Thursday, May 22, 2014

Quinoa Pulao ~ Cilantro Flavored Quinoa ~ With Stepwise Pictures

For a while now I have been wanting to try making some kind of pulao with quinoa. Finally a few weeks back,  I decided I had to stop thinking about it and actually make it. At first I was leaning towards making something similar to the traditional pulao or a vegetable pulao with some basic spices. But a quick glance at at my refrigerator showed me that I had a lot of cilantro on hand and the idea of making a masala paste with cilantro was very appealing.

I made this masala similarly to the one I used before in my hara/green masala ka pulao that I used to make with rice. I just varied the ingredients a tad bit to make it work better with quinoa. The result was a flavorlul and satisfying pulao that had us going back for seconds. I have already made this a few more times in the last few weeks and surprisingly I have never felt the need to tweak this recipe even a little, we like the pulao so much just this way :) This is so quick and easy to make too that I find it a great option for weeknight dinners, when I want something quick, nutritious and easy to put together. The fringe benefit is that it packs well in the lunch box too :)

If you are looking for quinoa recipes, check out some of the other quinoa recipes in this space...

Quinoa mung dosa ~ Dhal dosa ~ Savory Indian crepes
Quinoa Khichdi ~ Peanut flavored quinoa
Quinoa oat adai ~ Dhal dosa  

Click here for a printable view of this recipe

Ingredients and Method to make cilantro flavored quinoa pulao
1 and 1/2 cups Quinoa
2 cloves (lavang)
1 inch cinnamon stick (dalchini/ pattai)
3 green cardamoms (elaichi/elakkai)
1 onion cut fine (pyaaz/vengayam)
5 to 6 baby carrots or 1 large carrot cut fine (gajar)
1 red bell pepper deseeded and cut into 1/2 inch pieces (capsicum/simla mirch/kodamolagai)
1 green bell pepper deseeded and cut into 1/2 inch pieces (capsicum/ simla mirch/kodamolagai)
(or 3 cups of any vegetables like cauliflower, green peas, capsicum, carrots, beans, etc)
salt to taste
1 Tbsp oil 

Masala paste/ Grind together
1 cup chopped cilantro (coriander leaves/hara dhania/kothamalli)
2 dry red chilies (or to taste) (lal mirch/ molagai vathal)
3 Thai or Indian variety green chilies (or to taste) (hara mirch/ pachai molagai)
2 cloves of garlic (lehsun/ poondu)
1 tsp grated ginger (adrak/inji)

Rinse quinoa thoroughly in cold water. Allow to drain. Place in a heavy bottomed pan with 3 cups of water and cook until soft on medium heat. Keep aside.

Grind the ingredients mentioned under masala paste in a mixer/ blender adding just a tbsp or two as required to make a smooth paste.

Heat oil in a large heavy bottomed pan. Add cloves, cardamom and cinnamon to it and stir until the cardamom starts to change color slightly. Add onion and saute until it turns translucent.

Add the vegetables and stir until the vegetables are cooked and tender crisp. Add a few spoons of water if required for the veggies to cook. Add ground paste and stir until it loses its moisture and begins to dry a little.

Add quinoa, salt to taste and mix well.

Remove from heat and serve hot with plain yogurt and pickle, curry of choice or raita/ thayir pachadi

Serves approx 2 to 3.

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