“Quinoa” (pronounced keen-wah) is a high protein ‘pseudo cereal’ (foods that are cooked and eaten like grains and have a similar nutrient profile). Quinoa is actually a seed and is rich in complete protein, fibre, the B vitamins and healthy monounsaturated fats. It is believed that substituting quinoa for grains like polished rice and wheat could improve the blood glucose levels in diabetics and the cholesterol levels . Also, since it has a high fibre content it is a good choice for those looking to lose weight (portion sizes still matter).
This pulav has a nice flavour since I used green masala( paste of coriander leaves, mint leaves, ginger and green chilies) and lots of vegetables.
Ingredients for Healthy Quinoa Pulav with green masala (Serves 4-5)
- Quinoa: 1 1/2 cups *I use the cup that comes with the rice cooker (wash in several changes of water)
- Mixed vegetables: 2 cups (green beans, carrots, broccoli, spinach)
- Onions: 1 big (finely sliced)
- Tomato: 1 no. (finely chopped)
- Ginger+Garlic paste: 2 tsp
- Pepper corns: 4-5nos.
- Cardamom: 2 nos.
- Cummin/Jeera seeds: 1 tsp
- Cinnamon: 1/2″ piece
- Bay leaf: 1 no.
- Cloves: 2-3
- Turmeric: 1/2 tsp
- Coriander powder: 2 tsp
- Garam masala: 1/2 tsp
- Green chili: 1 slit
- Water/ Chicken stock: 3 cups
- Oil: 3tsp
- Salt: to taste
For Green Masala ( Grind together):
- Coriander leaves: 1 small bunch
- Mint leaves : 10-12
- Green chilies: 2-4nos. (adjust according to your heat tolerance)
- Ginger: 1/2
- Water: a little to grind
- Heat the oil in a kadai, add the whole spices (jeera, cardamom, peppercorns,bay leaf, cloves, cinnamon), then add the turmeric, sliced onions, green chili and saute till the onions start turning golden brown.
- Then add the mixed vegetables, ginger+garlic paste and saute till the vegetables are half cooked.
- Add the tomatoes, 2-3 tbsp of the green masala, salt and cook till the tomatoes are all mashed up.
- Add the washed and soaked quinoa and stir-fry for 2 minutes.
- Add 3 cups of water (or chicken stock) , taste for salt and cover and cook till it boils.
- Then turn down the flame and let it simmer till the quinoa is cooked and fluffy (sprinkle some water on top if needed). Stir occasionally and switch off when the quinoa is cooked.
- Fluff before serving. Serve with raita or with some gravy dish(paneer,chicken)