Here's a recipe in our book The Healthy Indian Diet (available in mid-June) that features quinoa, a seed that substitutes quite well for rice. Unlike rice, you get plenty of protein (and a complete set of amino acids) from quinoa. Plus it has "good carbs," plenty of fiber, and minerals just like whole grains do, and it's gluten-free, a big reason why quinoa's become more popular.The chefs at ShowMeTheCurry.com transform the traditional Indian dish pulao (or pilau or pilaf) from one that's made from white rice (an unhealthy refined grain) into a dish rich in nutrition. In my opinion, it tastes better too (it's got a certain "nuttiness" you may like). The dish takes 45 minutes to cook after soaking the quinoa for 30 minutes. Enjoy!
Quinoa is a grain-like crop often referred to as a complete protein. (Grains, on the other hand, do not contain complete proteins and thus must be combined with lentils or dals.) Quinoa has cooking properties similar to white rice and can easily be used as a healthy substitute, as seen in this recipe for Quinoa Pulao.
Prep Time: 10 minutes (plus 30 minutes for soaking)
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6
Quinoa – 2 cups
Canola oil – 2 tbsp
Bay leaf – 1
Cinnamon – 1-inch piece
Black cardamom -1
Green cardamom – 2
Black pepper – 4 or to taste, roughly crushed
Cloves – 4, roughly crushed
Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
Onion – ½ medium, finely chopped
Ginger – 1 tbsp, minced
Garlic – 1 tbsp, minced
Green chilies – to taste, finely chopped
Corn – 1 cup
Green peas – 1 cup
Carrots – 1 cup, chopped
Garam masala – 1 tsp
Coriander powder – 1 tsp
Cumin powder – ½ tsp
Salt – to taste
Water – 3 cups
Lemon/lime juice – to taste
Cilantro – chopped for garnishing
1. Wash quinoa and soak in ample water for 30 minutes.
2. Drain water and set quinoa aside.
3. Heat oil in a medium pan on medium heat.
4. Add bay leaf, cinnamon stick, black cardamom and green cardamom. Cook for 30 seconds.
5. Add black pepper, cloves and cumin seeds. Allow them to sizzle.
6. Add turmeric powder and onions. Cook for 1 minute.
7. Add ginger, garlic and green chilies. Mix well and cook until onions are translucent.
8. Add quinoa and roast for 5 minutes.
9. Add corn, green peas, carrots, garam masala, coriander powder, cumin powder and salt. Mix.
10. Add water and lemon juice.
11. Mix and bring water to a boil.
12. Reduce heat to low, cover with a tight lid and cook for 30 minutes.
13. Uncover, fluff quinoa gently with a fork, cover and let it rest for 5 minutes.
14. Garnish with cilantro and serve.