Spicy Quinoa with Vegetables, The Indian Way
What I like about cooking with quinoa is how adaptable and flexible it is. You can use it as a base it in a variety of different cuisines and it will make itself at home.
to summarise the health benefits of quinoa
- Unlike most foods, it is a complete protein with all the nine amino acids.
- We all know about the health benefits of fibre. Quinoa contains almost twice as much fibre compared to other grains.
- It is full of iron.
- It contains high level of lysine, a type of essential amino acid which human body needs for tissue growth and repair.
- It is rich in magnesium which is important to control blood sugar level, detoxification, regulate body temperature and promote healthy teeth and bones.
- It contains Riboflavin (B2).
- It has high levels of manganese.
Today’s recipe of Indianised quinoa is relatively simple. You can use any combination of vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli, courgette, sweetcorn, pepper, green pea, french beans, carrot, pumpkin, squash and fresh beans. I had cooked with french beans, green peas and carrots along with onion and tomato.
A note on the cooking medium. This recipe tastes best if cooked in ghee (clarified butter). Of course, you can use oil if you prefer or a combination of ghee and oil. As with everything else in life, it boils down to personal taste but in my humble opinion, ghee works best.
1 Cup uncooked quinoa
2 Cups chopped mixed vegetable of your choice
3-4 Fresh green chilli
Fresh ginger the size of your thumb
10-15 Curry leaves
Small bunch fresh coriander
1 Tablespoon raw peanuts
1 Tablespoon urad dal (split black gram)
1 Tablespoon dalia (split bengal gram)
2-3 Dry red chilli
1 Tablespoon mustard seeds
1 Teaspoon asafoetida
1 Teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 Cup strong/sour/tart yoghurt
1 Tablespoon ghee or oil
Salt to taste
Juice of lime or lemon (optional)
- Peel, wash and finely dice the onion.
- Wash and chop the tomato.
- Wash and finely slice the green chilli.
- Peel, wash and grate the ginger.
- Wash and chop the fresh coriander.
- Break the dry red chilli into two.
- Heat the ghee or oil in a frying pan.
- Once hot, lower the heat and throw in the mustard seeds.
- As soon as they start crackling, add the asafoetida, broken dry red chilli and curry leaves.
- Stir for about 15 seconds.
- Add the peanuts, chana dal and urad dal.
- Stir for about a minute or so till the dals turn a couple of shades darker.
- Next, add the onion, sliced green chilli, grated ginger, turmeric and salt to taste.
- Mix well, cover and cook for 5 minutes.
- Uncover and add the chopped tomato.
- Cover and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Uncover and add the quinoa.
- Stir around for a couple of minutes.
- Add the vegetables and mix well.
- Mix the yoghurt into 2.5 cups of water. Add this mixture to frying pan, stir for one last time, cover and cook for about 25 minutes till the quinoa and vegetables are thoroughly cooked.
- At the end of cooking time, you should end up with a dry, pilaf like dish. If you find that there is still too much liquid remaining, remove the lid and cook for a few more minutes till it dries up.
- Garnish with fresh coriander and serve.
- A few drops of lemon juice is optional and depends on individual taste.