Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Lemon vegetable quinoa

About once a week if not more often, I try and include quinoa in our diet.  One of the traditional rice dishes that was often made in our home when we were growing up is lemon rice or limbu saadam as it is known in Tamil. Lemon rice is simply seasoned with mustard seeds, chick pea lentil and curry leaves with a delicious lemon flavor, I hope to post that recipe in this space some time soon.

In the meanwhile, inspired by lemon rice, I made this version of quinoa with some vegetables. This easy and nutritious recipes has quickly become a favorite in our home. It works very well for weeknight dinners, and leftovers pack well in the lunch box too :)  Pair this with some raita (yogurt based salad ) or even some curry to make a filling meal.

Click here for a printable view of this recipe

Ingredients and method to make lemon vegetable quinoa
1 and 1/2 cups quinoa
2 carrots cut into small pieces ( gajar) (1 cup of cut pieces)
1 red bell pepper / capsicum deseeded and cut into small pieces (capsicum/ Simla mirch) (1 cup of cut pieces) (see notes)
Salt to taste (namak)
1/4 tsp turmeric powder ( haldi) 
2 Tbsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds ( rai / kadagu)
1 tsp chick pea lentil (chana dhal / kadalai parappu)
3 dry red chilies broken into small pieces ( or to taste) (lal mirch)
2 Thai or Indian variety green chilies cut fine ( or to taste) ( hara mirch)
8 to 10 large curry leaves  torn into small pieces (kadi patha)
3 Tbsp finely cut cilantro for garnish ( coriander leaves / hara dhania)
juice of half a lemon (or to taste) 

Rinse quinoa thoroughly in cold water and drain. Place in a heavy bottomed pan with 3 cups of water and cook until soft. Keep this quinoa aside.

Heat oil in the same pan, add mustard seeds to it. When the seeds splutter, add chick pea lentil/ chana dhal and stir until it begins to redden. Add red chilies, green chilies and torn curry leaves and stir a few times.

Add carrots, bell pepper , turmeric powder and  salt to taste. Stir a few times. Sprinkle a little water if required, cover with a lid and cook until the veggies are tender crisp.

Add cooked quinoa, mix well, adjust salt to taste if needed and allow to heat for a few minutes until flavors mingle.Add juice of half a lemon or according to taste and mix well. Garnish with finely chopped cilantro.

Serve hot with any curry on the side , or some raita

Serves approx 2 to 3 

The vegetables above can be substituted with 2 cups of any combination of vegetables like green peas/ matar, cauliflower/ Gobi,  green beans, carrots, capsicum, etc.
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