October 27, 2014

Quinoa & Peas Pulao

Confession time.... "I was never a fan of quinoa!". Infact, I hated quinoa for its 'weird' nutty taste and smell. I could never understand why people loved it so much. I have "occasionally" used quinoa in chili, burger patties, chowder, salad etc, but never had the courage to use it in my everyday cooking.


Of late, the trend is changing and I am super glad about it. I have started discovering the good side of this versatile super-food and am falling in love with it, totally

However, there are few things to remember while cooking quinoa, for an enjoyable eating experience.
- First of all, remember to rinse quinoa before cooking. There is a bitter coating on the tiny seeds that needs to be washed away, otherwise you'll end up with a bad tasting food no matter how good your recipe is.

- Quinoa has to be cooked to perfection. Nobody likes to see mushy quinoa on their plates. I usually cook 1 parts of quinoa in 2 parts of water. Mix quinoa & water in a thick-bottomed saucepan and on medium heat, bring it to a boil. Now, reduce heat to low-medium, cover the saucepan with a tight-fitting lid and cook (with occasional stirring) until all the water is absorbed. Switch off the stove.

- Let the cooked quinoa rest for a while. Cooling down is an important step to achieve light and fluffy texture.

There you go, three simple steps to cook quinoa to perfection, every single time!!


In this recipe, quinoa is overpowered with the flavor of saute'ed onion, chillies & cilantro - you'll not believe that this recipe has quinoa in it. This recipe works like a charm even with fluffy left-over quinoa. A healthy and tasty entree in under 20 mins using minimum ingredients and with just 2 utensils to wash.... Come on, what more could you ask in a recipe?!

With a small salad (or) a simple cucumber raita (yogurt, chopped/grated cucumber, salt, cumin powder all mixed together), this recipe works great for lunch-boxes too!


Basic Info
Complexity - Simple
Prep time - 10 mins
Cook time - 10 mins
Serves - 4

Ingredients
1/3 cup Quinoa

1.5 cups Fresh/Frozen Peas
1 big Onion, finely chopped
4-5 green Chillies, finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped Cilantro, finely chopped

2 tbsp Olive oil
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
Salt to taste

Method
Wash and drain quinoa in cold water. Cook rinsed quinos in 2/3 cups of water on medium heat. 

While quinoa is cooking, heat olive oil in a pan. When hot, crackle cumin seeds. Add finely chopped onion and very finely chopped green chillies and saute until onion turns translucent, about 3-4 mins. Add peas, turmeric powder, salt and saute until peas are cooked through. Finally, add chopped cilantro and give it a good mix. After a min or so, remove from heat.


Mix cooked Quinoa and peas masala until well combined. Serve with cool cucumber raita and enjoy!


Notes
- The cooked peas masala can be mixed with fluffy rice for yummy rice peas pulao!

- Linking to "YBR - Your Best Recipes" hosted by Spiciefoodie.
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