few
Fresh Coriander for garnish.

Toast the Quinoa in a little bit of ghee on medium heat, stirring constantly until they start popping.
Heat the ghee and do a tempering with Cumin, Aniseed, Dried red chilli, curry leaves, cloves, black pepper corns, cardamom and cinnamon.
Add the onions and garlic and saute until soft,
Add turmeric and black pepper powder and salt,
Saute for a few minutes,
Add 2 cups of hot water, check for salt  and bring to simmer,
Add the toasted Quinoa and bring to gentle simmer.
Cover and cook for 15 minutes until the grains puff up and strings appear from the seeds, stirring every now and then. it cna easily turn into mush!
Garnish with fresh coriander.

Alternate methods: Any Pulao/ Pilaf/ Pulav recipe can be subsituted with Quinoa.  A healthy saute of vegetables like carrots, green peas, bell peppers and any finely diced  vegetable would be  good additions.

The man-of-few-words tasted the above, gave his approval and left with his lunch box.

I would also like to try Quinoa with the Upma recipe, Kerala style with grated coconut!!!!
October 31st: late night practice and tight window for dinner prompted this recipe too!
My camera shows IST:-), hence the time discrepancy!
Today was just plain corn soup!

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